Restaurant Profile December 2016: Entrada by Barry P. O’Brian, Derry
Barry O’Brien of Entrada in Derry, talks to Bernie Mullen
Entrada by Barry P. O'Brian, Derry
WHEN DID YOUR RESTAURANT OPEN?
We opened at the beginning of October 2016 as Entrada, which is Spanish for gateway. We are not a Spanish restaurant but Spanish led. The entrance to the restaurant was the gateway for Spanish sailors checking in to the former Custom House and is a nod to the history of the building. I have always liked Spanish food and go to Spain every year. I wanted to create something different for the town, cooking food that is familiar to people but with a twist. This is our point of difference and what hopefully makes us stand out from the crowd.
TELL US ABOUT THE SPACE YOU HAVE
The restaurant is all on the ground floor and can seat 57 people, overlooking the River Foyle and the Peace Bridge. The kitchen is within the actual restaurant itself which is a new departure for us so customers can see the oven fired up and their food being cooked directly in front of them.
WHAT FEEL ARE YOU AIMING FOR?
We want it to be laid back and take away all the formalities while still maintaining the excellent customer service everyone expects. Our main focus is simply for people to drop in for a great meal, some fantastic wine, cocktails or our very own brand draft beer and relax! We also have live music at the weekends, providing a platform for local talent which the city is famous for.
WHAT’S ON YOUR MENU?
The menu changes all the time depending on the season and the best local produce available. We are constantly evolving but our main aim is to give consumers what they want. Our menu is based around Derry favourites with a Spanish twist. Everything comes through the Mibrasa, a Spanish oven using purely charcoal. Our menu offers a wide variety of fresh, locally-sourced food which is keenly priced. We have snacks such as Salt Cod Fritters, Spiced Beef or Ham & Manchego Croqueta up to £3.50; Small Plates priced at £5/£6 which include Spiced Chicken Pieces with Apple & Celeriac; Duck Liver Parfait with Grape Chutney & Sour Dough; Charred Baby Squid with Piquillo Peppers, Red Onion & Parsley; St Tola’s Irish Goats Cheese with Padrón Peppers, Balsamic and Watercress. Our main courses from the Mibrasa are priced from £11 to £18 with steak, chicken, fish and vegetarian options available.
DOES YOUR MENU CHANGE OFTEN?
Our Blackboard Specials are hugely popular and change daily, influenced by the quality produce available from our suppliers. We currently get two deliveries a week from Whiteoaks Organic Farm and last week, for example, our menu featured Monkfish with Rainbow Chard; a 400gs Rib Eye Steak with honey roasted baby turnips instead of chips; and beautiful red cabbage which made a lovely slaw for our venison burgers.
WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO TO IMPROVE AND DRIVE YOUR MENU?
Building the right team with good people around us is key to how we are growing. Changing our specials keeps it interesting for me and especially the junior members, getting them thinking about what we are cooking each evening. We get boxes of mixed vegetables from Whiteoaks each week and we always aim to be as creative as possible incorporating their fresh, seasonal and locally grown organic produce; we don’t want anything going to waste.
WHAT IS YOUR FOOD SOURCING POLICY?
We use quality, locally-sourced produce as much as possible from the North West including Derry and Donegal. Our meat is from McCarron’s Butchers, Raphoe, Donegal Prime Fish supplies us with freshly-caught fish and seafood from Greencastle harbour in Inishowen and, we get our fruit and vegetables from Kee’s in Eglinton as well as Whiteoaks. We use the best of what we have available and also have to be cost effective; you can’t be a busy fool.
WHO ARE YOUR CUSTOMERS?
Our local customers are very important to us as they will hopefully keep coming back, but we are always delighted to welcome customers from outside the area. Our first two customers were tourists from continental Europe and they loved it; the owners of the local B&B where they were staying sent us a lovely message afterwards saying the majority of their guests had eaten at Entrada and our restaurant experience was the main topic of conversation at breakfast the next morning.
Address: Queens Quay, Derry
Tel: 02871 373366
Facebook & Twitter: @entradaderry
Wed-Sat: 12 noon – late
Sun: 12 noon-8pm
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