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Review: Amicus, Cork

ribsI’m always suspicious of places like this. Slap bang in the centre of Cork, Amicus is a giant, heaving restaurant serving food from China to Mexico. To make it worse, they have another branch in Douglas, a few miles outside the city.

But, for reasons I’ve long since forgotten, myself and Cat crossed its threshold. We both instantly picked up on the good atmosphere here – a lively, bustling crowd seemed to be enjoying their visit. No fussy waiters, no diners afraid to speak.

It’s one of those “something for everyone” menus that invariably sends a chill down my spine. Irish Stew sat alongside Fajitas, Chicken Satay, Pizza, and Pasta. We both skipped starters. Cat went for the Sicilian Curry (€11), described as “a medium fruity curry with lemongrass, coconut milk and rice.” It was a big generous portion, served with poppadoms. It was about as authentic as you’d expect of an Italian curry, whatever that is. Seemed a little like a much better version of Knorr curry sauce, although Cat and I both enjoyed the flavours.

I was more impressed with my big durty plate of ribs (€16.99), which came with wedges and salad. You can’t beat a meal like this: sticky fingers, dirty clothes, and a big belly full of pig. Really enjoyable.

The service here was really friendly without being over-bearing, and the manager and staff seemed really keen for feedback, offering plenty of opportunities to complain or criticise. Not that we had reason to. Amicus is quite reasonably priced and – no mean feat – offers a decent selection of foods to suit all palates. I’d like to give their pizzas a shot sometime.

17 Comments

  1. I’ve been to both and was gravely disappointed. The one on Paul Street was once on French Church Street and hasn’t benefitted from the move. The branch in Douglas is constantly busy, and I can’t fathom why. I tried the Douglas restaurant twice and on both occasions I left frustrated and hungry. The tables are hardly a foot apart and the services is sloppy at best, absent at worst. The food, as you’ve described, reads like a canteen menu and tastes marginally better. It seems to be the trend for restaurants in Douglas, and parts of the city; jack of all trades, master of none.

  2. I’ve had a pizza in the Douglas branch of Amicus, I was disappointed. The pizza base was too thick for me, it all depends on your own preference I suppose. I had the four cheese version and they were quite generous with the topping. The Douglas branch seems to be always busy, I was there Monday lunchtime and it was quiet enough. They are doing an early bird, I think it’s 3 courses for 20 Euro or not far off. I would go back but I wouldn’t order the pizza.

  3. I visited Amicus in Paul St with my daughter about a month ago and we were very pleased with the food, service and the price. We shared a starter of breads with a selection of dips and with a glass of wine, we could nearly have left then! We both enjoyed a very tasty main course and could not have fitted a dessert!
    The bill was a very affordable 35e and I was very impressed and will definitely be going there again. It is the kind of place that suits everyone and a big improvement on the previous business that was in that building which had uncomfortable iron chairs and with self service reasonable food but very limited menu.

  4. I ate in Amicus in Douglas at the weekend. I ordered the tagliatelle gorgonzola which is a dish that I have enjoyed in the Paul Street restaurant. Unfortunately I was disappointed with the bland tasting version served up in Douglas. I couldn’t taste even a trace of gorgonzola and suspect that particular ingredient was omitted. Disappointingly, the staff didn’t approach me while I was eating to check that everything was in order, and I couldn’t catch their attention to complain. In summary, poor food and bad service. I won’t be repeating the experience.

  5. Sounds like the one in Douglas is particularly poor. I guess the ribs – which I think were the daily special – might not have been particularly representative of what’s on offer here.

  6. The reastaurants in Douglas aren’t great in my opinion. I love Nakkon Thai, but that’s it. I hope The Bay Leaf, where Probys Bistro was, will be a worthwhile addition.

  7. I like Amicus in Douglas. I’ve been there several times and have no complaints about the staff (defintely better than the last few months of Citrus before it) and on a nice day its nice to sit outside.

    Only once have I been in any way disappointed with the food which was a slightly bland chicken pasta dish but it was still fine for the price and my mum and wife had some excellent scallopes (perfectly cooked)

    It’s hard at the moment for restaurants to be too restrictive on their menu and they are doing what they have to to stay busy. Table occupancy is the key and amicus in douglas is certainly going for it with menus to suit all parts of the day from breakfast to dinner

  8. “It’s hard at the moment for restaurants to be too restrictive on their menu” thats true Ross, but if Amicus really are feeling the pinch, then why open a new premises in a recession?

  9. I love Thai food but everytime we have passed Nakkon Thai in Douglas, it is always empty or not open when all the other restaurants around are heaving. Must see if they have a website for opening times, menus etc.

  10. Debbie, Nakkon Thai is a great restaurant. On Saturday nights it is very diffcult yo get a table, dont let a slow night put you off. Amicus is usually packed, it doesnt mean its good! I think it opens at 5.30 and is closed on Sundays.

  11. Amicus is a disaster of a place. I had a disgusting meal in the one in town with a friend where we were served apple pie with a ramekin of fresh cream that ceased to be fresh probably a week previous. We complained, only for them to subsequently try and charge us for the dessert on the basis that we ate some of the tart.
    Sheer desperation and hunger drove me into the amicus in Douglas more recently where I had a ‘special’ of trout and a cassoulet which was laced with cayenne pepper – not very special. Sloppy service from a waitress who didn’t know any of the ingredients of the dish or how it was cooked. Never again.

  12. amicus is a terrible restaurant. the food is substandard, the prices are far too high considering the quality and the service poor. i have eaten in the paul street amicus once and have not repeated the experience. the criticisms i have heard from my friends mean i never will.

  13. I used to love going to Amicus on French Church St for the spicy cajun chicken salad which they have since taken off the menu but have refused to go again since I had such a negative expereince with the manager soon after they relocated to Paul Street. I went for lunch with my sister, she specifically asked the waitress for no pesto on her sandwich, waitress looks blankly at my sister not really understanding what is being said as we point at menu waving hands, waitress slaps down salad 20 minutes later covered in pesto and runs away as I try to grab her attention to call her back, it is clear she knows we are not happy as she blatently avoids us. No revisit by staff to ensure food is ok, upon paying I mentioned to the manager (he has been the manager for years)that although the waitress had very limited english, i would hope she would ensure the order was correct and ask was our food ok which it was not. Manager explained that “we are living in a country of foreigners and that my attitude was bad”. He claims it was my responsibility to complain, that us Irish never act fast enough, (he is Irish as far as I know). After this horrible experience where I was treated like a racist, I will never recommend Amicus to any friends, so much for customer satisfaction

  14. The food is sub-standard in the Paul street branch. The last time I was there, I was seated upstairs and the door to the bathroom kept on banging really loudly throughout the evening. Moreover, the salad with the meal consisted of a couple of lettuce leaves and there was a hair in the meal.

  15. The food is disgusting in the Paul st branch, bread that came with my soup looked like it was a leftover, it had a small piece of fried egg stuck to it.

    Main course-Steak and Fried egg, wouldn’t serve that to a dog.

    The toilets were disgusting and there was no toilet paper. Never had any problems with tha Douglas branch though.

  16. I used to love Amicus on French Church street but since its move to Paul street I’ve never had an enjoyable experience there. I went to an almost empty Amicus on Paul Street last week with my sister. The manager seemed unimpressed that we didn’t have a reservation and as he seated us he informed us that he needed the table back by 8 o’clock (very understandable). We sat there for almost 10 minutes trying to get the attention of either of the two servers or the manager, but were completely ignored, as were the other two tables of customers seated near us. One waitress wandered about cleaning one or two tables while the waiter refilled the straws at the bar. We left after 10 minutes and would have complained to the manager but he had stepped out. Wont be going back to Amicus again and would recommend none of my friends or family to waste their time or money there.

  17. I was recently in Cork and visited Amicus on Paul Street with two friends. Presentation was good, service was good, staff there to help when we needed them but never lurking around. I got a vegetarian open sandwich on brown soda bread. The topping was roasted vegetables (peppers, courgettes, tomatoes, red onion) and goat’s cheese. There was loads of toppings and it was very nicely flavoured, and it came with a bowl of wedges and a big green salad. Paul got the burger and chips, enjoyed it, said the burger was nice, tender and tasty. A green salad also came with it. Dearbhla got chicken goujons, they were a tad on the tough side but fine none-the-less. They came with wedges (which she had replaced with shoestring potato fries with no hassle at all) and a green salad. For the food, a tea and two Cokes, the bill came to 35 euros before service. Other than the goujons, there was nothing wrong with it, the service was unfaultable. Food wasn’t top-class I will admit, but definitely not the worst experience I’ve had.