TO HELL with calories, say Limerick restaurateurs, who believe that good food should be enjoyed without worrying too much about the inches it could add to your hips.
In the face of pressure from a number of health bodies calling for restaurants to display the calorie content of meals, a number of Limerick restaurants said they won’t be putting those figures on their menus just yet.
Last month the George Boutique Hotel in the city became one of the few establishments to highlight the calorie content of their main meals, and Minister Jan O’Sullivan she “wouldn’t rule out” the possibility of the Government introducing future legislation forcing the industry to display menus with calories.
Padraic Frawley, of the Cornstore, said there are arguments for and against the proposal.
“It’s very difficult when you do three to four specials every night, and it’s very subjective insofar as one chef might use one knob of butter, and another might use two.
“Obviously it’s much easier for the fast food restaurants, that have less ingredients that go into a burger and a portion of chips.
“But I think we’re open to it, though not 100% committed to it yet. As one of my chefs says ‘If it tastes good it’s a lot of calories’. That’s not necessarily true but there’s no doubt that butter and cream and all those good Irish ingredients that enhance food hugely, there is a calorie cost in that. But if you go out to dinner once in a while it’s not going to affect your health.”
Dan Mullane, proprietor of the Mustard Seed in Ballingarry, which is in business 27 years, said: “You always have to be aware of what you eat, but food cooked properly will take account of that.
“I think over-counting calories would take from a dinner, but if you eat properly the calorie count is sufficient. I don’t think it’s the issue that people are making it out to be. To me, it wouldn’t be a huge issue in what we do.
“Good chefs are natural counters and know the balance of food.”