Fancy fish frys
Peter Hogan, originally from Tramore, and Jumoke Akintola, from Hackney in London, have opened a fish and chip shop in a converted barna shed in Blackrock Market in south Co Dublin, and are also serving fish tapas to customers of the market's Grape Escape wine bar. The couple, who met when they were both working as teachers in London, have been running a mobile cold smoker on the UK capital's vibrant street food circuit for the past two years, smoking mackerel, wild sea trout, chicken, duck and bacon.
“Our decision to move to Dublin was driven by the amazing quality of seafood available in the city and the shortage of places where people can enjoy it affordably. We want to make quality seafood more accessible.”
They do traditional fish and chips, as well as mussels from Roaringwater Bay, Carlingford oysters and Dublin Bay razor clams. The menu depends on the day’s catch, and a filet of hake in beer batter with a side of handcut chips is €8.50. The wine bar menu includes a wonderful winter salad of ribbons of raw veg in an anchovy dressing, as well as fried fish of the day, cod with cockles, cured mackerel on toast, fish stew and grilled mussels.
Opening hours are noon to 3pm and 5pm-8pm Tuesday to Friday; noon to 6pm at weekends, and Thursday to Saturday nights in the wine bar, 7-10pm.
Looks are important
When it comes to treating yourself or someone else to Christmas goodies, the packaging can be just as important as the contents, and the kitchen at Castlemartyr Resort in Co Cork has pulled out all the stops on both fronts with its gift range. Chef Kevin Burke's plum pudding (€22.50) comes wrapped in muslin in a traditional china pudding bowl, ready to steam, and the brandy butter (€6.95) and cranberry preserve (€6.50) are in pretty glass jars that won't disgrace any table. Tall Kilner jars that will be perfect for making and storing salad dressing, contain the mulled wine (€16.50). The collection is on sale at the hotel and in Brown Thomas Limerick and Cork.
Christmas at CHQ
Bord Bia must have the best little black book of artisan food producers and suppliers in the country, so there should be a top quality line-out for their first ever Christmas food market at the CHQ Building in the IFSC, Docklands on Thursday to Sunday, December 12th-15th. There will be more than 40 food stalls to trawl, and the opening hours are 10am to 8pm (finishing at 6pm on Sunday). The market will be indoors, and the 12 Days of Christmas Dublin Docklands market will be occupying George's Dock, alongside. See bordbia.ie/christmasmarket
Knock that imported Stilton off your Christmas cheeseboard and be among the first to enjoy Brewer's Gold, a new cheese made by Knockdrinna Farmhouse Cheese in Co Kilkenny with organic cow's milk from the Little Milk Company, a farmers' co-operative. Brewer's Gold takes four to six weeks to mature, during which time the rind is washed in one of a selection of Irish craft beers and ales. It is available online from knockdrinna.com, where you'll also find a list of retail stockists.