BootsnAll Travel Network

Fishy Fishy: So good they named it twice


[NOTE to those following the Ultimate Job: the following post is one of our official challenges. We’ve targeted this blog post to Runaway Bride and Groom’s audience–engaged couples everywhere. We will be returning to the BREL Ultimate Job blog again shortly!]

Tell any Irish person you’re headed to the town of Kinsale, Co. Cork, and you’re likely to get the same reaction. “Oh, Kinsale’s beautiful! Make sure you go to Fishy Fishy.”

4541364731_41af3f5859_o.jpgThe aptly-named seafood restaurant is something of an institution here, in no small part to its charismatic owner, Martin Shanahan. From its humble beginnings as a fish shop deli (still open for business in the centre of town), Fishy Fishy quickly outgrew its small 20-seat capacity; four years ago Martin and his wife Marie expanded to a second location, a sprawling, stylish quayside space complete with one of the town’s prime patios. That is, when the Irish weather cooperates.

Martin’s mission as a fish ambassador of sorts has grown of late, and these days the local celebrity can be seen spreading his fishy message far and wide as the host of his own wildly successful RTÉ television show Martin’s Mad About Fish. “My mission is a simple one,” he says, “to take the fear out of fish.” “No bone, no fear” is his mantra.

No fear indeed. His flagship restaurant carries the torch high, focusing on what he knows best: freshly caught, simply prepared fish and seafood, full stop. The local fishermen who support the Fishy Fishy credo are so central to his success, their pictures adorn the restaurant walls.

We start by taking a cue from local regulars, who swear by the legendary chilli seafood salad, a collection of monkfish, salmon and prawns, that changes with what happens to be freshest, all served on a bed of greens and chickpeas and topped with a sweet chilli sauce redolent of mango. Crispy parsnip chips add a welcome crunch.

Also highly recommended was the crab crumble, a casserole of moist crabmeat that didn’t disappoint: simmered in a delicate lemon butter sauce, the crab was so tender it literally fell apart. Topped with herb bread crumbs and baked, the dish was true to the restaurant’s aim—simple enough to let the fresh ingredients shine through.

For those not of the fishy persuasion (my wife Melanie included), fear not—a perfectly cooked rib eye steak topped with delicate onion rings came accompanied by a peppercorn sauce declared “good enough to drink.”

A carefully chosen international wine list naturally leans toward whites well-paired with the fare. And last but not least, top of the dessert heap (should you still have room), was a sticky toffee pudding served with butterscotch sauce and fresh cream, decadently sweet but not so filling as to make justifying a final course difficult.

Judging from the out-the-door queues all summer long, Martin’s clearly succeeding in his mission.

Uncomplicated. Consistent. Fresh. And not a bone or tinge of fear to be found.

Pierside, Kinsale, Co. Cork
+353 (0)21 4700415
Open 7 days a week
Mid March – Mid October:
Tuesday – Saturday : 12.00 pm – 9.00 pm
Sunday / Monday : 12.00 pm – 4.30 pm
Handicapped accessible.



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