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Newpark Centre, Newtown Park Avenue, Blackrock , County Dublin
Tel:01 283 1767. Fax:01 288 2478 / 0428
E-Mail:info@ayumiya.ie

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      29.07.2001 07:49
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      ~ ~ This was Dublin’s first ever truly ethnic restaurant, that opened its doors for business back in 1983. At that time Ireland was not the go-ahead and multi-cultural society that it has since become, and to open a traditional Japanese restaurant to cater to Irish palates that were more used to fish and chips and meat and two veg, was a considerable risk, and one that many thought was bound to fail. As the restaurant opened out in the middle of a suburban housing estate just outside the small village of Blackrock in South County Dublin, it didn’t do itself any favours in regard to its location either, as there was no passing trade to speak of, and it had to rely on bookings and word of mouth for its clientele. ~ ~ Eighteen years on, the restaurant continues to grow and flourish, and has recently opened a second branch in the very popular Brown Thomas department store, located in Dublin’s premier shopping area, Grafton Street, just off St. Stephen’s Green in the city centre. (opinion to follow) ~ ~ Much of its past and present success is attributable purely and simply to the dynamic personality of its Japanese owner and co-founder (with his late father) Yoichi Hoashi. His philosophy in business is very simple, and extremely effective. He quite simply gives a service that is second to none, personally greeting all his customers, and making sure that their every need and requirement is catered for and looked after. This philosophy extends to his treatment of his staff, and at a time when it is nearly impossible to get good staff in the restaurant and catering business here in Ireland, (due to the unprecedented boom in the economy) most of the staff in the Ayumi-Ya have been with them for donkey’s years, and are incredibly loyal both to their boss and to the restaurant itself. ~ ~ When he’s not fully employed looking after his customers, one of Mr. Hoashi’s favoured pastimes is taking himself off to remote parts of the globe to do charitable work, such as his recent “desert trek” for charity in Africa. This tells us much about the genuine nature of this man, and why he engenders such fierce loyalty from both his staff and customers. ~ ~ The restaurant at Blackrock is a small haven of tranquillity. Diners can choose either to eat in the normal European fashion, at a table with chairs, or to try the more traditional Japanese method of sitting on cushions on the floor, and eating of a low table. I advise you try the Japanese method; it’s MUCH more fun! The food itself is simply delicious, and cooked (or not cooked in the case of some dishes!!) under the watchful eye of the restaurant’s head chef, Lian Wu Wang. You can choose from a full range of traditional Japanese dishes, or if you are not the adventurous sort, there is also a small European menu available. All the Japanese favourites are here, such as Sushi, Sukiyaki, Tempura and Teriyaki dishes, as well as new innovations in Japanese cooking that are being constantly added to the menu by the resourceful owner. Some of my own favourites are the buckwheat noodles with tempura, or the soba noodles with chicken (which my wee lass loves). Their fish dishes are out of this world, and only the very freshest and best ingredients are used. Two favourites here are the great char-grilled fresh salmon and the cured salmon in ginger. It’s also fully licensed, and a full range of beers and spirits are available, in addition to the more traditional Japanese wines and Saki. ~ ~ And best of all are the prices. The average price of dinner here is only about the £25 (Irish Punts) mark per head, which is exceptional value for a restaurant of this quality. All major credit cards are accepted. Booking for the restaurant is absolutely essential, and it opens for dinner each evening between 6 PM and 11.30 PM, with restricted hours on a Sunday. It’s awkward to get to, and the best way is probably by taxi (plug, plug!) from the city centre, which will cost you about £8 to £10. Ask the driver for the Playwright pub in Blackrock, which is well known, and right next door to the restaurant. Telephone: (0353) 1 2831767 or fax (0353) 1 2880478. Email: info@ayumiya.ie

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