“ Crowley's Quay, Kinsale, Co Cork.Tel:+353 (0)21 470 0415 „
When I was on my work trip in Ireland we got talking to a lot of different people in the region of Cork and Killarney and whenever we mentioned that the group of us were going to go and get something to eat out at a restaurant as a last day treat whilst in Kinsale, pretty much everybody said to us that we should go to a place named 'Fishy Fishy'! We heard about it so much that we thought it would be a shame not to find out what all the fuss was about and so we decided as a group that we would all eat here.
The restaurant is located in Kinsale which comes under the region of county Cork. Located in the South West of Ireland the region is a typical Irish fishing village and the restaurant is located just back from the main harbour. It is in an ideal spot for those staying in one of the local hotels and is easy enough to find for people like us who were just passing through for the day.
The restaurant is owned and run by husband and wife team, Martin and Marie Shanahan. They originally had a small deli selling local businesses fresh fish and then they made it into a small restaurant - because of how popular it became they expanded and had to move to a bigger spot. After doing so they then decided to have the restaurant for sit down customers in the new location and also have a take away chippy in the old deli location. Both are hugely popular and are constantly busy!
The restaurant that I am reviewing has two floors of which the upper floor can be hired for private functions and there is also an outside seating area for when weather is good. The building is easy to spot due to it's bright blue wall above the main windows and doors with the 'Fishy Fishy' title in bright yellow!
My experience is of course as a one visit and to experience the place as a sit down meal in the main restaurant. There were 5 of us in the group and by the time we had taken care of business in the morning we managed to get to Fishy Fishy for around 12.30pm for lunch. We had arrived not long after opening and already there were about 4 tables occupied. The décor inside is quite modern but, with the twist of a traditional fishing village look such as long wooden tables and wood flooring with fancy cutlery but, fish hooks and memorabilia on the walls. Also the walls were white to give the feeling of more space as generally the restaurant wasn't huge on the ground floor. There was some low music playing and the staff greeted us with a smile. Once we had been seated the waitress took our drinks order and left us to look at the menu. I am not actually a big lover of fish so for me I wanted to keep it as simple as I could so opted for a cod and chips - the classic fish shop meal! In fact we all ended up having that as the others all wanted to try the most basic meal to see how good this hugely talked about restaurant was!
The meal did not take too long to arrive and it certainly looked nice - the fish nor the chips were greasy looking at all and we all tucked in with gusto. I found the fish to be well cooked and the batter was just perfect - not too crispy nor too soft. Everyone else agreed the fish was lovely and the chips were huge chunky things that were also cooked to perfection. I couldn't really detect if they had added any herbs to the fish to make it taste so nice or if it was simply because it was fresh as they literally get all there produce direct from the harbour. However I was certainly impressed as were the others I was eating with.
The restaurant has plenty of dishes to choose from and they have most fish available that you would expect from a restaurant located in a fishing town. The menu is really quite extensive and includes everything from Cod through to lobster and salmon to mussels. They also do a selection of non fish items so those in the group who maybe cannot or do not like fish can still experience the wonderful atmosphere and service of the place. Drinks are plentiful in selection ranging from a variety of cold alcoholic and non alcoholic along with a variety of hot drinks - in fact I had a hot chocolate and it was delicious!
The thing I like about Fishy Fishy is that they use local suppliers and stick with these all the time - in fact on their website they mention all of their local suppliers and even tell you which product each supplier is responsible for. I like that you can see they are a local business who stick within the community for produce and that you can even see where who has supplied it by name!
The restaurant has won many awards for it's food and service including being one of the top 100 restaurants in Ireland and best seafood restaurant of the year. High praise indeed!
Well as you would expect prices are not cheap and to be honest I wouldn't expect them to be either - considering they guarantee all produce to be local and very fresh then I believe that you are paying for what you get! For the meal we had the bill was just over £100 coming in at just over £20 per head - we all had the same meal with one non alcoholic drink each so generally more expensive than your average fish and chip shop meal but, we all agreed that the food was delicious and the staff were very pleasant and were happy with the price. I would go back again even at these prices although of course it would be only once in a while! As this was a work trip and I didn't have my husband with me I would certainly like to take him here to experience it and already plan to, once we visit Ireland on our own holiday.
The restaurant is open from Mid March to Mid October during the following times:
Sunday and Monday - 12pm - 4.30pm
Tuesday to Saturday - 12pm - 9.pm
I would recommend if you can to make a reservation if you are planning on dining in the evening.
I enjoyed my meal here and so did the other 4 people I was with. We liked the service, the quality of the food and the general atmosphere. The place is comfortable and we enjoyed relaxing with good food after working in the morning. When we arrived the restaurant had not long been open for the day and yet there were already people eating. Even whilst we were eating quite a few other tables started to fill up and generally there was a constant flow of customers which is definitely a good sign considering this was a mid week day and out of season. We had been originally advised to make a reservation but, we were not sure if our plans would definitely allow us time for a sit down meal so we never did make a reservation - however I feel it had been later on in the day then we really probably would have needed one as it was already busy. They say the best places are recommended by word of mouth and this is so true of this place! We heard about it by nearly every hotelier we spoke to on our trip and many commented on how jealous they were that we were hopefully going to eat there - truly that says a lot and after experiencing the place I can honestly say this is true! The only thing that lets is down is prices as of course not everyone would be able to afford to eat here and for that it loses a star! So when in County Cork please try and stop for a meal here if you can - you will be happy you did.