The sun was shining after a serious absence in Ireland so I decided to go for a daytime drive out along the north coast of Dublin.
I didn't really know where I was heading exactly, and could have hit Howth had it not been for the usual crawling traffic out that road from Fairview onwards. After about seven near-crashes while simultaneously admiring the view and looking for restaurants while totally ignoring the basic rules of the road, I spotted The Bay and decided to give it a whirl.
The place is actually tiny but they've done an amazing job of squeezing as many people in as possible. Outside seats are the big selling point, which seems ludicrous in Dublin – but they do have ample cover for the 11.5 winter months. The view is the clincher, and as I sat there drinking in the scenery and the glory of Dublin Bay it could only be fish that I ordered.
I started with the scallops and tiger prawns. The dish was only a tenner so I wasn't expecting much, but was greeted with an utterly huge portion – and granted, because of the sauce and the shape of the plate, it did have the same appearance as something my dog threw up last week. But it tasted superb.
I've not sure I've had a bigger scallop in Dublin and along with the prawns they were perfectly cooked. Usually they served it with the roe (the orange piece of the scallop) fully on as part of the portion, but I've never liked the taste and just left them there.
Next up was the fish and chips; a dish with which I've had so many bad experiences recently that I've nearly given up.
I don't know what the frozen rubbish is they serve in 90% of the chippers but it's rotten – or worse again, the pubs you go into where it's a standard item on the menu, and getting through the batter would take a fucking chainsaw. Luckily the portion served up to me in Bay was – I'm going to say it – the best I've ever had in Dublin.
I don't say that lightly either, because it is right up there with my favourite dishes. Huge, chunky, white and moist in the middle, with batter that was crispy and light but so thin that you barely noticed it. Throw in the perfect chips, peas and tartar sauce, and I was looking out over Dublin bay with a foodie orgasm.
I only had one bugbear with the place – although I know it is something that others will love about it.
The menu above came with every single allergy marked up – which is fair enough – but also the number of calories in each dish. It was like reading fucking hieroglyphics, and confused me so much I had to stop reading it. Now I'm all on for people being healthy and people having some serious allergies, but menus like this are bonkers – what happened to going out to a restaurant and spoiling yourself without worrying about the consequences? Sure, it helps you to make an informed choice, but having it there sitting over you really does put a downer on things.
Anyway apart from the menu, this place is superb. They also do awesome desserts and they have a lovely selection of fresh juices. And if that's not enough, the breakfast here is also well known by the locals and worth a trip.
Come here when the sun shines and see Dublin at its very best.