When I started this blog I did so to find truly remarkable food in Dublin. Today I found something that blew my mind and which and experience I've been crying out for over the last couple of years...Really good fish. Although there are loads of brilliant places to eat and drink in Dublin there are some that are simply at another level. The coffee in 3Fe. The burgers in Bunsen. The outstanding cooking in Forrest Avenue. Well today I can safely add another name to that list...Fish shop in Blackrock.
People have been hassling me to go there for months on Twitter and via email but Blackrock is a bit of a fucking trek unless you happen to live there. On first appearance it is more of a shack than a shop. Irishman Peter Hogan and Jumoke Akintola, from Hackney in London have done what pretty much everybody else (barring SMS on the higher end of the scale) have failed to do and that is cook outstanding fish in a simple way.
We live on a little rock on the edge of a huge ocean but our attitude towards cooking great fish is about as lax as the the Guards are at investigating corruption within their own ranks lately. The menu is simple with only a handful of items but the focus here is on great produce. When I peered into the tiny hut and saw real potatoes being peeled and huge chunks of flakey fresh hake I knew this was going to be something special.
See good food is actually super simple. Its not that shit frozen muck that most chippers serve up and charge a tenner for. This isn't rocket science that we are talking about here. The hake, chips and lemon mayo I ordered cost me 9 Euros and it nearly made me jizz my pants it was so good. Everything cooked to order rather than being prepped hours in advance and that makes all the difference. Being told that the fish was delivered by a fisherman in a bag from Dundalk early that morning made me wish for simpler days of cooking long before restaurants started worrying about HACCP and other constraining laws.
The only issue I'd have with the place is that it is so far out for me. The location so obscure. I was the only person here at 8 o'clock on a Wednesday night and I just wondered why there wasn't a queue snaking around the corner while at the same time the local pubs were packed with people eating shitty chicken goujons and sculling pints. This is the future of Irish cooking. A focus on the best ingredients and cooking them in a simple way with no bullshit or fancy garnishes.
From what I've heard Fish Shop is busy at the weekends when the market is buzzing and I've never spotted somewhere that deserves it more. You need to get out here and try just how good it is because in the coming months Fish Shop will be packed. They deserve a bigger premises. More backing. Every piece of praise that is heaped upon them and more people to eat their food. Absolutely fucking blown away. Incredible. Go go go.