I had an American friend over for 24 hours recently and wanted to show him a good time. He'd visited over 100 countries but had never been to Ireland – so the pressure was on.
After much thought I ruled out the Guinness Storehouse, Dalkey, the city centre and all the other tourist hotspots, and instead headed for Howth.
It's never let me down in the past, and with the sun peeking through and traffic quiet on a weekday we headed off to this little magical corner of the capital.
As we arrived on the docks it was a hive of activity. Forklifts whizzing around carrying fish to vans and lorries to be shipped around the island and grizzled fishing types syphoning off the best produce for themselves.
We weren't in a mood for fucking around with the small stuff, so after a short walk along the restaurants we chose Deep because of their big specials board and the fresh lobster that was screaming out at us.
We started with Dublin Bay prawns in garlic sauce and it did exactly what it said on the tin. Simple, perfectly cooked and wonderfully garlicky.
They were so good I wanted to lick the juices out of the little dish them came in – always a good sign.
While seriously tasty the prawns were only the warm up for the main dish: lobster and chips. So simple but so many places get it s wrong.
What made the lobster so excellent here was't the way it was cooked, but rather the lobster itself.
Freshly picked from the tank, it was plump, juicy and full of flavour in a way that the frozen versions some places around town serve could never match.
We had a whole lobster each which was seriously greedy but with seafood in the air, chilled white wine at hand and an Ireland match at the Euros to watch we weren't watching the pennies.
They were €35 each, which sounds steep, but as a treat there is nothing quite like it.
The cooking here is superb, simple and relies on great ingredients – my type of food.
Maybe it was the sun, maybe the company, possibly the fact that we saw Ireland beat Italy that night or maybe the trawlers only yards from us. Whatever it was, this is the best lobster I've ever had in Dublin – and well worth a trip north to Howth.
I picked this as the one thing to show a well travelled guest and we weren't disappointed. Not a bad little city we call home.