Places

Sam Gleeson and Niamh Fox’s Ireland Address Book

15th February 2018

Interview: Killian Fox

The furniture maker and chef recommend a great pub for cheese toasties, their favourite place to go in Ireland for a special meal, and a local community farm run by surfers

EATING OUT

AROUND LAHINCH

Barrtrá

Lahinch, Co. Clare, Ireland; www.barrtra.com
Sam: Niamh’s work colleague’s family owns this restaurant up on the cliff-top outside Lahinch.
Niamh: Oh yeah that’s a nice place.
Sam: Her mum and dad set it up, she worked there and now her brother runs it.
Niamh: They do a surprise menu. So you go in and ask for the surprise menu or the surprise vegetarian menu. You get four courses. They have a polytunnel out back so it’s really fresh. And the seafood is amazing.
Sam: They do a sushi-and DJ-night once a month. He’s fairly young, the guy who runs it, he’s taking over the reins and putting his own stamp on what his mum and dad started.

Vaughan’s Anchor Inn

Liscannor, Co. Clare, Ireland; www.vaughans.ie
“This place has been going for a long time and they’ve won lots of awards for seafood. It’s very busy in the summer. You can pay €20 to sit in and eat their fish and chips – or you can pay a tenner and get takeaway, and Egan’s a few doors up will let you take the fish and chips into their pub and buy their pints.” – Sam

Egan’s

14 Main St, Liscannor, Co. Clare, Ireland; Facebook
“The joy of Egan’s is a good cheese toastie and a good carrot cake,” says Sam. Later he takes us there for a couple of pints – it’s a really beautiful old pub with a dark interior and a surprisingly bright and colourful outdoor area at the back. Highly recommended.

FURTHER AFIELD

Miyazaki

1A Evergreen St, Ballyphehane, Cork, Ireland; Facebook
Asked where in Ireland he would go for a special meal, Sam immediately replies: “Miyazaki. Oh my god, his food’s amazing.” He’s referring to Takashi Miyazaki who runs a tiny Japanese noodle bar in Cork and is – very excitingly – about to open his second restaurant in the city called ichigo ichie. You can find our interview with Takashi right here.

Fumbally Café

8 Fumbally Ln, Dublin, Ireland; www.thefumbally.ie
Sam and Niamh both worked at this much-loved and very influential Dublin café at various times. “If ever I’m up in Dublin,” say Sam, “I will go into the Fumbally and I will grab a coffee and I will eat.”

Kai

22 Sea Rd, Galway, H91 DX47, Ireland; www.kaicaferestaurant.com
Wonderful Galway restaurant run by Jess Murphy, with whom Niamh has worked in the past. Our interview with Jess is coming soon.

The Universal (pictured above)

9 William St W, Galway, Ireland; Facebook
“If you are in Galway tonight,” Sam advises, “you should go to the Universal. It’s Niamh’s mate’s pub and another friend of hers does the food there. Good cocktails, good beer, good wine, good food.” Sadly we never made it but hope to visit next time in Galway.

Loam

Geata Na Cathrach, Fairgreen Rd, Galway, Ireland; www.loamgalway.com
“Loam is really nice,” says Niamh. “It’s a bit fancier, but it’s so great. You can also go there for a meat and cheese plate if you want. I think he has a Michelin star now so I don’t know if it’s changed. Sometimes that can change a place quite a lot.”

The dining room at Kai in Galway. Photo: Emile Dinneen

BUYING IN

The Cheese Press

Main St, Ennistimon, Co. Clare, V95 H9AW, Ireland; Facebook
Niamh speaks highly of this little cheese shop and deli in Ennistimon, run by professional cheesemaker Sinéad Ní Gháirbhith, whose family make St Tola goat’s cheese.

The Aloe Tree

Main St, Ennistimon, Co. Clare, Ireland; Facebook
“We do dinners at this health food shop in Ennistimon,” says Sam. “The couple who run it, she runs the shop, he’s the chef and makes kombucha. It’s a very nice place.”

Moy Hill Community Farm

Near Lahinch, Co. Clare, Ireland; Facebook
Sam and Niamh talk very enthusiastically about this community farm down the road, set up by three ex-pro surfers who now work the land, run a veg box scheme, sell at local markets and do projects with the local community. “They do a community garden cook-up every Friday, which is pretty cool,” says Sam. “So you go and you bring a dish or whatever and everyone eats together in the garden.”

Posted 15th February 2018

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Interview: Killian Fox

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