Restaurant review: An Seana Cé, An Fheothanach, Contae Chiarraí, Éire

The Old Pier restaurantI’m not the best person to write a restaurant review, as I don’t go to restaurants much, and never to the expensive restaurants that make it to the Sunday newspapers etc.

So there may be plenty of better restaurants, but I’ve just been back to the best restaurant I’ve ever eaten at, and that’s certainly not just my opinion; everyone I’ve met who knows of it says it’s the best they’ve ever eaten at.

It’s “An Seana Cé”, An Fheothanach, Contae Chiarraí, no as Béarla “The Old Pier”, Feohanagh, County Kerry, Ireland. As to its location, it doesn’t meet the common criteria for `location, location, location’, as it’s miles from the nearest town (An Daingean, formerly known as Dingle), and tens of miles from the nearest (small) city (Trá Lí / Tralee); it’s on a spectacular spot of quiet coastline, overlooking a bay with hills over the other side (and often a sunset over those hills during dining hours.) And, oddly, it’s not even open as a restaurant all year round. It’s also a Bed and Breakfast; I’ve not tried that side of it, although I’ve heard their breakfasts are as good, and as large, as their dinners.

It’s the food that stands out, and, unusually, it stands out not only in quality but also in quantity. As befits its location, the menu has a big concentration of seafood, although there are plenty of other dishes.

Fishballs starterFor my starter, I chose Fishballs with Chilli sauce and salad. The fishballs were full of texture and flavour, in the filling as well as the crunchy outer layer; the flavour was strong enough not to be swamped by the spicy sauce.

Roulades of Lemon SoleMy main course was Roulades of Lemon Sole filled with Cod meat with creamy sauce, with side salad and potatoes. A rich taste, but not too rich, and again a pleasing mixture of textures. I’ve not written about food before, and I don’t read about it that much, so I won’t spoil my description by trying to go into detail; it was simply a delicious meal.

I’m prone to overeating (which probably has contributed to me being about to have an angiogram) but I couldn’t finish the meal, delicious as it was; I had to leave one of the potatoes. And so, I didn’t have the dessert.

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