Browsing Tag

seafood

FOOD HOME RESTAURANT REVIEWS

Nothing Beats a Good Pokē

Klaw Poke, Dublin

Never visit a restaurant on its opening day, that’s just not playing fair. Despite months of planning, there will invariably be hiccups, late deliveries, staff shortages, missing toilet rolls – you get the picture. However, on this occasion, I didn’t really have a choice. I had been madly curious about the fab Mr. Sabongi’s latest offering (he of Rock Lobster, Klaw notoriety), and my other half was leaving the country for a while and knew he would just love it. So on a sunny Friday early evening in May (you might remember the one), we took ourselves to the posh end of Capel Street (which end’s that you say? Well, you be the judge :-)) Klaw Poke is the new arrival in question, whose menu is focussed around pokē  (pronounced “poh-kay”, but where’s the innuendo fun in that), or Hawaiian Sushi which is a cross between Japanese sushi and Peruvian ceviche and made up of pieces of raw tuna, salmon and other seafood marinated in soy sauce, seaweed and sesame and served on a base of rice or quinoa with greens such as kimchi and avocado to bump up the health value.

Klaw Poke, Capel Street

The restaurant is small and can host about 24 bums on seats, with some at the long bar overlooking the kitchen, watching the magic happen. The decor has a fresh holiday feel with a long chalkboard which would line the wall with its menu was a work in progress on the evening in question. The menus were also still at the printers, and so our super-friendly waiter listed out the options available. Being crap at retention, I could only remember the first and last items he mentioned. Thankfully, himself is less of a goldfish on the memory front, so we ordered the Salmon with Siraracha Aioli & Yellowfin Tuna & House Ponzu. The speedily served result was an explosion of a freshness. Delicately marinated fish in a perfectly paired sauce, rice, chillis, avocado, delicious kimchi (which I’m normally not a fan of), picked cucumber, and radishes created a dish which was perfect marriage of healthy eating and sublime taste. Would I be full afterwards? Maybe not. Satisfied? Definitely. Prices vary according to the fish chosen, and you can choose your toppings and sauce, so you can customise your dish to suit your tastes, or just trust the experts and try one of their signature bowls

Since that first evening, I understand that there have been a number of additions to the menu such as lobster rolls, chowder, and crab on toast. And indeed, they have also played around with their Pokē recipes which is really the beauty of this dish, which will undoubtedly be shooting up in menus all over the place, – the permutations are endless! Unfortunately, I have not been back yet, simply due to the location being a bit out of my way, but I look forward to making the trek very soon, and I recommend you do too.

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FOOD FOOD NEWS

Fabulous Sprinkles of Flavour

Salmon Sprinkles from Gold as Gold Foods

I love an ‘aul food market or festival, so I do. But regularly going to food markets on a small island such as ours can get a bit Groundhog Dayish after a while, albeit a very enjoyable and flavour-filled Groundhog Day! So it was nice to stumble across Jack Healy’s “Wild Salmon Charqui”, a new product that I hadn’t seen before that faithful day in the Temple Bar Food Market.

The product, a salmon equivalent of beef jerky, is based on the native Indian method of preserving fish by drying. Jack has created a number of different flavours, both sweet and savoury, using garlic, soy sauce, maple syrup, Tabasco sauce, various herbs, and chilli to create a perfect high-protein, low-calorie snack which makes a great alternative to the usual snacks on offer. Although I like the jerky, or “charqui” as he calls it, it is the salmon sprinkles which he also sells which excites me the most. Let’s just say these are frickin’ brilliant! They are so versatile, and having a shelf-life of 12 months means that they are the perfect cupboard staple. Let me explain readers, the sprinkles (I’m sure he has another name for them, but it’s my blog, so sprinkles it is!) are dried wild salmon ground down into the size small breadcrumbs. You can use these babies in scrambled egg to give them gorgeous salmon flavour,  sprinkled on top of poached eggs and hollandaise sauce for Eggs Royale, on a baked potato with sour cream, sprinkled on soups, or with creamy pasta and a bit of parmesan. The permutations are endless!

Salmon Sprinkles from Good as Gold Foods
Added to that are the well-documented and proven health benefits of salmon:

* Reduces inflammation
* Lowers blood pressure
* Reduces the risk of cancer
* Reduces the risk of heart disease
* Improves brain function
* Helps makes your skin only gorgeous!

Jack is not currently trading at Temple Bar (in fairness, it’s nippy out there!), but a new website and new markets are currently being planned, so if you’d like more information or order some product, you can contact him on his Facebook page

Let’s make this a year to really get behind Irish businesses and startups, so that our economy and our subsequent welfare become less reliant on external factors.  The innovation and entrepreneurial spirit certainly exists in abundance. And with any luck, we should be seeing this particular brilliant product in supermarkets and restaurants throughout the country very soon.

Images borrowed from As Good as Gold Facebook page
RESTAURANT REVIEWS

The Klaws are out at one of Dublin’s Best Seafood Restaurants

Klaw Restaurant, Temple Bar, Dublin

Let’s be honest, most Dubliners aren’t the biggest fans of Temple Bar. Even the Huffington Post described it as one of the world’s most disappointing tourist destinations to be avoided “at all costs”. Yes, there may be a glut of British stag parties at the weekend, groups of ripped-off American tourists desperately clutching maps in the hope of finding something that slightly resembles the Ireland they saw in the movies, and clutters of, how shall I put it delicately, right dodgy looking feckers. But it ain’t all that bad, people! A number of new eateries have popped up in the last couple of years which are set to change the perception of Temple Bar completely. One such newbie is Klaw, a seafood shack owned by the lovely Niall Sabongi, he of Rock Lobster Dundrum fame. The restaurant itself is tiny and can accomodate 14 stool-sitting hungry bunnies.  Sizewise, my estimates put it at 1.5 Hubbies wide and 5 Hubbies deep (1 Hubby unit of measurement = 6 foot 3). The kitchen is situated at the back and is in full view, so you can get a good goo of all the schucking taking place.

The menu is simple and written on the large blackboard which dominates the left wall of the restaurant and includes most of the headline acts of the seafood world. Oysters are available in 3 varieties (Dooncastle, Waterford and Galway Bay). For purists, they can be eaten “naked” (with lemon or tabasco), or for the more adventurous, dressed or torched. For the non-oyster eating posse (i.e. moi), there is crab, Atlantic prawns, seafood chowder and their signature lobster rolls. What’s not to love! On this particular day, himself and myself had  vouchers from the nice folk of thetaste.ie for a lobster roll plus a glass of wine for a mere 10 yo-yos (sadly, offer is currently not available). Quite the deal indeed! We were greeted by a super-friendly waitress who observed my “uncanny resemblance” to yer one from Titanic (Hmmm, I’m hoping she meant Kate Winslet, and not Kathy Bates!), and so as she led us to our table, I made a mental note to tip this highly-astute individual generously!

Lobster Roll at Klaw

Having partaken in a lobster roll at the brilliant Rock Lobster previously, I knew this wasn’t going to fill my hungry belly, so I ordered a seafood chowder and himself ordered 6 oysters (it being happy hour n’all). The seafood chowder was delicious, served in a can with toasted baguette on the side. It was a lot thinner in consistency than you would usually expect for a chowder, but it was packed with flavour. Having said that, I do like my chowders to be made with half a cow’s worth of cream, but it made the perfect belly-liner for the main dish. Himself delighted in the juicy oysters, which are half price during happy hour, the Galway ones proving to be his favourite. And so on to the raison-to-be-there – the lobster rolls! Wowzers! The sweet lobster, dressed in a yuzu mayonnaise, oozes out of a delicious brioche bun fried in butter and is served with a whopper chunk of cucumber and a sprinkle of crisps. For those of you lacking in the Google department, the Yuzu is a citrus fruit originating in East Asia and believed to be a hybrid of sour mandarin and Ichang papeda. Readers may also know it as Citrus ichagensis x C. reticulata.

Seafood Chowder at Klaw

Our meal was washed down with a beautifully dry glass of Picpoul, and for some reason unknown to man, not finished off with a dessert! (Like seriously, what’s that all about?) The dessert offering changes but creme brulée and whoopie pies feature regularly. Since our last visit, there have been new additions added to their menu such as mac n’cheese and fish stew, so another visit is long overdue. If you’ve never had a lobster roll, add it to your bucket list and get your booty down to Klaw. It’ll be one of the best 16 euros you’ve ever spent!

Klaw, 5a Crown Alley, Temple Bar, Dublin 2