There are many important things to remember about Fishy Fishy but two of the most important are Fish Only and Lunch Only. Open from 12 - 4.30 seven days a week, reservations are not accepted and queueing is the norm. So popular is this restaurant that when I passed by at 3.45 recently there was still a substantial line of people waiting to be seated.
Another important thing to remember is that there are now two Fishy Fishys, the original bright blue deli cum cafe opposite St Multose Church and the brand new one on Crowley's Quay. The new premises seats considerably more diners in a fabulous courtyard setting but the basic menu is still the same. If you like fish you will think you have died and gone to heaven here where the fish is so fresh you have probably just selected it. The atmosphere is terrific with a really continental vibe and a constant buzz of talk and activity. The beautiful people all dine here so it's a place to see and be seen in.
Favorite Dish: I am not a fish person and definitely not into selecting the next victim for the pot so my prefernce would be mainly for the fish chowder. This is probably the best fish chowder you willl get outside of New England and as we like to say in Ireland ''there's eating and drinking in it.'
Sometimes, an establishment spends too much time reading its press clippings. After a long walk to Charles Fort, we decided to have lunch at the Fishy Fishy Cafe we heard so much about. Hungry and anticipating a wonderful lunch, we were met by a surly host who was doing his best Studio 54 bouncer impersonation. Before we could say a word, he curtly said, "We're full, come back in 2 hours."
Most annoying about this was, there were plenty of seats available. Then, about 2 minutes later, a couple was let in without a wait. Fine with us. We went around the corner and got a fine meal at a pizza take-away place.
Now we had been walking all day and were wearing hiking boots and raincoats. But it wasn't as though we were dressed like bums. If that's the attitude of Fishy Fishy Cafe's management, there are plenty of establishments who are more than happy to take my money, no matter what I look like.
Favorite Dish: I wouldn't know. Apparently, I'm not good enough to eat here.
With a name like Fishy Fishy, you just know this is going to be one of the best fish restaurants you've ever been to.
I didn't have time to eat here on my latest trip to Kinsale, but felt I had no option but to write a little about it to clarify a big myth and to tell you about it from the point of view of "local" knowledge.
Actually, there are two myths about the place - both were once truths, but no longer. The first is that it closes at 4.30pm for the day and night. Not so. Due to great demand the restaurant now caters for the evening diner. The second is that is strictly fish only - again untrue. This myth was the main reason we didn't eat here as my travelling companions are true carnivores, preferring red meat above all else. Believe it or not, the Hotel's directory states that these two myths are still current practice. It has taught me a lesson - check directly with the eatery and forget the guide books.
Favorite Dish: So popular and successful is this eatery that its chef now has his own TV series based around locally caught fish and how to cook it. Even before the rise to TV fame, it was really hard to get in. I just had to have a look at the place, even though I wasn't eating here, and there were queues of people waiting to get in. It looks really pretty, spacious, and almost continental from outside. There are outdoor tables for good weather and the view is down to the port.
I can't wait to eat here next time I'm in Kinsale.
If you want to go - book ahead!
In Kinsale great seafood is not hard to find. What is hard to find is pretentious and obnoxious restaurant staff. My first experience at Fishy Fishy was waiting 15 minutes for the obnoxious doorman to acknowledge me by barking "it's going to be 1 to 2 hours and if you're not here it's not my fault!" After those first words I told him we'd still wait. He asked my name (Seamus) to which he just drew a straight line on his pad. Clearly we were not welcome. Perhaps it was the fact we had our two kids with us. We left and had a very nice meal at Jim Edwards, not far away. Jim Edwards' seafood chowder was great as was the smoked salmon. The oysters were some of the best I've ever had and you don't have to deal with an hour wait plus an obnoxious doorman. We come to Ireland almost every year not for the food, not for the weather but for the people. Irish hospitality is what drives most tourists to the country. We hope that isn't changing.
Favorite Dish: Fish and chips were quite good but simply not worth the wait, price and abuse.
This restaurant is DEFINITELY for seafood lovers but they do have one chicken dish also. Dining there recently I saw three people of a table of four having the chicken dish which is testament to the tastiness of everything on the menu. The atmosphere is absolutely great- you feel that you are on holiday- even when you aren't! The clams are delicious as are the mussels. On our last visit we had the oysters- sea fresh and delicious- we felt like eating the bed of seaweed they nestled in. We followed this with a half lobster special which was spendid and excellent value.
Favorite Dish: Seafood platter is chock full of fresh locally caught seafood.