ON Saturday night at around nine o’clock I started to get hungry.
I had already had a pint in town and decided to eat out, something quick but tasty.
With the clear goal to discover something new I walked down Pearse Street, and passed by several spots I had tried before.
At the start of the Western Road I found what I was looking for, the Fastnet Catch take away and restaurant.
It was late by the time I got there, so it wasn’t busy, which was great because I was looking for a quiet place to reflect on the week gone by with a beer and a good meal.
Emer, the friendly girl behind the counter helped me out with the menu, and since the fish comes fresh daily, she advised me that today’s catch was white plaice.
I spotted a few bottles of beer in the fridge behind, and asked if I could try one with my Fish n’ Chips.
Given the late hour, shortly before closing I promised to eat fast!
So I took a seat in the restaurant section which is kept clean and functional not overloaded with too much decoration, nothing that kids could take apart during daytime opening hours.
While waiting for my meal, I was wondering about the choice of bottled beer offered; Tsing Tao (Chinese), Cobra and a one other brand I can’t recall looked a bit odd to me for fish n’ chips.
I went with the Tsing Tao, which I knew from my trip to China two-years-ago and the first sip brought back some holiday memories.
Chef Tim Hegarty served me himself and advised me to use just a little of the tartar sauce I had ordered in order to taste the flavour of the fish.
To be honest, I ordered the sauce as a backup in case the fish was too dry, and just because I love sauces with my chips.
The fish nearly knocked me off of my seat, it was so divine, and the batter just the way it should be, not overcooked as I have seen so often at other places.
The homemade onion rings on top, another treat for the taste buds. The chips were crispy and you could taste that the oil used for frying them was fresh, not greasy.
The waitress was surprised to see me on the way back with my empty plate and stopped me halfway with a friendly, “I can take that for you?”
When I explained I wanted to talk to the chef I was invited in to the kitchen.
Chef Tim Hegarty was happy to explain the secret of how he produces fish n’ chips that taste that good.
He explained the most important ingredient is fresh fish, along with a love for food and a clean and properly organized kitchen.
I told Tim the only minus point I could find was the lack of any Irish beer available in the restaurant ?
As if Tim was expecting this question, he produced a parcel which arrived that week from storage, with samples from the Dungarvan Brewing Company.
He told me his wife noticed too that the beer range could use an Irish touch and so they are looking into options for an Irish beer to offer.
He kindly gave me a sample of the Helvick Gold (Blonde ale), aromatic with a hoppy bite that goes really well with spicy food and would be just the right companion for a meal at the Fastnet Catch.
Friendly Staff, clean facilities and functional guestroom, great food and value for money, I will be back!