Calling itself an “eating house” was right on the money, because you’ll over-order here and still lick the plates clean. In a well-restored old mill building with great views of the Ha’appeny Bridge, we hope the outdoor terrace remains as hospitable in winter. Curried crab claws are delicious, the ham hock, baby potato, black pudding and poached egg is a steal for ¤14.
7 Castle House, South Great Georges Street, Dublin 2, 777.ie ¤¤ We’ve known this place to be called 666, so devilishly strong are its margaritas, but if you focus on the food, and stick to the specials (Taco Tuesday: two taquitos for ¤4; on Sundays, dishes cost ¤7.77), this is one of Dublin’s better Mexican restaurants. Try the soft shell crab taquitos, yellowfin tuna ceviche and Mexican-style sweetcorn, served with cheese, pasilla chillies, salt and lime. And go on, maybe one of those margaritas… just one mind.
22 Wellington Place, Belfast, 028 9023 4946, homebelfast.co.uk ¤¤ Promising “feel good food”, Home has more menus than some restaurants have customers. From its lunch menu through to the skinny lunch menu, the vegan dinner menu, gluten-free skinny dinner menu and on and on and on, this place is absolutely nothing like most homes, where you eat what you’re given or go hungry. Whatever page you order from, the food here is top notch, from crab-stuffed poponcini peppers to 35-day dry aged ribeye, the whipped goats cheese with balsamic beetroot to vegan aubergine, coconut & lentil dahl. Most dishes come in both starter and main sizes, so you might actually have to move in if you want to work your way through them all.
ELECTRIC CORK FISHBAR
41 South Mall, Cork, 021 4222 990, electrickcork.com ¤ Being all things to all people is a tough task, but it seems the Electric has made this its mission. In a large building alongside the Lee, the Electric has an incredibly busy bar downstairs with day and night bar menus. Upstairs there’s the main restaurant with hearty offerings such as Angus steaks, burgers and tagines. But the best fun happens in the fish bar, a wonderful white-tiled room with marble counters looking down onto the river. It serves wine by the glass and standards such as oysters, crab claws and ceviche, or the more unusual offerings of haddock koftas, calamari laksa and monkfish bourguignon. A great spot.
6 Main Street, Kinsale, Co. Cork, 021-470 9636, email@example.com ¤¤¤ It’s against the law to visit Kinsale and not eat at least six kinds of seafood (this may not be true). But if you’re in a seafood town, you might as well splash out - and Finn’s is a perfect spot for a splurge. Run by husband and wife John and Julie Finn, this unassuming restaurant serves a great range of fresh seafood. The baked stuffed local lobster with toasted oat and herb crust in a crab and lime dressing is outstanding. Five Mile Town goats cheese salad is a winner. And you absolutely have to stay for dessert
36 Upper Abbeygate Street, Galway, 091-565 976, facebook.com/ BiteclubStreetfood ¤ The “streetfood discotheque” on a kitsch roof terrace opens Wednesday to Sunday