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. is so pretty and inviting you’d be tempted to get a job there just so you can come back every day. Making the best of local ingredients with a dash of the Middle East in its delicate flavours, the silver hake with fennel and samphire or savoury baklava with beetroot, feta and pistachios are dinners to die for. At lunchtime, the grilled Five Mile Town goats cheese salad is a winner. And you absolutely have to stay for dessert.
THE SALT YARD
Friary Street, Kilkenny, 056-770 3644, thesaltyard.ie, ¤¤ Already spoiled in food terms (and in Michelin stars) Kilkenny welcomed the Salt Yard to its ranks this summer. A cool, industrial interior, nothing like your usual tapas joints, is warmed by authentic Spanish cooking from head chef Asier Cuevas Hernandez, who hails from the Basque country, and his Spanish team (the differentiation matters, we’ve been assured). Large portions – larger than most Irish tapas bars – and a combo of excellent Irish produce mixed with imported Spanish specialities make for a great addition to the Marble City food scene. It does justice to the much-mangled patatas bravas (¤6), while other menu highlights include excellent mussels in salsa verde (¤10), Salamancan chorizo cooked in local Highbank cider (¤7.95) and an interesting Basque goats-cheese ice cream (¤9).