You could be fooled into thinking you are in California if you eat at Fishy Fishy Restaurant on a sunny day. Martin and Marie Shanahan are seafood heroes and their famous daytime restaurant in this pretty harbour town is influenced by easy, West Coast living, from Martin's time spent working there and enjoying the bounty of the region. He has brought this inspiration home to Kinsale, offering the best quality seafood presented in his own inimitable style. The constant queue at Fishy Fishy’s original small shop and café in the heart of the town dictated the need for this second, larger premises by the sea front.The spacious Fishy Fishy Restaurant is set out over two floors, with an additional outside area for al fresco dining during the summer months.
Nowadays, Martin is a well known tv celebrity chef and author of several seafood books. His reputation, which began at the original Fishy Fishy cafe, preceeds him. At the heart of his success is his Kinsale restaurants and their strict sourcing policy. Local boats bring in the fish directly to the harbour in Kinsale. Individual fishermen and their boats are named on the menu. Martin knows the guys who catch his fish personally, and can find out what they have on the boat before they land. From here he plans menus accordingly. In recent years, he has revived some lesser used fish, including the healthy herring, in a rollmop style dish. Cork was once a large landing base for herring, but in the last few decades the catch is minimal due to little demand.
Many regulars come here for the house speciality Warm Chilli Seafood Salad, a tumble of fish and shellfish in a sweet-spicy sauce which includes local crab when in season. Live lobsters come from the tank, while fresh oysters are served a variety of ways. The batter for the Fish and Chips is made with beer from a Kinsale micro brewery Menus offer prices for taster sized portions and mains for mix and match. Wines are suitably complimentary to seafood, with a list featuring everything from affordable favourites to extravagances like Puligny-Montrachet. There is no booking policy here, it's first come first served. In the height of the season, the queue at Fishy Fishy can still be endless - but well worth enduring.