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Sally's blog

All the best places to eat, shop and stay in Ireland. A local guide to local places.

Food Carts Alumni

One of the comments this week, about Eat 2015, our new 100 Best Restaurant App, that really made us laugh, was a Facebook status saying the writer was going to open a new takeaway in order to get into the #100Best and call it Bacon Bad.

With a name like that, we'd certainly give it a second glance, but for a takeaway, a food cart, a hostel, or a shack to get into the #100Best, you need to be more than a little bit special.

Miyazaki, Evergreen Street, Cork

In his short book, In Praise of Shadows, the novelist Junichiro Tanizaki writes that “It has been said of Japanese food that it is a cuisine to be looked at rather than eaten. I would go further and say that it is to be meditated upon, a kind of silent music...”.
In Miyazaki, a small, handsome room with half-a-dozen stools on Evergreen Street in Cork, Takashi Miyazaki is cooking Japanese food that summons the silent music. His cooking is beautiful to look at, and worthy of profound meditation. Above all, however, it is food to be eaten.

The China Sichuan, Sandyford, Co Dublin

Nothing can resist change. Taking the Luas out to Sandyford to have dinner at the China Sichuan, there was not a single person reading a printed newspaper or magazine or book in the two carriages I could see.
But, then, as people began to leave the train, I spotted a European man reading a tiny, missal-like tome. And what book was he reading?
Of course: it was Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs. The tedious and deflating personal story of the man who switched the world to screens.
More change was ahead of us.

Hop-House, Parnell Street, Dublin

The thing about Hop-House is that you keep looking over your shoulder whenever you come here.
Somewhere in here, you say to yourself, maybe from behind the bar, maybe from behind the dessert counter, you just know that Harrison Ford is waiting to burst out and finish that missing scene from Bladerunner. And that girl over there, why she looks a bit like Daryl Hannah...
That's the thing about Hop-House. Imagine a future where the Irish pub is gridded with a Korean eating house, and it will be this madcap, unique place.

Responsible Tourism Awards and Slow Food statement on Fish Farming

Congratulations to the winners of the 2015 Irish Responsible Tourism Awards, which were announced this week in Dublin.
There were eight category winners, with Food Initiative awards going to Archways B&B in Co Wexford (Gold) and Burren Smokehouse and Orchard Acre Farm (Silver).
Overall winner of the awards was Atlantic Sea Kayaking, run by Jim and Maria Kennedy in West Cork.

Leslie Williams: Picado Mexican Pantry

Mexican food has come a long way in Ireland in recent years and Irish foodies have finally come to realise that it does not include Tex-Mex dishes such as Burritos, Chille Con Carne and Fajitas.

Sourcing ingredients for cooking authentic Mexican food here has always been difficult which led to the setting up of MyMexicanShop.ie by blogger Lily Ramirez-Foran a few years ago, partly in response to readers of Lily's blog on Mexican cooking (amexicancook.ie).

Portia Preston: Howard St, Belfast

Portia Preston finally gets a table at Belfast's hottest hot spot, Howard Street. It was worth the wait.

Here's the thing about Howard St: you can hardly get a table in this restaurant. When we finally did manage to get a reservation for four people, after weeks of trying, for 5pm on a freezing January Friday, the restaurant is already buzzing with cool people looking forward to great food.

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