Towards the end of September some friends came out for Sunday lunch, and we decided to go to Barberstown Castle. We often go there of a Sunday, for a cup of tea and some scones, to enjoy the tea rooms, take in the ambience, listen to the piano player and chill.
This day we ate…and boy did we eat! Colm (the male part of our friendly couple) and I ordered seafood chowder. What we got failed as a chowder but only due to its overwhelming quality, density, chock-full-of-fishiness and general WOW factor. First, it was massive, and I mean small saucepan massive. Second, it was like an illustrated guide to shell and sea fish of Ireland. Clams, mussels, small wee things I cant describe, salmon chunks, cod, a scallop…it was wonderful. Third, it was served with chunks of the most exquisite home made (ok, hotel made) brownbread, enough per to feed a starving army. Finally, the chowder was wonderfully creamy, with a hint of saffron, delicate and robust. Both of us glanced at each other, then at the vat of chowder, then silence.. Best chowder ever? No, but close.