A dream in Waterville

So, June bank holiday weekend, and the rain beats down with a jungle ferocity. It doesn’t reall pay matter however as I’m back in my home village, Waterville.

Waterville is lucky in having several fine (if not necessarily fine dining)restaurants. One of the nicest, with a great mix of value/quality, is the Sheilin Seafood Restaurant. Aisling and Rob, with assistance from various other members of the family as and when needed, run this spot from two rooms of a converted private home. That is the first thing that strikes you; this is a comfy restaurant. It concentrates mainly on seafood, but carnivores are not going to go hungry with decent steaks, chicken and pork. But the main dishes are seafood, with standard fare supplemented by whatever is fresh. When we dined people were eating sole on the bone, or perhaps it was filet of whale the portion sizes were that large.

We went for chowder (duh) and wild mushroom soup, mains of grilled salmon with lime and coriander , and baked plaice (only shark sized in comparison to the sole-whales people were harpooning beside us).

The chowder was surprisingly light, belaying its look. It was heavy on salmon and several types of white fish (I suspect brill and pollock but as the restaurant was jammed the staff were under full pressure so I had no time to quiz Aisling), and with some clams lurking. The relative lightness was explainable by its being potato based not so much cream based, and it was lightly flavoured with tarragon. Also adding to the flavour and texture were shallots and finely chopped onions. It was a simple, light (for chowder) and delicious start, which complemented the homemade tomato bread.

If you like good honest friendly cooking, in a relaxed and cheery atmosphere, try the Sheilin. Youll see why it has good reviews, and not just for cooking.

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2 Responses to A dream in Waterville

  1. Pingback: No laughing matter in the Butlers « A blog about….Irish Seafood Chowder

  2. Chowder has an odd place in Irish cuisine. All along the west and south coast, it’s the go-to dish if you want a quick freshener without going for the whole three-course stunner. But in general it’s not a dish that’s cooked at home. Strange – a more nourishing and delicious dinner can’t be imagined.
    There’s also a raging debate over the question of salmon in chowder – I’ve dined with people who ask suspiciously about the ingredients of a restaurant’s chowder, and when the S word crosses the waitbeing’s lips, an expression of ineffable disgust, something like Marie Antoinette’s moue at the idea that the poor shouldn’t have brioche, crossed his own lips, and he put the menu down like something contaminated and said “I’ll have the liver paté on crunchy fresh-baked rolls with a pear marmalade side, thanks.” Oh no, salmon isn’t acceptable at all for some – mostly those whose first chowders were tasted in an American childhood.

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