When we hosted a recent seafood and seaweed weekend at Renvyle House in Connemara, two particular moments stood out during a brilliant weekend.
The first was a brand new creation by chef Tim O’Sullivan, who served Renvyle lamb rack with scallops and a carrageen dressing. Lamb and clams we know of, but the pairing of scallops with the lamb, and the brilliant carrageen dressing, was the sort of new concept that proves the truth of the ancient saying, that the discovery of a new dish does more for human happiness than the discovery of a star.
The other standout moment came when we all tasted oysters produced by local man John Ward, who sells his oysters under the name Dooncastle Oysters. If we had a tenner for every person who came up to us afterwards and said: “Those are the best oysters I’ve ever eaten!”, then we could retire tomorrow with money in the bank.
Mr Ward’s oysters are superlative, and for a simple reason: he minds them, he nurtures them, all the way through their slow, steady lifespan.
The good news, then, is that Mr Ward is on a mission to keep his very best Dooncastle Oysters for sale in Ireland, rather than shipping them to a willing European market. You can find them in the following places. Ask for them by name!
Klaw - Dublin
Bang - Dublin
The Merrion Hotel - Dublin
Union Cafe - Dublin
Sophie's at the Dean Hotel - Dublin
Portmarnock Hotel – Co. Dublin
Aniar - Galway
The Ardilaun - Galway
Ballynahinch Castle - Recess, Co.Galway
Renvyle House Hotel - Renvyle, Co . Galway
Delphi Lodge - Connemara, Co.Galway
Radisson Hotel - Galway
Rosleague Manor- Letterfrack, Co. Galway
Lodge Restaurant - Letterfrack, Co Galway
Keoghs - Ballyconneely, Co. Galway
The Abbeyglen - Clifden Co. Galway
Ashford Castle - Cong, Co.Mayo
Cullens at Ashford - Cong, Co.Mayo
Woodfire – Westport, Co Mayo
Barberstown Castle – Co.Kildare