Thursday, February 16, 2017

Seafood Feast in Octopussy's

I have this theory that, every single time I spend the day in lovely Howth, my gluttony takes over and possesses my appetite. I always end up wolfing out in some crabshack or street food market.

Octopussy's Seafood Tapas Restaurant is often packed for a reason and I knew I HAD to get in there and try all the food my (dilated, ahem!) stomach could handle. I mean, what else is one supposed to do on a gloomy Sunday? A dreary miserable afternoon spent in one of the most satisfying eateries in County Dublin is the perfect excuse to indulge.

After some seal spotting and pub snug pints, this was the place to be. Cosy, warm, good music (The Specials, Bessie Smith and some more formidable tunes) and a tempting wine selection including my all time favourite Alvarinho from Portugal. The portions are, as you can expect, tapas-like in quantity but the quality is fucking extraordinary. High-grade. It took us a while to decide what to go for, since there was a little bit of everything: mussels, calamari, prawns, octopus... you name it. It was like an entire ocean in menu pages. The good thing about the small sized dishes is that they leave room for more and more, allowing us to try many different things in one go.

We started with Carlingford oysters - fresh, yummy and rich in aftertaste. Then, crab mousse with herbs served in brown bread landed in our table and I shit you not, that's the texture and flavour dreams are made of. Describing it as heavenly would be an understatement. Scallops in lemon and garlic butter ensued and there are no words to define such scrumptious taste. The chilli and chorizo squids didn't disappoint either - the spicy factor and garlicky sauce was a real treat. And have I mentioned the char grilled lobster yet? The crustacean was an absolute winner, nothing beats that sweet flesh covered in garlic butter and a home made marie rose sauce to die for. I even dipped the brown bread in it (and in every other sauce, for the record). Given the money and time, we would've certainly go through the whole menu, this I know. The feast eventually met an end but only after we ordered dessert. Crème brûlée, the perfect classic, and oh so delicious. I think of that custard and I drool.

With a casual yet effortlessly romantic (as in candles, sheltered shack-like ambience) atmosphere, Octopussy's offers the best seafood for a reasonable price, meaning it's an affordable option either you're by yourself or with a bunch of friends - just make sure you book it in advance (I didn't but I guess it was my lucky day). I'm glad it wasn't a fancy spot so I didn't have to worry about my manners... This is definitely a "to be continued" kind of place for sure, and fair play to the staff - our waitress was lovely and extremely efficient. I'll be back on a sunny day to try the swordfish teriyaki.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Dear Dublin

It's been 2 years. 2 years since I started calling Dublin home sweet home, sometimes bittersweet, sweet and sour, sweetheart. I've been blindly in love with Dublin's dichotomies. The city of silver sunsets, of kids in the Liberties playing with fire extinguishers, of horseshit and urine, of 3am Smithwicks, of soggy takeaway chips and naan bread, of still feeling like a tourist everytime I turn around the corner only to come across a brand new angle of a well-known street. My heart is chained to Dublin as I cross Grattan Bridge only to witness a sunless sunrise.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Costa Vicentina

These photos were taken in December, last Christmas, back in Portugal with the usual girl gang. Memorable holidays, marvellous surroundings, inspiring atmosphere. Going back home always feels like a brand new experience, as I absorb the essence of some places differently every single time. I escape reality by entering this realm of beauty, nature, tranquility and rediscovery. Those locations seem so distant now, yet so familiar. I want to carry the Atlantic and the shells and the soothing sound of waves with me forever. This reminds me of how much I need to start exploring the Irish West Coast, to make up for the absence of what I used to take for granted once upon a time in that country that brings sensorial memories of the smell of grilled swordfish on charcoal, warm wine after forgetting the bottle in the backseat of a car, fresh garlic being washed off my hands with blue and white soap.

Note: These photos were taken in Sagres » Praia do Beliche » Praia do Amado » Praia da Amoreira.