FAST AND FABULOUS.
MY TAKEAWAY FROM FUNGARVAN

{...} AND CHIPS
Unit 3 Castle House
Davitt's Quay
Dungarvan
Co. Waterford
Phone: 058 24498


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Irish Daily Mail
11 May 2019

The curiously named {...} AND CHIPS is a chipper in the sense that Harry's Bar in Venice is a pub or that Harry Potter is a schoolboy. For a start, it's very cool in terms of how it looks, it serves squid and it's the brainchild of the indefatigable Eunice Power who will be familiar to viewers of RTE's The Today Show.

Now, while this is a restaurant review, I should stress, at the outset, that this spanking new addition to West Waterford is not exactly a restaurant within the meaning of the act. The food, by and large, is better than you will get in many restaurants but there are eight seats at a narrow counter and that's it.

There's no wine, naturally, and I can't imagine a BYOB system here, but you never know. However, I suppose there's nothing to stop you taking your order down to the sea and opening a chilled bottle of Tio Pepe. But perhaps there are bye-laws to stamp out this kind of al fresco accompaniment.

Anyway, I can imagine no more perfect partner to our goujons of ling - yes ling, unsalted! - than a copita of fresh, dry sherry. Now, there's a sense of generosity to this place in that the dictionary definition of a goujon is a strip of something deep-fried. At {...} AND CHIPS, they don't do strips, they do chunks. And I'm very grateful that they do.

The ling was superb: juicy, packed the kind of flavour that only comes with perfect freshness, encased in the most delicate of batters cooked to the nano-second of correct crispness. This alone is worth a huge detour.

Immensely tender squid, in rings, coated delicately in crisp crumbs, was far superior to most versions I've had in the past year or so. Is it the freshness, again? Or just care?

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And the "goujons" of chicken - no mere strips but meaty chunks of breast meat, moist, tender and encased in the same kind of crumbs as the squid - were ace.

All of these came with chips. Now we can debate chips until the cows find their own way home, so I'll report that they were what I call chipper chips. I believe that the best chipper chips in the land come from Burdock's in the shadow of Dublin's Christchurch Cathedral. They are fried in beef dripping and they are sensational. You can also request some of the bits of batter that fall off the fish during drying. This is one of the most unhealthy things you can eat but it's worth it. There is an argument, incidentally, that chips fried in lard or dripping are marginally less bad for us than those cooked in sunflower all, but that's another day's work, and I digress.

Anyway, these chips were conventionally cooked in oil and were fine, with a lack of actual, definite crispness that is the hallmark of most chipper chips. They were fine and we were supplied with a proper chipper-style salt shaker and proper brown malt vinegar (in addition to lemon wedges). I liked this authenticity.

We also ordered a Syrian flatbread with falafel which was presented like a wrap. The flatbread itself was pretty terrible: limp and doughy. On the other hand, when we brought it home, and heated some of it in the oven, it was fine. Something seems to have gone wrong, but the falafel were good if a little prone to disintegration, well spiced and accompanied by good fresh salad. (I will confess that the only time I made falafel they disintegrated completely and formed a sludge in the bottom of the pan).

The bill for this lunch - which was far too much for two people - came to €36, including good coffees and mineral waters. {...} AND CHIPS is a delight and I'll be back, especially as I live only half an hour away from it.