Sitting on the Dock of the Bay

A last minute decision to pop down here for Sunday lunch turned out to be a total success. Fantastic seafood in a relaxed atmosphere with serene views of Clonakilty Bay. If they could just do something about parking, it would be perfect.

I’ve eaten in Deasy’s once before and thoroughly enjoyed it. For some reason they popped into my head this morning and I hopped into the car with four of the five monsters to see if they were still doing Sunday Lunch. The usual crawl to Clon ensued followed by the twisty road to Ring.

I knew the parking had been bad but time had dulled my memory. It’s brutal. Four spaces in front of the pub and then you have to travel a few hundred yards to find a roadside spot. Fine as an adult, a total pain (and dangerous) if you have kids. I had to circle three times before parking. Just in case, I ran down and discovered that they didn’t open for lunch until 1. So we headed over to the newly revamped playground in Clon. This looks great but now seems much more oriented towards older kids. My middle-uns were scared to climb the ladders to the slides.

Back we trotted to Ring and luckily one of the four spaces was free and we parked right at the door. It was still pretty quiet at 1pm but people arrived bit by bit over the following hour. We were seated towards the back which made sense from a safety perspective. The staff and owner were very friendly throughout. The lack of a baby-seat was a bit of a pain but not the end of the world. After seeing the usual stroppiness of our four demons, they gave us some crayons and colouring sheets which calmed everyone down.

The menu is a big step above what you’d expect from a rural Irish pub. The three course lunch menu is €30 and looks great value to me. However, as our family meals are all about speed, I went straight to the main courses. Initially I was concerned that there was nothing very child-friendly on the menu but then I copped myself on and realised they should be eating the same stuff as me.

So I ordered three half portions of Monkfish and Fennel Risotto with puttanesca salsa for them and a Hake with Lemon Butter and Swiss Chard for me. They arrived reasonably quickly on adult stopwatches but an eternity in kid-time. I tried to explain “cooking on demand” to the kids but failed.

Of course all them said “yeuch, I’m not eating that” as soon as the plates were put on the table. Rather than get hassled, I let them be and started on my hake. Never ones to miss an opportunity to annoy me, two of them asked to taste the hake and both decided they loved it, the little sods. I split mine between them and then took over their plates of risotto. Dishes of lovely baby spuds and one of the best selections of vegetables I’ve ever seen in an Irish restaurant appeared too.

Myself and the two middlers had a bit of everything. Baby would eat nothing. 2 year old wouldn’t touch anything until near the end, at which point he let me feed him a mix of fish, risotto, carrots and spuds.

Oh, I nearly forgot to say, the food was fantastic. The fish perfectly cooked, the flavours subtle and not overpowering, the vegetables beautiful. Apologies for the lack of pics and menu details but I really had my hands full.

The two boys began messing too loudly so it was time to go. The bill for the food plus three 7-ups and a Ballygowan came to a refreshingly low €53. We’ll be back very soon avec wife and fifth child so I can sample more and have both hands available to eat with.

Conor O'Neill

Tech guy who likes running slowly

Bandon, Cork, Ireland http://conoroneill.com