Tuesday 22 October 2019

WATCH: Take a peek inside Europe's best seafood restaurant... right in the middle of Dublin city

Niamh Lynch

Take a peek inside Europe’s best seafood restaurant, right here in Dublin city centre.

SOLE Seafood and Grill in the city’s South William Street has picked up the accolade for Best Seafood Restaurant in Europe at the World Luxury Restaurant Awards.

And it’s only been open for 15 months.

Head Chef Richie Wilson said he was "honoured" by the award.

"It’s a privilege really to be up in that kind of league, in that kind of category. It’s amazing."

So, what’s Richie’s secret to success?

"It’s absolutely down to the team but also our amazing producers - we have some of the most amazing product in this country, really and truly.

"Like for example, our oyster producers, we do literally nothing to them, we open them up and serve them to our clients and they’re knockout - they’re absolutely amazing oysters so this accolade is for them as much as it is for us."

Speaking about why he set up SOLE, a sister restaurant of FIRE on Dawson Street, Richie said; "I think Dublin really needed somewhere that someone could sit down and relax to enjoy the seafood.

"We’re only open 18 months but it’s been a longer journey than that from beginning all the way to opening the doors."

Talking through his signature dish, the Captain Seafood Tower which comes in at a cool €110, Richie says "something like our seafood tower is something you really need to take the time to sit and enjoy and lick your fingers as you’re sucking the meat from your crab claws or sucking the meat from the mussels.

"You need to have a nice relaxed environment to do that in and that’s what we were after - that’s what we’re trying to achieve here."

And are they thinking of next year’s awards?

"That’s a whole year away! No that’s not what we’re after. What we want is to constantly improve on what it is that we’re doing, constantly bring good quality food to our customers," Richie said.

"We’re not really thinking about what kind of accolades we could go for next year or next week or anything. We just want the customers to come into the restaurant and enjoy the food as much as we enjoy producing it."

He continued: "I’m enjoying learning more and more about what’s available to us in this country - I mean it really is amazing what is out there for us. It’s a testament to what we have here in our country, right on our shores."

Aqua Restaurant in Howth also won the award for Best Seafood Restaurant in the World for the fourth consecutive year.

Charlie Smith, managing director of the restaurant, told Independent.ie, "It’s a huge honour, it’s the fourth consecutive year we’ve won, and it’s by public vote. Unfortunately none of us were able to attend the ceremony but we’re absolutely thrilled.

"It’s a huge boost for the team - we always try and promote high standards. Its unique selling point is the location - overlooking Dublin Bay. It’s the whole package."

Aqua also won the award for Best Waterside Restaurant in Europe at the awards ceremony, with a visit by American hitmaker Stevie Wonder on Monday night topping off an exceptional week for the eatery. 

The World Luxury Restaurant Awards are considered to be the most prestigious in the luxury restaurant industry. The 2019 awards saw 850 entries from across Europe with restaurants shortlisted after a four week period of voting during which over 100,000 votes were cast.

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