I don't want to come over all Pollyanna, but if there are positives to come out of the current situation, perhaps street food culture in Ireland might finally get off the ground. Here's hoping.
At Aimsir, Jordan Bailey and Majken Bech-Bailey's new food truck, Every Cloud, is dishing up lobster rolls and Achill lamb kebabs.
Reports confirm that they are every bit as good as one would expect when the team behind a two Michelin-star restaurant turns its attention to takeaway. (Sadly, the converted Airstream is currently only open to Kildare residents in county lockdown.)
Niall Sabongi is a name that will be familiar to seafood fans. He's a chef with two restaurants - Klaw and The Seafood Cafe in Temple Bar, both currently closed, although he expects this to change next month - and a wholesaler who supplies some of Ireland's best restaurants.
During lockdown he set up an online next-day delivery service covering the whole country, enabling Irish consumers to take advantage of the availability of fish and seafood that would formerly have gone straight to restaurants or export.
Summer 2020 has seen Irish home cooks get over their fear of shellfish, and lobster consumption has gone through the roof.
And then, presumably because he wasn't already busy enough, one evening Sabongi bought a vintage Citroen van that had been sitting in someone's garage for a decade. A few beers may have been taken. Naas Campers looked after the restoration and fitted it out as a smart food truck with a classy blue and white livery.
The Salty Buoy has been up and running since the start of the month, at Avon Ri in Blessington, Co Wicklow, the Roe & Co distillery on Dublin's James's Street and at Baste on Clanbrassil Street - a former car sales yard - on Wednesday nights.
Baste is one of my favourite venues for socially-distanced, outdoor dining, with the added bonus that it's BYOB. Sabongi is still on the hunt for additional locations in which to park up. Right now, Phoenix Park is at the top of his wish list.
We start with Flaggy Shore oysters - smaller than others, sweet and briny with a delicious intensity of flavour. We eat them both naked and dressed with torched harissa, lime and sumac, then topped with crisp shallots and coriander for full-on flavour load.
Next, the Now We Are Six prawns that we've had before in Sabongi's restaurants, each one individually cleaned and skewered so that there is no work to be done other than slide them off and suck to extract every last soupçon of flavour. The shellfish steamer is packed with clams, mussels, prawns and langoustines, with corn on the cob and purple potatoes.
The broth is rich with Old Bay spiced butter, sumac and burnt peppers and tastes mouth-puckeringly savoury.
Sabongi cooks whole bream on a simple barbecue and tops it with his version of sauce Antiboise from the south of France, made with chervil, basil and roast coriander seeds. I can't think of a better way to eat fish.
Why did no one come up with hake Kiev before? What a dish, with parsley garlic butter oozing from the plump panko-breaded fish. We douse the excellent hand-cut, skin-on chips in the last of the broth from the steamer, but fail to make inroads on the lobster roll - eyes bigger than our stomachs. We have it for lunch the next day and find no fault with this classic celery-spiked version on a brioche roll with nachos and a pickled cucumber on the side.
We have ordered everything on the menu and run up a bill of €110, but you can eat well for far less.
I'd like to see Salty Buoys multiplying and popping up all over the country, and hope the powers that be will see fit to find a few more pitches for Sabongi and all the other taste merchants putting Irish street food on the map.
ON A BUDGET
The hake Kiev - a garlicky, buttery thing of beauty - is €14; hand-cut chips €3.
ON A BLOWOUT
We shared everything on the menu for an absolute feast of a meal, with leftovers to bring home for lunch the next day, and spent €110.
THE HIGH POINT
The Salty Buoy is the food truck fish fans have been waiting for.
THE LOW POINT
The Salty Buoy needs more pitches. Over to you, Dublin City Council.