“In our house we always had Fish Fridays!”
The Life of David
Meet David, the Irish native who revolutionised the country’s most beloved culinary combo – fish and chips.
David’s food journey began when he was just a kid sitting around the kitchen table with his family. “In our house we always had Fish Fridays!” where a weekly visit to the local chipper resulted in a grease stained brown paper bag spilling its contents of fresh cod and vinegar-drenched chips into eagerly awaiting hands. There was nothing on earth quite like that mouthwatering aroma and so, from a young age David fell in love with this food medley.
Several years later David set up Mr Coffee, a small tuk tuk on the East Pier in Dun Laoghaire. Wanting to expand his customer base, he decided to become a part of Dublin’s street food scene. After scouting out these lunch time setups he soon realised that there was something missing – seafood! He decided to seize this opportunity and give the Irish a fresh take on their traditional fish and chips. He combined the highest quality ingredients with Asian-based flavours and unique cooking methods to bring this dish to a whole new level. A pop up tent was bought on e-bay and with that Say Fish was born!
Say Fish has succeeded in putting a delicious gourmet spin on the nation’s favourite takeaway! They now have 6 gazebos and a trailer located in hotspots around the city, catering for office workers at lunch-time, seaside lovers on the weekend as well as festival goers throughout the year.
David’s biggest achievement to date is catering for a festival themed wedding on the Hill of Tara for 200+ guests. Here he made use of his gastronomic talents by preparing lattes, cappuccinos and scones in the morning, gourmet burgers using a rib eye and angus mix accompanied by seasoned skinny fries in the afternoon, followed by his glorious fish, prawn and chips in the evening. One can only dream of such a feast! David acknowledges that the hardest part of the business is the demanding hours, working 15 hour days and thinking of it 24/7. “So is it worth it? 100%!”
Say Fish can be found at East Point Market on Wednesday, Mespil Road on Thursday, Sandyford and Percy Place on Friday and East Pier Dun Laoghaire on the weekend!
Check out their Facebook Page- https://www.facebook.com/sayfish/?fref=ts
Say Fish uses sustainable fish, sourced daily from Kilmore Quay. Fresh catch includes cod, haddock, pollock, seabass and prawns.
The fish is firm and succulent and separates into big satisfying flakes while the prawns are tender, juicy and moist. Both are dipped into a mixture of panko breadcrumbs and Asian spices and fried until golden, to give each portion a light, crispy and flavoursome coating. It’s hard to contest that the satisfying crunch followed by the melt in your mouth piece of fish is anything but a godsend!
And now for the good stuff – the momentous marriage of fish and chips.
The chips are hand-cut and cooked twice to perfection to produce a crispy, golden exterior with a fluffy and buttery inside. These wedges are dusted with seaweed salt to pack an unbeatable, residual and savoury punch. The order is served alongside a lemon wedge for acidity, malt vinegar for drizzling and a variety of home made sauces for that creamy jangle (see menu board!).
The end result: A salty, crunchy heavenly meal that has you beaming from the very first mouthful!
**Food For Thought
- Ireland’s first chipper was not Irish but Italian!
- Giuseppe Cervi stepped off an American-bound boat in Cobh, Co. Cork sometime in the 1800s and liked Ireland so much that he decided he’d walk from there to Dublin. In the capital he worked as a labourer until he made enough money to buy a cooker and cart to sell fish and chips to people leaving the pubs. He was in such high demand that he and his wife Palma opened their first shop on Pearse street. Her lack of English helped to coin the Dublin phrase “one and one” meaning fish and chips, that is still in use over a century later!
- The majority of Ireland’s Italian chipper families have come from a small village in rural Italy, Val di Comino, nestled between Rome and Naples. Subdivision of their land led to mass migration to another family-based Catholic country (Ireland). Intent on replicating Giuseppe’s success and securing their legacy, families such as the Borzas, Caffellos, Macari’s and Apriles soon became synonymous with one thing throughout the country – fish and chips.