“An expertly run neighbourhood restaurant.” That’s the verdict on Volpe Nera from the judges responsible for awarding Bib Gourmands in the Michelin Guide to Great Britain and Ireland 2021. Located in Blackrock, Co Dublin, Volpe Nera is amongst sixteen restaurants awarded Bibs this year. When we caught up with Chef Barry Sun of Volpe Nera three months into his new venture this time last year, he talked to us about a number of things including trends worth noting – neighbourhood restaurants.
“You used to have to go into the city to get a really nice meal, but now there are some fantastic restaurants popping up in the suburbs, and it’s brilliant for people to have a restaurant serving delicious food on their doorstep.”
Apples – when I was a child I had my own apple tree and would always pick an apple from the tree to eat. I love the flavour and the acidity, I could eat apples all day long.
I have them in a few of the dishes on our current menu – an apple and horseradish sauce with my Iberico pork and olive croquettes, and on the dessert menu in a Granny Smith sponge with Calvados ice-cream.
My Côte de Boeuf is always a really popular dish both on the menu in the restaurant and, also, at home with my family. We love it so much I have to cook it for dinner on Christmas day – my six-year-old daughter would eat one all to herself if we allowed her!
Trick of The Trade
Getting the right balance of acid to lift a dish. Whether it’s lemon, vinegar or a different acid, it can really help to elevate a dish and bring out the flavours.
I think there’s a time and a place for everything, trends come and go. One minute it’s doughnuts, at the moment there’s a lot of burger places.
Trend Worth Noting
Neighbourhood restaurants. You used to have to go into the city to get a really nice meal, but now there are some fantastic restaurants popping up in the suburbs, and it’s brilliant for people to have a restaurant serving delicious food on their doorstep.
It has to be blue cheese – I’m a huge fan of blue cheese, as you can smell just by opening my fridge at home!
I had a fantastic meal in Liath a couple of months ago. Every ingredient on each plate was there for a reason, and worked perfectly.
My father was a fisherman, so I remember eating amazing, fresh seafood every single day, and I’ve loved and respected fish and seafood so much since. I love everything from the sea.
Utensil of Choice
Paco-jet for making ice-cream.
Pan-fried jellyfish with pork and lots of onions – my Mum used to cook this a lot when we were growing up and when my Dad managed to catch a jellyfish.
Wish I’d Known…
More English maybe.
I was late realising I wanted to be a Chef, I worked as a Kitchen Porter when I first came to Ireland and realised then that I loved the kitchen and cooking and worked my way up, so I came to cheffing accidentally. If I’d realised as a kid or teenager, I would have liked to go to cookery school.
Table For Two
Aimsir is definitely a restaurant that’s on our wish-list, I’d love to spend an evening there with Jo-Jo.
Dish to Celebrate Chinese New Year (on Jan 25th this year)
We always make dumplings to celebrate Chinese New Year, mostly pork and prawns.
22 Newtown Park,
Photo: Aoife Herrity