Martin and Marie Shanahan's Fishy Fishy Café mark two is a very big restaurant, by West Cork standards, yet they've been full to capacity at peak times ever since moving their main restaurant to this almost-harbourside location in 2006. Nearby, at their Fishy Fishy Shop & Chippie, they have kept the original fish shop open too (with the chippie replacing the original café).
The current premises was previously an art gallery and it has an atmospheric interior on two levels. It makes a design statement from the outset, with wooden gates opening onto a decking path leading to the front door - a bit like a zen garden, it is fitted into a neat rectangle with rounded beach stones filling the gaps.
The interior is bright, airy and stylishly simple, with a smart bar, unpretentious café-style darkwood furniture and plenty of doors opening out on to the patio and balcony. It has a great atmosphere, with interesting metal fish-themed artwork catching the eye, and efficient staff buzzing around.
A large paved outdoor seating area is enclosed by a hedge and, when it's warm enough to eat outside, is set up mainly with aluminium chairs and tables and seriously business-like parasols, giving it a continental air of dedication to the comfortable enjoyment of good food.
The Shanahans' reputation for offering the widest possible range and freshest of fish is unrivalled throughout Ireland, and their suppliers' list reads like a Who's Who of Co Cork fish and seafood specialists.
Shellfish lovers might be lucky enough to feast on a lunch of oysters, mussels, clams, periwinkles and perhaps even Christy Turley's crab cocktail - Christy is a local food hero, a third generation Kinsale fisherman who supplies much of Fishy Fishy's catch of crab, lobster and prawns.
The cooking is unfussy and known for clear, direct flavours that never fail to please; and the staff are well informed and efficient.
Prices are higher than most, but very fair for the outstanding quality offered, and that includes the wine. Fishy Fishy has been almost as famous for its celebrity spangled queues as for the fabulous fish but, luckily for us all, they now take reservations.
Fishy Fishy Café was our Seafood Restaurant of the Year in 2007.