'Just Ask!' Restaurant of the Month for October - Lemon Tree Seafood Restaurant, Dunmore East, Co Waterford

Renowned for its lovely fresh fish, delicious home baking and friendly atmosphere, Joan Boland's gem of a café-restaurant is well worth the short walk up from the harbour at Dunmore East.
Joan already had a following for her Lemon Tree Catering company when she opened this roadside café in 2008 and it has since been a consistently popular destination for regulars, who appreciate the tasty homemade food - and, especially, its focus on showcasing the best of a wide range of local produce in season.
New arrivals are greeted by a tempting display of home bakes and desserts just inside the door - and, just in case you might be in any doubt about the importance of local provenance here, a large blackboard proudly details the current suppliers to what is now known as the Lemon Tree Seafood Restaurant.
Many of them are also listed on the website. ‘Succulent hand harvested oysters with a sweet and salty flavour conveyed by the waters of Woodstown Bay’, for example, are supplied by Woodstown Bay Shellfish (WBS) who process and package their fresh oysters at Dunmore East Harbour - and there is Aeron James’s Portally lamb, which is reared ‘overlooking Portally Cove, where the close proximity to the sea gives it a distinctive flavour’.

Other meat suppliers listed on the website and/or blackboard include Willie Drohan for his unique Comeragh Mountain Lamb); Country Style, Waterford (gammon, bacon); Quinlans of Waterford for their Irish chicken; Wild Irish Game, Wicklow; Ballymooney Meats, Kildare (beef and game); Lisduggan Farm Foods, Kilkenny (beef, pork, smoked meats) and the famed Inch House Black Pudding from Thurles, Co Tipperary. The sheer range of meat suppliers alone demonstrates the thinking in this kitchen - the all too common quick call to a ‘one supplier fits all’ company is definitely not the way for Joan and her team.

And it’s the same with fish and seafood, which will vary with the seasons but could come from half a dozen different suppliers in addition to WBS, including Flanagans Fish Wholesalers, Waterford; fishermen Mick Fitzgerald and Richard Power, who fish for crab and lobster in Dunmore East Bay and sell to the Lemon Tree kitchen straight off the boat; and Ballyhack Smokehouse near Arthurstown Co Wexford, renowned for their naturally smoked salmon.

They do breakfast and afternoon tea, and at lunchtime spanking fresh fish, salads and soups feature, together with a snack menu of fresh sandwiches terrines and pates etc.
The tasty eggs that star in so many of the breakfast dishes at The Lemon Tree come from the excellent Bord Bia Quality Assured producer Rathmoylan Free Range Eggs in Waterford - and vegetables and herbs are equally carefully sourced, from Grantstown Nurseries, Waterford and Tom Cleary Vegetables, Wexford.

And, even if you just pop in for a coffee and cake it will be outstanding - their baking is renowned and many regulars would come here fore the locally Barista Bay Handroasted Coffee alone.

And, as well as being open all day during the week, The Lemon Tree Seafood Restaurant is an especially upbeat destination at weekends when they’re also open for dinner. All round it’s a super spot - and it’s all about their great suppliers.

Address: Seafield, Dunmore East, Co. Waterford
Tel: 051 383 164
Email: info@lemontreecatering.ie
Open: Mon-Thu 9am- 5pm, Fri-Sat 9am- 9pm; Sun 9am to 4pm

You can find sample menus here


“Just Ask!” is a public awareness campaign that aims to encourage consumers when eating out to look for information on where the food (particularly meat) on their plate comes from, and encourages chefs to provide this information on their menus. The programme supports both large and smaller artisan suppliers, encouraging both Irish diners and visitors from abroad to support restaurants that are in turn supporting their suppliers.

Here at Georgina Campbell Guides we have always been avid supporters of the ‘eat local’ concept, and we enjoy reading menus that have a real sense of place. The dining experience is greatly enriched by knowing that the food on your plate is inspired by the produce and traditions of the area, and sourced nearby – and we would love to see more chefs sharing that precious information with their guests. If you are a visitor to the area, learning a little about local food and the people who produce it adds a special extra dimension to the visit – and, for residents, it reinforces a natural pride in the good things of their locality and makes a meal all the more enjoyable.

So, we are delighted by the high standard of menus that continue to be submitted for our ‘ “Just Ask!” Restaurant of the Month Competition’, menus that really speak of the best of Irish foods – and the dedication of both the people who make them, and the chefs who select them to create wonderful dishes with real Irish flavour for our enjoyment.

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