CowFish. What a name … inducing in the hungry mind images of udderly weird, gilled and finned bovine monstrosities- or maybe that’s just me. Potentially dodgy compound names aside, the restaurant itself is also an unusual marriage … a romantic rooftop restaurant on the seafront, in Bray, of all places. I like Bray, but feel it has never quite amounted to the sum of its lovely parts. However, it does seem to be having a ‘moment’, currently and hopefully this will become a ‘thing’.
We were dining as PR guests (I know, the sell-out shame of it all) at the restaurant and as such were getting ‘love bombed’ because we are ‘influencers’. I don’t mean that in an ungrateful way, I just feel I should say that before I go and wax lyrically about my experience.
The menu is split into three sections: ‘small’, ‘large’ and ‘sides’, which is all good considering it’s the kind of place where you could just as happily go for drinks and smaller bites as you would for a full dinner.
The stand-out ‘small’ lads: a delicious (it always is though) burrata (€6) with subtly aniseed-y fennel bread and a good quality olive oil. There was also a pleasantly piquant vegetarian antipasti plate (€8) comprising a comforting house-baked bread, roasted olives, house-dried tomatoes, pickled cabbage, tzatziki and a smoky baba ganoush, the world on a chopping board … the scallops dish (€11) with celeriac velouté, pancetta, peashoots didn’t quite work for me.
From the ‘large’ section, steaks were pitch-perfect (from €24). The beef is sourced from FX Buckley’s and cooked on a Josper (charcoal) grill, it makes all the difference and steaks can be served sliced if you want to share. Don’t. We also had a sexy side of gnocchi (€4) dressed in aromatic rosemary, silky olive oil and crumbly flakes of Parmesan … carbolicious.
There is a premium focus on drinks, so expect high-quality gins and whiskies, considered cocktail choices and a decent craft beer selection.
Overall, this was a very pleasant experience and although we weren’t paying customers, I felt the prices were all very fair. The food is good, it’s not going to blow you away, and nor should it in this type of mid-range spot, but the room itself really ups the ante, it’s just one of those really nice spaces in which to linger. Staff were great too, so, regardless of the love-bombing … I am very happy to stand behind my endorsement. Go, check it out for yourself, feel like you’re on your holliers. In November. In Bray.
7 Strand Road
01 908 1111