We had the pleasure of sitting down with Harry Bookless, musician for the band Carriages, to talk about his favourite restaurants, guilty pleasure meal, and what food he just cannot stomach!
My first food memory?
Kellogg’s Frosties are my first food memory. I remember living on them for the first ten years of my life. I used to battle my sister for the free toy everytime we got a fresh box. Health and safety wasn’t really a thing in the 80’s so the toys usually involved lots of tiny pieces that had to be assembled, and who can forget the Corn Flakes bicycle reflectors that were everywhere back then. I’m still quite enamoured by Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes, which are the adult version of Frosties.
Best local area for restaurants?
I’m living just beside Smithfield at the moment so thats where I’ve been eating out lately. I’ve had great food in Wuff, L. Mulligan Grocer and My Meat Wagon in recent months. I’m slowly making my way up through Stoneybatter too as there seems to be nice restaurants popping up there all the time. We also have the best cinema in town with the Light House.
L. Mulligan Grocer
My Meat Wagon
Most recent enjoyable dining experience?
I had an incredible brunch in Wuff recently. Myself and my girlfriend, Michelle attempt to go most Sundays but the queue is usually out the door and down the road when we get there. I think they need to expand.
Most visited restaurant?
I have to admit, I’m not that much of a foodie, but I’m quite partial to a good sandwich/soup combo. Meat and Meet was my favourite but sadly it’s no more. I think it will be replaced by Brother Hubbard from now on. Or Sister Sadie when I’m over that side of town.
Favourite celebrity chef?
I quite enjoy watching Gordon Ramsay tear the head off people in Kitchen Nightmares and I really admire Jamie Oliver’s attempts to change America’s approach to school dinners. Our cook books are half Oliver, half Ramsay so I’ll go with an amalgamation of those two.
Favourite Food TV programme?
Once again, it has to be Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares. I love how they seem to find the most stubborn of restaurant owners who are somehow complicit in allowing the show to come in. He always gets through to them in the end though. Come Dine With Me is highly addictive too. I’ll never forget the one with the pet snake doing a poo on the dinner table. Comedy gold.
Restaurant/café hidden gem?
It has to be Thirty Four which is on 34 Lennox St in Portobello. It’s run by Emmet Condon of Homebeat, who puts on our favourite gigs and parties in town. We’re actually playing an afternoon show here on the 19th of March.
Grogans is a great one for sitting outside of in the summer. I’m sure it has to be the most popular answer to this question. There’s a pub called Button & Coin on Ellis Street, near Smithfield that deserves to be way more popular. It has lovely big couches by the windows and a pool table. One day I’ll get it together to organise my dream Trivial Pursuit tournament in it.
The food I dislike the most?
I’ve never been a fan of sushi, and I don’t know why, because I haven’t really given it much of a chance. Fish would be way down on my list too so I guess it comes from that.
Favourite place for weekend brunch?
In Dublin, it would again be Wuff, when I’m able to get in the door. But if you’re travelling around Ireland and are in need of a beautiful brunch, you should go to The Inn To The West in Clifden. My friends Lucy, Delo and Emma run it and you will not find a more welcoming Guest House in all the land.
Favourite healthy meal?
I’d happily eat raw carrots and nothing else for the rest of my days. Any meal with a mountain of carrot based salad at the side is perfect for me. Michelle makes an amazing brocoli salad too.
My guilty pleasure?
I have many many guilty pleasures. It would probably be trips to the Gourmet Burger Kitchen or My Meat Wagon in Smithfield. I always buy way too much popcorn at the cinema too.
The meal I make to impress my friends?
Spicy Moroccan Meatballs with rice pilaf. Especially if I cheat and get the lovely pre made meatballs from Avoca. I also make a great Chilli Chicken Cous Cous which I stole from a Leon cookbook.
Favourite food brand?
Probably Pataks indian food. They make cooking curries very easy, which is always good when you’re not a great cook.
If I owned a restaurant I would name it?
Harry’s Place Where You Go To Eat Food And Talk About Things
Carriages return with the amazing tune ‘Like a Child’ on March 23rd