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Restaurant Review - Volpe Nera

Restaurant Review - Volpe Nera

Saturday 31 July 2021

In my 2019 review of Volpe Nera by Barry Sun Jian, which opened in November of that year, I mused as to why a number of young aspiring chefs had chosen to open in Dublin’s suburbs rather than the bright lights of the city. Sun Jian wasn’t alone in doing this. Jess D’Arcy and her husband, chef Killian Durkin, had chosen Howth for Mamó, while Circa had been opened in Terenure. The fact of the matter was that pre-pandemic city-centre rents were so high, with prime properties being grabbed up by the ‘big boys’ of the restaurant industry, that they really had no option but to look elsewhere.

In ideal cases, their new suburban units were former restaurants with kitchens in place, keeping their fit-out costs down. Needless to say, the arrival of all these aspirational young bucks, bringing great food to the suburbs, was brilliant for diners.

As it transpires, they were lucky and perhaps saved themselves to some extent from what was coming down the road — when I interviewed him for my Foodies Fight Back column, the owner of one long-standing city-centre restaurant said, “Who would ever have thought that having a restaurant right smack in the centre of Dublin would be a disadvantage?”

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First Published In The Sunday Independent