Food Is Life... With Andrea Horan

Andrea loves Italian things in her mouth, doesn't like aubergine, but she does like saying 'baba ganoush'. She's also fond of a sausage sandwich (with extra sausage) from Kylemore Cafe - but she warns "bring your own ketchup - theirs is gross". 


What’s your favourite dish? 

I’d love to be a vegan but unfortunately it’s meat that makes my mouth water.  I’d be hard pushed to choose between a ribeye with Bernaise and Café De Paris (the sauces are as important as the meat) and a Porchetta, roast potatoes and a lil Caprese on the side.

What’s your favourite cuisine?

I’m always sweating to put anything Italian in my mouth.  I basically plan a holiday a year to Italy to indulge my gourmet delights.  I’ve gone back to Monopoli (and brought friends) with the sole intention of re-tasting the best Burrata I’ve ever had.

Best place to grab breakfast in Ireland?

Anywhere that doesn’t stop serving breakfast at 11.  I mean, cop on!  I love the pancakes in Yogism, the all day breakfast in The Pepper Pot and the takeaway porridge in Fallon & Byrne.

Best place to grab lunch in Ireland?

Depends if I’m boozing or not.  If I’m not, I love BiBi’s for the Pan-toasted sandwich with ham, Gubbeen cheese and homemade chutney (chilli mayo as an extra side and essential) or Bear for the lunch special – unreal value.  Steps of Rome if I’m partaking in a glass of vino with my pizza.  Also, Ukiyo’s Bento is delish. When I need to be flooded with delicious health, I choose Industry on Drury St. Their salads are totally unreal. 

Best place to have dinner in Ireland?

Coppinger is my absolute fave.  I love the drinks, food, staff, vibes.  By rights I should be sick of it as I go there in some form (sometimes just for a gin) at least once a week but I’m not.  Looking forward to their new venture Charlotte Dock, opening on Charlotte Dock (lol).  I’m also sweating for L’Gueuleton.  Oh, and Luna. Also, you cannot beat a trip to Crackbird for a bucket of their soy garlic chicken. I never really understood people's obsession with Ramen.  Then I went to Tokyo and was SWEATING for it.  The Ramen Bar in Kokoro is the most authentic ramen I've tasted in Ireland.  They are the only ones who have the special noodle making machine - apparently that's important.

Best place to get coffee in Ireland?

Clement & Pekoe for when I’m in work.  Meet Me In the Morning for the walk to or from work.  Thirty Four and Wall & Keogh on my days off. 

Best place to get a cocktail in Ireland?

Coppinger for gin.  Izakaya for Old Fashioned.

Best shop/ supermarket to grab bits for a home-cooked dinner?

My best dinners are when I have the day off and can go to the butchers in Fallon & Byrne for the meat, Evergreen for my veg, Nelly’s or the Bretzel Batery for eggs and bread, Listons for deli bits like olives etc.  I love pretending I live in an Italian village and go to all the small shops for my bits rather than a big supermarket.  It’s my Utopian village life when all the people in the village provide the produce and services for the other people in the village.

Who’s your favourite cook/ chef?

Antonio Carluccio.  He’s the perfect Italian dream.  He loves butter.

Do you have a favourite recipe book?

I just use them for display – I rarely use them.  I don’t have the patience for following recipes.  I’ll get a taste I want, get one ingredient and then google loads of different ways of cooking it and then merge them all together.

Favourite restaurant you’ve ever been to & why…

Casa Banana in Tulum.  They do the best steak I’ve ever tasted.  And it’s in the tropical dream that is Tulum.  What more could you ask for?

What city, from your travels, has the best food?

This is controversial because I LOVE shit food so it has to be NY.  NY pizza slices; cherry twizzlers; hot dogs; mint M&M’s; cheese corn snacks that turn your fingers orange for 3 days; burgers; pancakes with litres of syrup; the weird sausages – basically anything from a shit diner.  YUM.

What’s your favourite ingredient to use in cooking?

Garlic.  It’s never too much and I never have a cold.  Coincidence?

Best place (or website) to get gorge bits for the kitchen?

I’ve a galley kitchen so I don’t really have anything gorge in there cos there’s no room.  The only nice things are the artworks on the walls framed in HangTough.

Favourite dessert?

Panacotta.  It’s really hard to find a good one though.  I ordered one every place I went to in Italy but the one in Coppinger is still my fave.  I love Apple Strudel too and 80’s trifle – raspberry ripple swiss roll, tinned fruit (in juice, not syrup) poured over, custard and cream.  PERFECT.

Favourite tipple?

Red wine.  I hate bars, I just love sitting in restaurants nursing a few bottles of Malbec.

What six people would make up your dream dinner party?

David Gandy; Roisin Murphy; Jimmy Fallon; Anna Dello Russo; Joan Collins (as Alexis Carrington) & Kevin McCloud.  There should be a drag queen there too so I’ll have to add in Shirley, Panti and Veda.  I know that’s more than 6, but sure look, it’s always a better party when you oversubscribe.

What food/ ingredient do you detest?

Aubergine.  I love ordering Baba Ganoush just so I can say the word but then nearly vomit when I get a hint of the taste.  In my mind I think I eat everything but when I go to order or pick a restaurant, it turns out I’m v fussy.  I hate that as in my mind I like everything.  Oh, and Cumin.  BLEUGH.  And every hip casual dining establishment in Dublin is delighting in putting it in EVERYTHING.  BLEUGH.

Andrea Horan is the Queen of Tropical Popical and Guardian of South William Street.