• Paul O'Connor

Lock, Stock and Two Smokin’ Dishes

The Lockkeeper is a renovation of an old sports bar at the 10th lock of the Royal canal at Ashtown, Dublin 15.

Instead of wall to wall giant screens, it now has a clubby atmosphere with leather-covered chairs and banquettes, a stylish bar and an outside dining terrace on the canal. There’s still a screen for sports events.

It serves whatever you fancy on draught, a short wine and cocktail list.

There were two of us for lunch this day. We started off with deep-fried brie for the boss, not of the frozen supermarket type but three generous sized pieces of ‘Tipperary’ brie, lightly crumbed and perfectly cooked. As you cut into it the gooey brie oozed out, this dish is easy to do but so many places use cheap cheese and fry it until it's a darker shade of Trump. It was served with a sweet almost marmalade like chutney, but the cheese was so good it wasn't required.

I had the roaring bay mussels, I’ve had a history with mussels that has rarely been good. These were very fresh and garlicky with enough cream and wine sauce to mop up with some nice brown bread. They get their fish in daily and it shows.

Onto mains the boss had the burger, again quality shone through; 100% Irish beef, on a brioche bun with baby gem, relish, pickles and the usual accoutrements. The burger was served on a wooden board which was promptly replaced with a plate when we asked; hot food on boards is a no from us. Served with decent skin-on chips, the plate went back empty.

I chose the Supreme of chicken burgundy, I was expecting the jus to be red wine but here it’s white wine, mushrooms and lardons. The quality of the chicken was exceptionally good, I don’t eat a lot of chicken because of the poor quality in some places. The whole dish tasted fab. It comes served with long stem broccoli which I swapped for green beans. The boss had the rhubarb and apple crumble with cream instead of ice cream. The crumble was a generous individual portion with a very light crumble on top of steaming hot rhubarb and apples.

I skipped dessert.

Our food bill came to 58 euro, the wine was 28 euro.

As we looked out over the canal on a Sunny but cold Winter’s day I thought that it would be wonderful if every lock on our canals had a pit stop like this.

The Lock Keeper

10th Lock,


Dublin 15.

(just across from Ashtown train station).

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