Barry Sun has just opened his own restaurant – a cosy, friendly neighbourhood place in Blackrock.
The restaurant is called Volpe Nera, or black fox — a slightly tongue in cheek take on the premises being halfway between Blackrock and Foxrock — the restaurant name also nods to the Mediterranean influence on the snacks, small plates, sharing platters and menus the restaurant will serve.
Open for lunch and dinner daily from Wednesday to Saturday, and for a longer lunch on Sunday afternoon, Volpe Nera is a casual and informal 50-cover restaurant spread over two floors. Not a starched tablecloth kind of restaurant, the vibe is still old school comfortable with deep upholstered chairs and proper linen napkins.
With an eclectic and interesting wine list, including vermouth, white port and a selection of sherries, there is also a counter for diners who enjoy the experience of eating at the bar.
Barry Sun Jian came to Ireland in 2002 when he was 19, to improve his English as many Chinese students do. He began part-time work in kitchens to supplement his income, and worked his way up from kitchen porter in Mint restaurant in Ranelagh, followed by time in Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, Bon Appetit, Cleaver East and l’Ecrivain, finally ending up as head chef in Etto, where his deeply delicious and flavour-led food won him chef of the year in 2018.
Barry brings the same focus on flavour to Volpe Nera, with some of the dishes on the opening menu including Galway Bay oysters with compressed cucumber and red chilli oil, ricotta malfatti with onion squash and slow cooked egg yolk, and a deer carpaccio with artichokes, pickled pear and juniper.
With a front of house team led by Darren Darcy, formerly of L’Ecrivain, Volpe Nera is a low-lit, welcoming fixture in Blackrock.
Volpe Nera, opening Friday, November 15th in 22 Newtown Park, Blackrock, Co. Dublin.
Wed – Thurs 5pm – 9:30pm
Fri – Sat 12:30pm – 2:30pm & 5:30pm – 10pm
Sun 2pm – 7pm