An Sugan is a very busy and popular spot in the heart in the lively and colourful town of Clonakilty. It is owned and run by the Crowley family since the late seventies and has gained a reputation for great seafood in a friendly atmosphere.
Clonakilty town is known locally as Clon and is a small town on the N71 in West Cork. It is about 45 minutes from Cork City and has a reputation for being a very pretty and well kept spot.
We visited on a lovely summers day and walked the town before lunch. The sun made everything sparkle, and showed the town at its best. There are lots of interesting independent shops, and plenty to while away an afternoon shopping. Eclectic cafes, a cool surf shop and a couple of good bookshops all add together to make this feel like a model town, and no doubt they have a good group of people making sure it stays this way.
So many Irish towns have suffered badly since the recession, and it is very sad driving through places where the only shop open is a non descript Centra, with their blanked out windows (what's that about?) and pub long closed. Clonakilty is the antithesis of that, and it really is rather lovely.
Having seen and pottered it was time for lunch, so we ventured into An Sugan. It occupies a corner site, with tumbling hanging baskets and a brand new paint job. Inside it's very traditional with white walls, specials on a blackboard and a collection of business cards assembled over 20 years that line a shelf that runs above the bar.
The food here is very good, with an emphasis on seafood and local produce, but on this summers days it has to be a light seafood lunch. Oysters are on the menu, and on my mind, so a half dozen served with lemon, Tabasco and a vinegrette are wonderful, impossibly fresh and just the ticket after the heat outside. A plate of pan fried clan claws are next, and a generous portion they are, with some giants among them, all swimming still in garlic butter.
In the evening there are fish and chips, fresh prawn farcies, Castletownbere scallops and the seafood basket of prawns, scallops, salmon and monkfish. For the carnivore there are choices as well including the famous Clonakilty black puddings with lardons, prime sirloin steak or roast Irish duckling. If you have room, the desserts are all made in house and are delicious.
I remember when we started doing Taste of Ireland. It was 2005 and there were very few - if any - pubs on the list. That has changed, and it is because of places like An Sugan, who take the food seriously, and ensure fresh, delicious fare daily.
**In addition there is a 3* Guesthouse adjacent to the restaurant as well as a Self Catering Town apartment.
The guesthouse was refurbished in 2010 and we have 7 rooms available. These rooms are all en-suite with flat screen tv, tea & coffee making facilities, hairdryers, iron & ironing boards.
The apartment is newly available, it was refurbished to a high standard this year. It will sleep 5 people and has 2 bathrooms and a separate kitchen.
Facilities include washer and Dryer, dishwasher, Nespresso machine, flat screen tv, dvd player, ipod docking station etc.
All are available for booking through our website or Booking.com