About Bia Mara
Our idea came to us in our local pub over a pint of the black stuff of course! We could see an opening for Seafood at the local farmers' markets so we created “Bia Mara”(Seafood in the Irish Language). We wanted to use Mackerel but soon noticed that younger Irish were not interested in this old school Dublin favourite so we had the idea to spice things up. Soon after we started selling our Cajun Spiced Mackerel we had a queue around the block. This confirmed to us that fish and chips could be incredibly versatile but seem to always be the same everywhere with just different levels of quality.
The next step for us was an amazing opportunity to open in the amazing city of Brussels and for sure we dropped everything and jumped at the chance to have our first location after only three months cooking on the stall. When we had our brand new kitchen we started experimenting and so our menu was transformed into a bigger selection of Panko’s and Tempura’s and more importantly a wider range of underrated fish to get folk eating more species! The magical pairing of Belgian Beer elevated our concept to a new level so thank you Belgium!
We then opened in two locations in London under our re-brand Hook www.hookrestaurants.com With a slot on Sky News in the first week open to discuss our use of Seaweed we very quickly secured a position as a new generation fish and chips in the UK. Soon after we appeared on The Food Network USA and TV Tokyo. Guy Fieri came to our restaurant in Camden to shoot Diners Drive In’s & Dives UK edition. What a coincidence as we watched that exact show all the time while trying to find our way. So proud.
After a year of amazing press across the channel we came back to the wonderful city of Antwerp where we have a beautiful location on the Grote Markt in the Historic Centrum of Antwerp. We have plans to expand into Amsterdam, Dublin and who knows where else!
Our Mission and Vision
Born on the streets of Dublin with one simple idea - evolve fish and chips to something different. Our goal is to show everybody that fish and chips could be made using any species from our beautiful ocean. Less demand for specific fish can only help the harmony of the ocean. Our first summer we sold Cajun Spiced Panko Mackerel with Lemon Cajun Sauce and our now famously different Seaweed Salted Chips! This inspired us to create over 60 recipes in the coming years including:
Lemon & Basil infused Tempura of Sea bream with Garlic Truffle
Lime Mint & Wasabi infused Tempura of Flounder with a Basil & Chilli Sauce
Jamaican Jerk Panko Pollock with Chipotle Sauce
Indian Spiced Panko Hake with Curry Lime Sauce
Ethiopian Berbere Red Gurnard with a Berbere Sweet Potato Ketchup
We have not stopped creating and will never settle for anything other than responsibly sourced, seasonal, fresh fish. We only work with forward-thinking fisheries to ensure an honest product to compliment our vision which is to diversify the species so future generations will not expect one or two kinds of fish at their local fish & chip shop!