1980s, Shiro, Ahakista

The logo for Shiro restaurant in Ahakista

Werner and Kei Pilz bought Woodlands in the 1980s and relocated from Berlin with their family. They renamed it Shiro and opened the West of Ireland’s first Japanese restaurant in what had been our old dining room. Naturally, seaweed was an important food on the menu. With the owners as chef and waiter, this tiny restaurant in one of the furthest corners of Ireland achieved a Michelin star from 1996 to 2001. Sadly, Kei passed away in 2001 and Shiro’s reign as one of Ireland’s special culinary experiences came to an end.



3 thoughts on “1980s, Shiro, Ahakista

  1. Lovely story. I remember moving in late 1983 and getting to work to help renovate the House. It was an adventure as I discovered the character of the House. Coming from Berlin it was the extreme opposite…. I had entered the live of Huckleberry Finn. My younger brother and I remember the little boat. It was a blue klinker. It was stored in the chowshed at the back and 1/3 rotten but we restored it and used it with a seagull outboard that we found. This boat was my means to discovering owen’s island and all the surroundings. We even made our own lobster pots as experiments and used the boat for 2-3 years when it finally broke into pieces (literally). I know every corner of the House and Garden and the view i had from my bedroom (above the main door) from which I could see the Fastnet lighthouse beam at night. The bats are still in the attic, beautiful when they all rush out in the twilight. The garden grows as if there is no tomorrow. My father always used to say you can put a broomstick into the irish soil and it will blossom. Since his passing away, we have kept the House and keep it in good nick. Many outbuilding additions have been made and the place will remain its special charm.

    • Searching trough the internet about Werner Pilz , Ahakista, I find your story.
      Hello Arno, I remember your father very well. He told us many story`s about his life in Berlin and also about his wife Kei and his son´s .We stayed in the new house he has build, for a lovely holiday in May 2002.
      We spend several evenings with a good glass of red wine, and he was an excellent storyteller. My wife was cooking for us, and he said the taste was very good. Do you still rent the house for holiday ?
      ( We hope the Tinpub is still standing !? )
      greetings from germany

  2. Fabulous to hear your memories, Arno. Very glad to hear that our little row boat was given a new lease of life…and that ye weren’t on the water when it went to pieces! It sounds like you enjoyed the idyllic childhood/teenage years that Ahakista is renowned for by generations of long-established families and those who choose it as a home or second home. Being a big Enid Blyton fan, I felt like I was living in a Famous Five adventure. My only regret is never having made it back to Shiro as an adult for the incredible and unique dining experience that your parents offered. I would love it if people come to share their reminiscences of Shiro…

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