Galway, Dublin - Ireland- hunting high and low

(EMLYN WILLIAMS) #1

Morning all
Two nights in each of Dublin and Galway coming up later this month.
No clue as to where would be good to eat but looking for one cheap n cheerful and one higher end experience in each. Am working from 2017 rough guide and lonely planet so what follows will be the obvious picks, so all help and alternative ideas gratefully received

For Dublin the choice seems bewildering but I liked the sound of Fish Shop, greenhouse, Pichet and of course Assasination Custard for a lower end experience. Last time I was in Dublin my abiding memory was it’s merciless assault on my wallet so value will be an issue. Also likely that higher end experience will be on a Sunday night and Saturday will be a pre gig tea, if that influences recommendations at all

For Galway the books seem to say Aniar and Loam for a starry starry night with Dough Brothers pizza sounding good for my other night.

Please critique my list in your usual merciless fashion :nerd_face:

0 Likes

(John Hartley) #2

I can be of no practical help, mate. It’s donkey’s years since I was last in Dublin - long enough ago that Keith Floyd was still alive and drinking in the bar of our hotel. But the only one of your mentions that I’ve even heard of is the Michelin starred Greenhouse (which does look good).

0 Likes

(EMLYN WILLIAMS) #3

A quick post trip roundup as this thread led to almost no replies ( that’ll be you and me, John)

Dublin

The Winding Stair - primo location overlooking the river and that famous bridge and still, despite that, very good. Upstairs rooms above a fab bookshop - much better than a basement John. Modern bistro food, charming staff and a marvellous pear and ginger tart for pud that will live in the memory and on the waistline. Recommended

Galway/Barna

O’Grady’s - seafood gaff with great views over the Bay. Noisy and with bit of an odd vibe - seemed like locals downsatirs and tourists upstairs ( for the view ). Consequently chock full of Americans loudly rediscovering their roots and in some cases apparently thus missing the irony of their current regime’s appalling racism and anti immigration sloganeering. Food was old skool - decent fish but spuds served as a side dish for mains one of which had risotto and another of which had saute spuds with it already. Carbs meltdown !Gave all the Irish friends and family a laugh when we shared that, but surely a salad or some veg instead.
Powerful tiramisu for pud -served in an old skool fluted bowl proudly sat on a doily ( doliy’s still very much in vogue over the water,it seems ) . Worth a visit if you are over this way.

The Twelve - Barna

We stayed here and ate in the bar one night after a long day walking. Decent pub style grub - serviceable burger with parmesan dusted chips ( I can hear you seething from here, John) and they sell their own stout (‘Number one’ ) which has a bit more about it than the Guiness. They also have an apparently well regarded restaurant ( West ) which was closed the nights we stayed.

Doolin - Oar

South of Dublin on the far far west coast. Oar is a newish place -opened this March. Owner very friendly ( to the point of perhaps being a bit much- no one wants to hear stories about you glugging Dom Perignon, darling, its a bit gauche.
Nice room unless you get the table literally right by the door with a not splendid view of the bogs. we got this table first but bless him he moved us without us having to ask.

Food trying hard and attractively plated. Decent scallops starter ( though scallops small ). Main of chicken with prawn and chorizo gumbo a nice idea but one of the prawns was shell on ( not clever with the semi soup gumbo as nowt provided to wipe yer paws on afterwards ) and came with a rather sad langoustine atop it which looked whizzy but the dosh would have been better spent on more prawn action on the plate.
That said, we had a splendid blackcurrant souffle for one pud - light n fluffy cloudsville -really good. Then again the other pud was a deconstructed cheesecake thing which was meant to be ginger and simply wasnt fiery enough… and do I need to say how tired we are of deconstruction ? I will respect you more if you just make nice fecking cheesecake, mate.
That said he did us glasses of Gruner Veltliner which is usually bottle only and only charged us seven euro a glass and even topped them up and didn’t charge us. So, yes, go support this place if over that way. Hopefully the eagerness to please/show off will calm down a little with time.

Cavan

The Olde Poste Inn.

Weird place. Recommended by a friend. Set price for menu 66 euro each. eek. Five or six courses. all good but spoiled by the fact that we were staying and the B&B side of things was just a bit tired/shoddy and the breakfast saw the emergence of a sausage which can only be described as being of chip shop standard ( not in a good way ).
So, if you go, go for dinner only !

Now, lets see if anyone other than John reads this :wink:

5 Likes

#4

We know Galway only in Ken Bruen’s Jack Taylor series. Jack’s diet centered on Guinness and Jay, so any report that illuminates Bruen’s images beyond Garavan’s is worth having.

0 Likes

(John Hartley) #5

John has read it and enjoyed reading it. Thanks, mate.

It’s more than 10 years since I was last “over the water” but, back then, also noted the old skool nature of dining. It’s not confined to Ireland - I’ve noticed that, in more rural bits of Yorkshire, you’ll still get a separate side plate of mixed veg, even if it’s a poncy Michelin place with pretty plates of food. But, if you want proper retro, may I suggest a trip to the Isle of Man. It really felt like going back 30 years.

Oh, and don’t get me started on deconstructed stuff - almost invariably it is NOT an improvement on the original. I make an exception for L’Enclume’s sticky toffee pudding where you get several blobs of stuff on lolly sticks - and you’re told to eat them quickly and in a particular order. Yep, it worked.

0 Likes

#6

I definitely missed your post first time around. We went to Ireland back in 2012 but here’s some more data (which may be outdated).

Winding Stair and Ard Bia at Nimmos were two of our favorite meals. We also stopped in Doolin and ate at a fancy-ish restaurant (Chervil) in the fancy hotel there. We had an enjoyable meal at O’Carroll’s Beachside bar in Caherdaniel. Back in Dublin, we had a good meals at Against the Grain, Soup Dragon. One of our favorite experiences was having Guinness at the pavilion bar at Trinity U which overlooks the cricket field. The day we went it was in the 70s and sunny and it seemed like all of Dublin was out at this bar watching the matches. We had a great time in Ireland and ate much better than we expected. We are considering bringing our almost 5 year-old spring onion sometime soon.

0 Likes

#7

Thoroughly enjoyed your report!

1 Like

#8

I meant to write “21-ish Celsius,” not “70F.” Apologies to the European Onions.

0 Likes

(EMLYN WILLIAMS) #9

Thanks everyone for your replies !
We almostate at Ard Bia at Nimmos but after our long day in Connemara we ran out of time, hence our ‘burger night’ in the Twelve. It was the one place where I subsequently saw the menu and the place and regretted not having eaten at. Was otherwise unimpressed with Galway city itself, but it was raining when we were there :slight_smile:

2 Likes

(John Hartley) #10

No worries. I am bilingual in temperatures. :grinning:

1 Like

#11

Nothing to add except thanks for reporting back!

0 Likes