Those who have read our 24 hours in Galway article may have noticed The Gaslight mentioned as an excellent lunch recommendation, so good in fact on our recent trip to Galway we decided to have dinner here. As we were staying in the Hotel Meyrick we didn’t have far to go. More often than not hotel restaurants can feel quite soulless places, whether that be in their food or atmosphere or lack there of. It’s almost as if they are they are a just an after thought.
The Gaslight is quite the opposite, bright, stylish and airy with a casual feel to both the menu and the room. Situated in the heart of Galway’s Eyre Square and surrounded by huge Georgian windows, it’s the perfect spot for people watching and who doesn’t love having a good snoop. We were lucky enough to get a comfy seat in the corner, looking right out onto the square.
The menu is relatively short and sweet but with a strong focus on some good old fashioned favourites such as Baked fillet of Salmon, a Turf Board or some Locally Sourced Oysters. Seafood weighs heavily on the menu, but given that Galway has no shortage of fine fish this is no surprise. Don’t let that put you off if you prefer a bite of something that grazes from the land, some good alternatives there too.
That said the Homemade Chicken Liver Pate sounded too good to resist, just a few days after the Gin Fest in Dublin, the mere mention of the redcurrant and gin compote had us sold. True to it’s word the compote was pure perfection, tasted with the velvety pate and a tiny piece of the warm brioche you could not fault this, especially for €9.25. Not to be outdone by the chicken, the Atlantic Coast Crab Claws had to have there moment to shine. Simmered in a gentle lemon and garlic butter, at least 10 juicy claws where piled on top of each other. One of those dishes that cannot be eaten in a polite manner but must be just devoured.
One of the things that struck us about the Gaslight Brasserie was the freshness of the produce, everything we had the pleasure of sampling was bursting with flavour. Another common mistake often in hotel restaurants; often due to the volume of diners they may have to serve, is the amount of frozen or processed food you can sometimes be faced with. It great to see the Gaslight chef’s are being afforded the freedom to ensure only the best of local ingredients are leaving their pass.
A perfect example of this was the aptly named 3 Little Pigs dish, this main is categorically a real “death row meal”. I defy any pork lover to taste this and not leave with a very satisfied, if slightly larger belly. The most succulent, sticky, honey and lemon ribs that have passed our lips. Mini fritters of black and white pudding served in a cute little chip pan which I’m sure would horrify the people behind “we want plates” but with this kind of food just worked. Topped off with two little pork sliders and two divine dips of spiced apple chutney, which were heavenly with the fritters and a smokey bbq sauce perfect for dipping. Our server on the night recommended the hake as her favourite dish on the menu, not the day’s special, we took her advise. A moorish mountain of hake and roasted baby potatoes arrived in a lemon and dill reduction, with minuscule diced chorizo laced throughout. Roasted carrot and parsnip with some sweet vine tomatoes topped off a tremendous plate.
Dessert was an interestingly named Swabian Apple Tea Cake, which is a light german styled apple layered cake. A very simple affair, the cake itself was so moist and light and the warm custard, well let’s be honest it a good old reliable with a homely feel but it tasted fantastic and we knew skipping the warm chocolate pudding was the right move.
With a grand total of €84.90 including a bottle of Mancura Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, there can be no doubt this was a great showcase how how Irish food cooked well can also be excellent value. Next time you find yourself admiring this stunning building from the outside, pop in and see for yourself what a great dining experience is on offer.
This is a Great Culinary Escape we highly recommend.
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Keith & Jules Mahon are the founders of TheTaste. We want TheTaste to be a culinary kaleidoscope to champion every taste, food, wine, cocktails, whiskey, etc. We are delighted to be part of such a creative and fast moving industry and are very passionate about sharing with you our unique journey around Ireland finding the best culinary hotspots.