Eglington Street: Post a letter, gawk in the window at the MAC counter, or Carbon for the shift to forget. That’s what Eglington street means to many.
It was a surprise to me (and also embarrassing) that a real brasserie – you know those Balthazar-type cozy places with a red hue from leather studded seats, candles, savvy barmen who know their martinis from a dirty to a twist and oh, the steak – was right on the corner for five years. It’s their birthday, and I got an invite to sample their menu.
Brasserie on the Corner keenly assert their seafood, contrary to what you might expect from the dark décor. In fact, the impressive list of producers is listed before the food, emphasising the pride in which the team take in delivering great local food.
The fish is supplied by Galway fishmonger du jour, Gannet, as well as Mary’s Fish Shop and Marty’s Mussels from Renvyle. The meat is another notch up again with different cuts obtained from a variety of suppliers.
I could tell you about the décor as I walked in, or the ambience, but what made the evening for us was how we were treated. Just like you want it to be on a night out, we were made feel special in an effortless, Galwegian way.
We all go out of our homes, we make an effort, we get a babysitter, get a taxi and we do this for an experience, not just the food. We got that here. But enough about that, let’s talk food.
My longing for red meat on this November eve is strong and nothing can deter me from the lure of its instant gratification. The fillet steak (€29.95) is from McGoughs in Oughterard.
General manager Eimear explains they use different suppliers for different cuts to spread business around and simply to ensure the best. Oh and about that steak.
I’ll start with that and work backwards because, well, wow. I asked for medium and I got medium. The perfect criss-cross char of the meat cut like butter. It melted in the mouth like butter too.
The sauce was whiskey pepper and it was great. More than great, tasty as hell and a perfect partner to the chocolatey Malbec recommended by our waitress.
Three giant onion rings were served on top of the steak, to which I paid no heed at first, but then they were fantastic too. The crisp batter with a silky smooth onion inside was full of flavour and the perfect accompaniment.
Now with that carnivorous high out of the way I can describe the rest of the meal. My dining partner opted for a seafood starter and mains, starting with Scallops (€12.95) served with a raw cauliflower salad, apple and herbs.
The scallops were pan-fried gorgeously crisp with a deliciously tender flesh.
The Sea Bass Special (€25.95), served with orange, seaweed gnocchi, cavolo nero and lemon beurre blanc, caused me to have a pang of menu envy. Almost.
My starter of whipped Aran Goat’s Cheese and Tomato Sorbet (€8.95) was the perfect balance between salt and sweet, soft and sharp, though the confit heirloom tomatoes weren’t as flavoursome as I’d hoped.
Long after my sorbet disappeared, I lingered over the goat’s cheese, smearing it on the outstanding home-made bread, including Guinness and treacle brown bread and a pillow-soft, brioche-like white loaf. I would come back for that bread alone.
Even though it sounds fantastic including the local Galway Goat’s Cheese, I can’t quite summon up the will or the appetite for a cheese board and decide if the bread is that good, then surely the pastry is not to be missed: cue Lemon Tart (€5.95). That and a good strong coffee is just the right reinforcement to brave the Galway night outside.
Brasserie on the Corner is showcasing the best of Galway county very well: rich farmland beef, access to fresh Atlantic seafood and artisanal specialities.
There’s really very little not to love here. It’s no news that the Galway food scene is heaving at the moment, from Michelin stars, a cacao bar and now home to the San Pellegrino Young Chef of the Year. Brasserie on the Corner is in good company, doing something a little differently.
The total price of dinner came to €83.75.
Brasserie on the Corner
25 Eglinton Street,
T: +353 91 530 333
Sarah is back in Galway from London where she owned Mint & Broom, a north London micro-bakery featured in her local food market. She is excited about joining the west of Ireland food movement, spreading the word through freelance writing and working the west into her own brand of baking at farmer’s markets soon. Writing for TheTaste allows her to share tales from the food front line with fellow eager eaters.