For me Galway City has been a bit like waiting forever for a bus and then more than one comes along at the same time. It seemed to be a very looooong time since I was there and in the space of 2 months, I had 3 visits and a 4th is imminent. Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT complaining in any shape or form. It is a wonderful city.
I reported my 1st visit here on the blog when I was thrilled to be invited to MC a demo by Chef Wade Murphy at the Foodie Forum.
The 3rd visit was during Easter when a pal travelled from Belfast and we met up to enjoy the Galway Food Festival.
The 2nd visit was a family occasion with husband and 2 children and we had a wonderful overnight in the Ardilaun Hotel. I always seize the opportunity on trips like this to do some interviews for my radio show, Best Possible Taste and I had an interesting discussion with Executive Chef David O Donnell which you can hear on the BPT podcast.
The food in the Ardilaun Hotel was absolutely scrumptious from the most beautifully presented Afternoon Tea for the whole family (the kids adored the chocolate chip scones) to a romantic dinner for 2 in the Bistro.The Afternoon Tea reflects the time David spent in France with tasty tartines and delicate patisseries. The dinner menu in the Bistro offers a superb value €25 meal deal where you can enjoy 2 courses accompanied with a glass of house wine or pint of beer or a soft drink.
In my interview with David you will hear him describe the importance of using fresh, artisan produce that is in season. He is a huge fan of RTE’s Taste of Success Gabriel Flaherty’s goats’ cheese and it makes an appearance in the Afternoon Tea and in the dinner menu starters where it is served as a truffled panna cotta with hazelnut crumbed croquette, chestnut purée, pickled Ballyhoura mushrooms and beetroot gel. I find it hard to pass out goats’ cheese on a menu and can highly recommend the light creaminess of this Aran Island treasure.
For my main course, I opted for the Kilmore Quay scallops and Kelly’s surf clams. This came with butternut squash, leek and fennel fondue, dillisk, lemon and Vermouth butter cream.
Alas no room for dessert but sure that’s the perfect reason to return again!
My sincere thanks to everyone at the Ardilaun Hotel, especially Chef David O Donnell, for their impeccable service and hospitality.