A great meal at Aniar, Galway

Galway, Ireland

We were in Galway for a Beaujolais masterclass, and it went well. But folks need to eat, and so we made a reservation at Aniar, the town’s Michelin-starred restaurant, opting for the 6 course tasting menu (it’s tasting menu only here). How was it?

In short, fabulous. Aniar means ‘from the west’, and the source of the ingredients is the west coast of Ireland, with lots of local and foraged ingredients. Indeed, the menu changes depending on what’s come in that day.

The cooking here is intensely creative and clever, in a Scandi sort of way. The dishes are very pretty, but they also taste good. The six course menu, of course, comes with lots of embellishments and extra courses. I don’t like gimmick cooking, but this wasn’t gimmicky: the flavours all worked.

Summer pies with goat’s cheese, flowers, fresh peas and mint

Smoked eel rolls

Potato, confit in charcoal oil and then blow torched, with some mayonnaise on top: such a clever dish

A kelp soup with some sea radish

A bread course, including butter with wild leek vinegar, and it includes a poem about bread

Salted pollack fillet, with sour cream, sea lettuce and seaweed

Charred oysters, blow torched, and served with oyster mayonnaise, pickled seaweed and sea parsley

This egg contains salted pollack belly tired in the oven with cured egg yolk

21-day-aged lamb cooked on the bone in a Green Egg

Fermented strawberries and woodruff, with rapeseed oil ice cream with yogurt and pickled birch leaves. Quite the dessert.

Meringue plates with elderflower syrup

Crispy beetroot cheesecake

To drink? The list here is pretty good, and quite eclectic, although it’s also quite concise. We chose a Rhône white, from Eric Texier.

Eric Texier Adèle 2017 Côtes du Rhône, France 
Fresh, textured and quite fine with nice citrus and pear fruit. Richly fruited but with freshness. Supple and expressive, finishing with some baked apple depth. 91/100

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