If you thought that a well cooked meal complete with great service and relaxing atmosphere was near to impossible to find in Galway these days, well look again, because there’s still a gem of a restaurant to be found at the Hotel Meyrick in Eyre Square.
Not only can the four star Hotel Meyrick boast a fantastic Victorian building, built in 1845, but it has maintained the fine dining experience that its predecessor, the Great Southern Hotel, had built up over many years. For the everyday passer-by it is an experience not to be missed as I found out when I went for a meal on a busy Saturday night recently.
That giant revolving door and lobby still has the magic it always had but it was the Oyster Grill restaurant which stopped me in my tracks; the very modern decor of the Oyster Grill is a far cry from the days of old.
Strategically placed throughout, the restaurant brightens up the dark decor making it a very soothing atmosphere and helps to draw your eyes to the wonderful view of Eyre Square from the Victorian windows which is something other restaurants don’t have.
Another area where this restaurant differs is in the clear and concise way the menu is laid out. The A La Carte menu comes with entrees, soups, seafood, vegetarian, from the grill, and deserts, all the things that one would expect, except it was missing all the fancy and useless words which are often used to describe your meal to make it sound fantastic.
No need for page fillers here. In this restaurant a Seabass is just that, and all you need to know when ordering your Steak is how long to cook it and what sauce and side orders to put with it. To me, it’s a sign of a confident chef, someone who let’s the food speak for itself and it did.
We had a carrot and orange soup for starters and I have to say it was one of the best soups I’ve had in ages. The main courses were even more delicious, good portions, and were certainly value for money. I had the Dover Sole. Other seafood on offer was halibut, organic salmon, lobster, and Artic Char.
My waiter for the evening, dressed crisp and clean looking diligently anticipated my needs by recommending sauces to accompany my fish and a wine to compliment it.
How many waiters do you know that would do that? I’m happy to report that he was spot on.
My companion for the evening, had a steak as he’s a bit of an expert on the subject, and rated it high. Again, you’ll find on A La Carte the usual suspects in the ‘From the grill’ section but with a few special exceptions.
So, the food has been given an A plus rating for taste, effort, and presentation, what about the service? I’m an absolute stickler for good service, in fact I demand it, and there’s very few times when the staff have delivered but on this occasion they did. Here, there’s a blend of all the old fashioned rules and just good-mannered modern service.
The waiters also seem to know when to suddenly materialize, checking if all is well, and when just to leave you alone, a concept many waiters fail to get.
So, there definitely is a place in Galway where you can have the fine dining experience without breaking the bank. The pricing is actually quite average and you definitely get a lot for your hard-earned cash - top-class food, service, and soothing atmosphere makes it well worth it. There’s also the set menu which offers a three course meal, tea and coffee, for just €45, which again isn’t bad especially considering the quality. The Hotel Meyrick also offers an early bird menu between 6.30pm and 7pm and a three course Sunday lunch at just €25. So, don’t be shy get down to the Hotel Meyrick for a relaxing and satisfying dining experience.