Lunch at The g
By Willie Shaw
The last few years seem to have seen an explosion in the market for eating out on Sundays. Once upon a time it was not considered acceptable to make others work on a Sunday, but I think that day is past (for good or ill), Perhaps it is because so many people do not get a chance to sit down together during the week and they feel that their treat is to eat out together on Sunday. For some it is absolutely every Sunday, for others it is the occasional treat. I often ask restaurant and hotel owners what their business is like on Sundays, and I am regularly astounded by the number of covers they do on a Sunday, it is enormous. Often it is an excuse to bring together extended family for a meal out without breaking the bank, and most establishments make particular efforts to see that children are catered for, thus making it less stressful on parents.
The g hotel has always served Sunday lunch but never really focused on it. Now it has reduced the price, €25 for two courses and €29 for three courses, and coffee or tea is included. There is also a children’s menu with prices around €8 or €9 for a main course.
Head chef Regis Herviaux is extremely committed to buying the best local ingredients and making them into really interesting dishes. There is of course a roast of the day, plus dishes like pan seared fillet of chicken with boxty potato, onion, and herb stuffing, and wild mushroom with white wine cream sauce. There is also a vegetarian main course and a fish course. These are not dishes you can rattle up in the shake of an eye, and that is one of the things I really like about the g menu. Absolutely everything is cooked to order, no bains marie keeping items warm for hours, every vegetable is cooked to order and you can taste it. Plus when I go out to eat I do not like paying for something that I could have cooked at home with no effort; if that is the case, all you are paying for is convenience.
On the Sunday I was there it was full to capacity and with a waiting list, so my advice is to book ahead. Parking is free and literally at the back door or basement lift. You can relax before or after in the gorgeous lounges and have a read of the papers. Absolutely nobody should feel excluded just because you may think it is exclusive; I only mention this as a few people have said that they would not feel comfortable going there as it is so upmarket, so unless you are intent on causing a row do not let that concern you.
We started with smoked haddock linguini, chives, basil pesto, and cream sauce; I would give it 10/10 and it was not a small portion as I might have expected. The pasta was perfect and the sauce really rich. My main course was the fish of the day, it is called by two names, grey sole or witches. This is a fish I have mentioned before, really tasty and often the choice of fishermen on board trawlers when they have their choice of the entire catch. It is not an expensive fish if you see it in the shops, and it just needs careful quick cooking. It was served on a delicious sweetcorn and pea risotto with veloute sauce, delish! My companion started with a grilled goat’s cheese on toasted brown bread with red pepper relish, the plate was mopped clean in a flash. I am not a goat’s cheese fan so could not comment, however it was proclaimed really good. My 12-year-old had a mini gourmet cheeseburger, €9.50 with real home cooked fries. It was excellent and would keep the hungriest happy. The other main course was the one you see in the picture, the roast of the day which was pork, as you can see the presentation is first rate and again mopped clean with lots of complimentary oohs and aahs.
The pastry chef, Michelle Valentine, has been working here for quite a while now and I always look forward to this part of the meal here. I had a banoffi style trifle with the bestest brandy tuile I have ever eaten. We also had a double chocolate brownie from the children’s menu, €4.50, and received a thumbs up appraisal.
All in all I would say that it is a menu that has been given a lot of thought and you will not be disappointed.