Dinner or lunch at the Western Hotel, and details of the upcoming Galway Food Festival

The Western Hotel is in Prospect Hill, pretty close to County Hall and TK Maxx. It is a place favoured by locals but I would reckon that many of you have never eaten there. I called in for dinner one evening and was quite surprised at both the price and the quality. I also asked if they did any special deals at lunch time and was told that they have a loyalty card scheme which entitles you to what must be the very best value main course in the city. The normal main course costs €7.50 or €8.50; however if you have a loyalty card you will get a €2 discount off one special each day. That means you can have something like chicken kiev or a roast of the day for €5.50, surely this is as low as you are ever going to see in Galway? If it is half as good as the dinner I had it is worth seeking out, especially if you work in the area.

The evening meal is also available at a pretty good price, €22.50 for one or €38 for two. That includes starter, main course, dessert, and tea or coffee. I choose arancini, a Sicilian dish of risotto, basil, and pancetta with a mozzarella centre covered in a crumb crust and deep fried. There were two pieces with an excellent tomato sauce and full of flavour. My companion had the prawns in filo pastry with a garlic mayo, tasty but not as good as the arancini. For mains I chose the evening special of poached cod with chilli marmalade and pak choi. The cod tasted so good I asked what it was poached in, and was told that it was lemongrass and ginger. It had that taste you sometimes find in a well cooked Thai dish and the fish itself was cooked to perfection. Our other main course was roast pork with crackling and roast potatoes. The crackling is something that is often missing from pork dishes and in my opinion it is the best reason for ordering a pork dish, sure it is laden with calories but it is delicious. The pork was excellent, and assuming that is the quality of the lunchtime roast you will not be hungry when you leave.

For desserts we chose a double chocolate fudge cake and a Baileys cheesecake, the fudge cake was nicely warmed with melting chocolate and cream, but the cheesecake was a bit tasteless. Nevertheless at €38 for two people including coffee it is pretty hard to beat.

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