I heard through the grapevine that Stefan Matz, the executive head chef from Ashford Castle, had taken charge of the kitchen at the g Hotel. Stefan was the person who created the excellent value/quality menu at Cullen’s restaurant in the grounds of Ashford Castle and I wondered if he would bring a similar offering to the g Hotel. He is also responsible for all the kitchens at Ashford Castle and has many serious awards to his credit including the Georgina Campbell chef of the year in 2007. Suffice it to say that the g is now a must visit for all food lovers and indeed for anyone who perhaps looked in those glittering windows and thought “I can’t afford to go in there”. The main covers are priced at €19 to €32 and that includes your vegetables. That, my friends, is very, very, competitive, and an example of what is on offer is black sole with crab meat in a velvet crab sauce for €25, and venison with redcurrant cream and crisp venison mousse for €22. Starters range from €6.50 to €15.50 and include inventive dishes to suit every palate.
Each starter, each main course, and each dessert has a perfectly matched wine recommendation, allowing you and your partner to perhaps have six different wines on the night. All are available by the glass at prices from €7.50 to €10. I have pleaded with many restaurants in Galway to do this and so far only a few have decided it is a good idea. It is not just a good idea, it is a great idea as it takes all the worry about which wine to choose and then hope that it works with up to perhaps six different dishes during the course of the meal. The suggestions on the menu are top class and in particular the “crossings” Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, is excellent.
To summarise, the menu has some great dishes and it is very competitively priced. The raw materials are all locally sourced and are of premium quality, the surroundings delightful, and the service excellent. This is the start of a new era of fine dining at the g and at these prices it is wholeheartedly recommended. The restaurant has been renamed Matz at the g.
Do yourself a favour and book it now before the word gets around!
Finally, a recommendation for really, really, creamy ice-cream. I am a fan of Ben & Jerrys, however when I brought a 500ml tub to the checkout recently I was horrified that the price was nearly €7. At that price I said no and returned it to the freezer. Two weeks later I was in Lidl and spotted a new product in the ice-cream section — a 500ml round tub of Noblissima Vanilla Caramel Brownie ice-cream for €3.60 — 10/10 for taste, creaminess, texture, and value. — WS