Changing times

It is a frequent comment among restaurant customers that they would like a particular menu changed more frequently, however sometimes customers do not want a restaurant to change its menu, especially when it has been in place and very popular for 10 to 15 years. This fact was brought home to me recently when I was talking to Charlie Chan, the owner of the original Royal Villa in Shop Street. Two years ago he moved to a new location in Oranmore and called the restaurant Asian Fusion. While it has been very successful and has some dishes that I particularly like, many of his old customers from Shop Street asked him to consider bringing back the original menu.

So from this week he has revamped his menu to include all the old favourites from the Royal Villa, Shop Street. Chicken and mushroom soup, crabmeat and sweetcorn soup, Cantonese duck, plus all the set price dinners for four, six, or eight people and much more. He is also continuing with his mid-week specials and the ‘bring your own bottle of wine’ offer for only €5. Don’t be shy about bringing your own bottle, it’s a great way to have an inexpensive meal and especially if you have an unusual bottle that might go well with Chinese food. For the month of February Charlie will be offering his Chinese soups for the amazing price of €1, yes just one euro gets you a bowl of your favourite soup.

Another case of modifying a business to meet changing customer needs is at Galway Bay Seafood.

From this week Galway Bay Seafood will stay open until 7.30pm every Thursday and Friday and will have an initial special offer of 25 per cent off all fresh fish. That’s a seriously good deal and if you are on a budget then some of the more inexpensive white fish like talapia, mackerel, or herring will make you a meal for literally a couple of euro. If you are a regular visitor to Galway Bay Seafood, keep an eye on the walls of the shop for the weekly special offers. For example, 33 per cent off fresh salmon last week and 25 per cent off all prime fish the previous week. They are also planning to have a fish cookery demonstration again in the near future.

Finally, a note about my favourite freshly cooked cookie in town. It is made every day by Scotty in his restaurants, it is enormous, it is delicious, and it’s only €1.50.

Finally, finally if you want the best seat in Galway to people watch, why not visit the newly decorated McDonald’s in Shop Street. To say it has come a long way from the original fibreglass seats and tables it is putting it mildly — really cool Italian looking swivel chairs, placed right besides the ceiling to floor windows on Shop Street. There is a very cool interior decor and is a credit to all involved. A regular coffee with a basic hamburger can be had for just under €3.

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