Also recently turned one year old is Hooked on Henry Street. It’s difficult to imagine a street less imposing than Henry Street. One thin stream of traffic meandering down by a canal in any other town would be a one way system. Hooked sits among the row of terraced houses and like most of the architecture round here, it’s a building that could only be described as ordinary. But Henry Street despite its banality, has a charm of its own and a warm sense of community.
Hooked is a small family run business, a fusion of restaurant, cafe and chipper. The decor is repurposed timber and salvaged wood with an arty, maritime theme. Its cool, urban identity is very much in keeping with the Westend vibe. While the drinks list is but a brief haiku of teas and coffee, there is no end to the range of fish on offer, all sourced from their own factory. The fish comes all the way from next door, the adjoining fish shop, grounding your meal with a real sense of place.
They have a range of specials everyday depending on what has landed that morning. Hooked serves everything from traditional fish and chips with tartare sauce and platters, to seafood tagliatelle, coconut calamari and fajitas, its a fish and chip shop serving a blend of cuisine using the best quality fish.
There is something delightfully simple happening here. Inside the cute little shopfront, you are immediately hugged by a delicious aroma. There is usually a casual crowd and Nuisin and her team have more than nailed the friendly welcome. The diners are like a gathering of the United Nations, so diverse is the menu's appeal and good value on offer.
We try the Scallop Mornay, the seared scallops (three of them ) are served in huge scallop shells in a white wine and chive cream sauce topped with herbed breadcrumbs and parmesan. Hooked style battered prawns are fried in a fluffy crisp tempura, coated in sesame, coconut and chili. Monkfish Goujons are breaded and studded with lemon and pepper, served on white dinner plates smartly trimmed with blue, not a slate in sight (hurrah ) atop a pile of golden chips with tartar dip. At €11.50 the Monkfish is surprisingly good value for the amount on offer, the fish is better than anything I’ve ever uncovered from a breadcrumb coating before. It’s not fancy, but it's brilliant.
You would expect a place like this not to have a dessert, but they do have a couple of sweet treats for you to nibble on and a BYO option as well. While on the down side vegetarian options are pretty much limited to chips and sides, the good news is that the Westend has gotten itself another great restaurant and one that won't break the bank. Hooked is funky, fresh and fun with properly fabulous fish.
Hooked Seafood Restaurant, 65 Henry Street, Galway. Phone: 091 581752 Email: [email protected]