It is said that we never work a day in our lives if we love our jobs and we are passionate about our work, the results produced are quality. Located on Middle Street, Papa'z Bistro is a place where workers combine passion and skill for cooking to produce some of the tastiest dishes one can sample in Galway.
Open seven days a week, from 12 noon to 9.30pm, the restaurant has fitted in seamlessly to Galway's food community and is fast becoming a hot spot for those who love casual, fun, dining with first class food. Gil Cavanagh who runs the restaurant, as well as its successful sister restaurant in Limerick, says the opportunity to open a restaurant in Galway was too good to turn down.
He says; "Galway is a vibrant town. It is a great food city and the people are superb. When the location became available here on Middle Street it was an opportunity that had to be taken."
With a strong Italian influence to Papa'z's menu, Gil's love affair for Italian cooking came to be after working in a friend's restaurant in Limerick after having trained and worked in classical French cuisine. "I did a stint in an Italian restaurant for a friend of mine and I was just blown away because Italian food is so passionate, it is from the hand and the heart. It follows rules but they are less rigid than French cooking. So I did Italian cooking for 10 years, every pasta dish, first course, and the second course you can imagine. I then moved to a little place in Limerick and develop a menu that was simplified and is what you can order in Papa'z today."
With more than 35 years' experience in cheffing, the Cork man's expertise is clear to see when browsing through the menu. Although Italian cuisine is heavily involved on the menu, there are delicious Thai, Egyptian, and Indian flavoured infused dishes to tease the palate. Gill says when it comes to making good food, balance is key.
"You have to have a balance with your food. That is where experience comes in. I have been doing this for 35 years and I guarantee every dish on the menu is quality. It is worked out to the last detail with consciousness and balance so you will not get an overpowering of one taste. Every taste and flavour is balanced so that you can enjoy the dish to its full potential. It does what it says on the tin.
"We make everything in house which means customers are getting the freshest and best of meals. When you order a sandwich at Papa'z Bistro, we bake the bread to order so the bread comes out hot, thin, and light. Basically, the bread is the bowl for us into which we put the leaves and sauces. The sauces we put into the chicken are all homemade and so is the Cajun spice, so everything is made from scratch and that is the same for every dish on our menu."
The Amazing Chicken
One dish that immediately catches the eye is the Amazing Chicken sandwich. With Cajun-spiced infused chicken, bay leaves, onions with honey mustard, and garlic mayo sauces, the Amazing Chicken is one of the house favourites for regular customers. Gill reveals that the dish came about when he experimenting with a few ingredients for his lunch back in his Limerick restaurant.
"One day I was sitting, I was having what is now the amazing chicken for myself for lunch. It was just a sandwich for myself and a regular customer walked, asked what I was about to settle down to and said, 'I will have that for my lunch'. I wrapped it up and handed it to her and she came in the next day and said 'that chicken was amazing' so I now have the Amazing Chicken on Papa'z' menus and from there we have gone from strength to strength.
"But we back it up with different variations. We have the Indian, the Southern-fried, sandwiches as well. We do not use deep fat fryers. Our falafel is outstanding. Normally falafel is deep fried, we bake ours. The beefstormer is my personal favourite because it is beef brisket that is slow-cooked for 14 hours and it just melts in your mouth."
For those who may not be able to make it into town, Papa'z provides a delivery service via Deliveroo, Just Eat, and Uber Eats. One of the most popular dishes for take away is the restaurants par-bake pizzas.
Gill says; "We do par-bake pizzas. We make the pizza fresh and cook it to a certain point. The customer will then take it home, put the pizza in the oven, for two minutes, until cheese goes brown, and it is perfect. The reason why we cook it like this is because when customers heats it for two minutes at home, they are getting the pizza as if it is just been cooked fresh from the kitchen whereas when you get a delivered pizza that has been fully cooked, because of the distance and time it has travelled, it can lose its heat, integrity, and even taste. So par-bake pizzas mean customers can have the full taste when they get home if they decide to choose take-away."
For more information call 085 834 1097, visit www.papazbistro.com