There is no doubting the strong links that exist between architecture and food. Both start with an idea and evolve through constant testing and re-testing. In design that can mean multiple iterations on the same 3D model, via option-eering or prototyping depending on the scale and necessity and likewise in the kitchen or behind the bar, this means reworking a certain dish or drink as a prototype that is re-investigated in much the same way, until it reaches the desired outcome.
But the relationship can also extend to the link between design and the environment that surrounds it. And in my latest trip to dine in the marvellous Restaurant gigi’s in the g Hotel in Galway, I came across many instances where the presentation of the food finds its inspiration in thinking that is strongly allied to that which conceived the g Hotel in the first place.
There is no doubting the sheer beauty of the design of the building — to get to Restaurant gigi’s you pass through several lounges of differing style and ambience. There is the mirrored and exposed, the demure and relaxing and then the sensuous dimly lit bar before you enter the feast for the senses that is Restaurant gigi’s itself. I watched guests new to it make their way through and saw them inhale the differing senses stirred through the various progressions of their short journey.
I was there for a small family celebration and for such an event, it is ideal. We were joined by a young guest who was very taken by the sheer beauty and the joy to the senses that the furniture and layout of gigs offers. Several silken maroon curved cubicles snuck away from the colourful chairs and tables, offers both exposure and seclusion; it offers the diner to be part of the ambience, to be a performer and an audience member at the same time. Discreet, romantic, atmospheric, luxurious, it is all of these, but primary, it is a restaurant that prides itself on the excellence of its food, pre-empted by the sheer professionalism of the waiting and serving staff who take great pleasure in ensuring that you are informed about the dishes you can choose. In this regard, with the excellent Simone, a native of the Eternal City, we were well looked after.
And the food — wow. Contemporary and trendy. Delicious pre-meal breads, washed down with a carafe of the Argentinean Malbec set the pace for a most enjoyable dining experience.
I started with the tian of crab served under the most delicate black pepper cracker, perfectly balanced atop the most divine seafood, while my dining partner opted for the grilled lobster, served with saffron potato, pear and in a delicious bisque. Both dishes were a joy to savour, and ensured a mouthwatering taste, light but satisfying and presented with a desire for design.
There is a delicious menu for juniors — with starters that include melon and strawberry kebab with a strawberry yoghurt dip; Corn on the Cob, soup, or the 'Cheezy' Garlic bread; while for main there is pasta with tomato sauce, cheese and tomato flat bread, junior fish and chips and pan seared chicken bites and sides. My junior opted for the 'cheezy' garlic bread and the junior fish and chips and devoured them.
For mains I chose the 10oz Hereford rib-eye steaks served with organic kale, swede, shallot and porcini butter, while my guest went for the roasted rack of lamb, which was pressed lamb shoulder served with red pepper puree, the kalamata olives which she raved about and the sherry jus. It was quite delicious, and once again was served in the most exquisite style, bringing me back to the links between the presentation of food with its immediate environment.
For dessert, our junior guest was treated to a medley of treats to mark her special occasion, while I opted for the Rhubarb Custard Sphere, poached rhubarb, vanilla and caramelised hazelnuts — And it was a ball of delightful tastes. My guest opted for a fruit salad which was served without any fuss.
Restaurant gigi’s is a haven of great taste and great tastes — a feast for the senses in all sense of the phrase. It is no wonder it was named the Best Hotel restaurant in the city last year. It is ideal for gatherings of all size, from the romantic two to the corporate 20. I would thoroughly recommend it as a location for an occasion.