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“Don't miss this if you are anywhere near Galway”
Review of Aniar Restaurant

Aniar Restaurant
Ranked #39 of 503 Restaurants in Galway
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $43 - $71
Cuisines: Irish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Special occasions
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Description: The food is based on our terroir, the ensemble of natural influences that give a food a sense of place. In the west of Ireland we are surrounded by lush ancient woodland, bountiful shorelines, thriving farmlands all heaving with some of the best ingredients in Europe but unique to us. Aniar obeys the seasons and lets nature decide our menu.Recently returned from Noma, the Danish restaurant, voted the World’s Best Restaurant 2011, Enda McEvoy heads the kitchen. He works closely with local producers while also gathering wild herbs, plants and seaweeds each day from the woodlands and seashore around the area to produce a cuisine based around light clean flavours.Light sauces and stocks, properly reared animals (utilizing all of the animal), sustainably caught fish with an eye to the future of the fishing industry and evolving with the seasons using vegetables, herbs, fruits and berries, either from the wild or cultivated, all encompass the Aniar philosophy. The Chefs pickle and brine as much as is bountiful during the spring and summer to see the restaurant through the winter. Enda explains “we use modern culinary techniques to obtain the best out of the ingredients, while never losing sight of the integrity of the produce”.
Reviewed October 16, 2011

As a vegetarian who cares about the quality of food travel can be an interesting experience. I’ve eaten in the bst vegetarian restuarants in England and had some great meals around the world. Great meals consist of presentation, circumstance and surprise. Although these were part of my experience of Aniar the lasting memory is taste, which is what should be at the heart of any great meal. Coming across it by serendipity we almost didn’t go in – celeriac, barley and potatoes didn’t immediately suggest an outstanding meal. I was dragged in by my wife and I’m very glad I was. My taste buds can still bring back the fresh subtle tastes of fresh food prepared with care and understanding. We didn’t eat better anywhere in Ireland.

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1  Thank Neil H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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420 - 424 of 447 reviews

Reviewed September 30, 2011

I ate here twice with my partner and both times they just didnt make it. The chef has obviously trained with the best chefs in the world but that in itself dose not make him great. The food has all the trappings of a high end restaurant with the usual gels, foams, jellys, sous vide, dehydrated stuff and so on.

The problem is it just dosen't deliver on taste. When you look down on at the plate you think, wow im gonna enjoy this but then disappointment. I dont mind the small portions when the flavours are good but i had the cod ( too salty ), sous vide pork belly, too chewy ( not cooked long enough) some hazelnut starter ( ok).

On paper this restaurant is a good idea and I dont care what a paid critic says, I, the customer who has paid for my meal twice, unlike the critic, think it dosent work.

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5  Thank Phill T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2011

This has got to be the most pretensious load of rubbish masquerading as arestaurant we have ever dined in.tiny portions food bland an some of it virtually unedible freezing cold when ever door opened this was Sep what will it be like in Dec-Jan.This was a meal for our wedding anniversary what adisaster, service also very slow 1/2 hr wait just to get the bill. real sad part is we were only 1 minutes walk from Oscars which is the best restaurant in Galway. We will not make this mistake again.

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10  Thank mikec9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AniarRestaurant, Owner at Aniar Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded September 23, 2011

Thank you for your feedback. I believe your comments in relation to the food are unfair, as we have highly skilled chefs working from very early in the day, each day to create a contemporary Galway dining experience, that has been applauded by numerous food critics. However, I appreciate your comments in relation to the draft and I will look into this immediately.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2011

Opt for the taster menu, even if you are a conservative eater, take a leap of faith, sip and taste each wine accompanied perfectly to contrast or complement each piece of culinary art which finds its way to your table. Our table of four became childlike with excitement, anticipating the next dish whilst still smiling with the lingering taste of the previous delight. We had to hold ourselves back from giving a standing ovation. We had answered our qustion, we now know where the best food in the West is...............Aniar

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5  Thank Gourmand B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2011

The people behind Cava and a young chef formerly of Sheridan's (via a short spell in Copenhagen's Noma) bring a new beacon of hope to the bad pasta and stodgy drear of the larger Galway restaurant landscape.

Every few years a few decent places remerge in Galway; Kai and Aniar are two of the current crop saving dining out in the city from Stodge Hell mediocrity.

The food is fresh and local with the I assume Noma-influenced emphasis on forraged stuff - sorrel, chickweed, ramson (no, I don't know what it is either). The trendy local leaves, the latest Nordic chic cuisine theme and the deconstructed presentation - that's all great and novel, but what's much, much better and more important is how good the food is. That will survive well beyond people's enthusiasm for sorrel.

I had brown crab and mussel starter. The mussels weren't evident so I assume the vivid green gloop it came with was the mussels factor. I wasn't that taken with the gloop but the dish as a whole was truly lovely, with the crab accompanied by a salted cucumber and pickled pepper and creme fraiche - sharpness and smoothness and great marrying of tastes with lovely meaty crab.

For main - fillets of brill simply fried in butter, with surf clams on a broadbean puree and some kind of sauteed endive. The fish was melt in mouth good, perfectly cooked. Others had lamb loin and belly, beautiful lamb on a bed of unusual leaves, and the veggie dish was celeriac wedges with a risotto-style barley.

Blackberry granita with custard (it works, honestly) and a little flapjack for dessert. The other desserts looked wonderful.

There were muse bouches before our meal: little dots of pureed scallop and smoked potato and choux-pastry and cheese puffs, abundant delicious breads and potatoes during, and little homemade fudges and jellies afterwards. The butter tasted like it was straight off a farm, so rich and delicious. The cheeses (all Irish from nearby Sheridan's cheesemongers) were some of the best I've ever tasted anywhere, from a Manchego style one to a tangtastic creamy blue.

It's expensive, but it's worth it - plenty of places price at this level without the goods to support it. Starters are circa €8.50 mains are circa €25, desserts around €8.50. Wines start at a reasonable €19. There's a very nice prosecco for €29 ish.

It would be nice to see some pocket-friendly set menus but I appreciate that the food is challenging and expensive to source and prepare.

I would go back, it would be a pleasure to do so a few times a year during different seasons to experience how the menu evolves.

The wait staff are lovely and really know and enthuse on the food. Some familiar faces from Sheridan's on the Docks and Cava.

The decor is all muted greens and greys, very scando-chic. I'd love to mock it, but it looks great and it makes for a very soothing setting. It's a small place but you never feel bunched in or that the place is cramped, they've laid things out well.

Who knew foraged leaves and rye thins and barley could be this interesting!

I hope this does really well. It's great to see people take what's local and twist it and make it new and do it so well.

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5  Thank theclinic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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