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“Spoiled by a spoiled chef”
Review of Aniar Restaurant

Aniar Restaurant
Ranked #50 of 487 Restaurants in Galway
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $43 - $71
Cuisines: Irish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, 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 January 2, 2013

We had been looking forward to trying Aniar having read rave reviews in the papers, and indeed on here. The recognition by the Michelin judges further bolstered our eagerness to visit. On a weekend trip to Galway, we were delighted to be offered a table at the last minute following a late cancellation.

On entering Aniar on a wet, winter's evening - so typical of Galway - I was a little perturbed by having to step over other customers' coats draped over their chairs, due to the apparent lack of a cloakroom, or even a simple coat-stand. However, we let this go, as I suppose it is in keeping with the laid-back atmosphere they seem so keen to evoke. We were careful to tuck away our coats to avoid them being trampled on, and took our seats. Beside the open kitchen.

What followed was simply inexcusable. A barrage of abuse from a seemingly over-stressed, ill-mannered, foul-mouthed head chef aimed at one of the waiters (who was, as it happens, extremely polite and obliging to the customers) went on sporadically for an all too extended period. All paying customers appeared to be perturbed by the torrent of foul language emanating from the "hub" of the restaurant. Not so much as an excuse was offered by either waiting staff or kitchen staff. I even went so far as to offer our waiter an opportunity to excuse/explain/dismiss the behaviour of their much celebrated chef, but I was made feel like I was the one in the wrong (dismissed with a remark pertaining to the chef being a "busy man" and "things like that are to be expected"). I'm sorry, but they very much are not.

We probably should have left at this point, however, the waiting staff did redeem themselves (and their nonchalant kitchen staff) by being polite, attentive and enthusiastic. We opted for the tasting menu with paired wines; both were excellent, well matched together, and generously proportioned. I will admit that the ham neck I did not enjoy as I found the beetroot coming through in the jus a touch overpowering; however, that is probably as much down to my own palate as anything. The food, overall, was really excellent. The dessert of what could best be described as a deconstructed baked alaska was not to my taste either, but then again I'm not really a dessert fan.

We left suitably satisfied by the gastronomic experience, but bitterly disappointed by the arrogance of the management. If you're reading, here's a suggestion: put a door on the kitchen, and let your chef know that he's not infallible. Michelin star standard? I think not.

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7  Thank Darren O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (424)
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322 - 326 of 424 reviews

Reviewed December 30, 2012

Best reataurant in Galway. Interesting and unusual menu. Food locally sourced and beautifully cooked. Staff explain the cooking process and are very knowledgeable. Will recommend wines to compliment your choice of food. Fully deserves it's Michelin star.

Thank PippiMoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2012 via mobile

We were a group of seven on a company dinner and had the tasting menu with wine. there were some nice dishes but none were memorable or would have me saying i can't wait to come back and have that again. our meal was interrupted by the chef having a cursing rant at one of the waiters. He should either put a door on the kitchen or have a little more respect for his paying guests!

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Thank Cathalaodh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 14, 2012

We booked for four people but an unexpected fifth family member arrived with us and she would not be accommodated even though there were empty places. We were told that "the chef would need to know well beforehand". I sat opposite a friend and each time I moved, the table slid across the floor on top of him. A simple thing to correct! The food was good but, Michelin star? Not so sure !

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2  Thank Sdfb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 7, 2012

I took two of my sisters to Aniar recently. We were very impressed. The service is excellent with a very attentive team. The quality of the menu is unsurpassed in the west of Ireland. Dishes are beautifully presented and we loved how the waiter described them with such passion. The wine menu was very agreeable. I think it was appropriately priced given the quality of the ingredients and the creative complexity of the dishes. I agree that the seats could be a little more comfortable and the heat turned up a notch but really this did not detract much from a memorable evening. This could be a very exclusive restaurant with a posh, stuffy atmosphere but it certainly is not. The staff go out of their way to make their guests comfortable. Well done to Aniar for bringing something very special to Galway. I've already booked a table for 3 with friends for the week after next!

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

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