July 26, 2012

Dining in Galway - Rouge, Cupán Tae and Eat@Massimo

A couple of weekends ago I got to spend a few nights in the beautiful city of Galway. The weekend passed in a blur of working, eating and socialising both with work colleagues, friends and family. It seemed everyone was attending the Volvo Ocean Race 2012 which you can read a bit about here. It was a brilliant weekend and even though the Volvo Ocean Race is over there is still loads happening in Galway. At the moment the Galway Arts Festival is in full swing and the Galway Races will be hot on its heels.

Anyway back to the main reason for this post ... food!! I had heard many wonderful things about Galway restaurants so the list of places I wanted to eat in was fairly long. Even with this list though the first place I ate in I hadn't actually even heard of! My colleague Katie had seen the wonderful Cupán Tae and being a girl after my own heart, who loves baking and tea in china cups, she insisted we go and try it. 

For my lunch I had a Rosemary Scone Sandwich filled with ham and cheese. This may sound ordinary enough but it was anything but and was one of those great sandwiches that makes me wish I lived closer! Katie decided on a Pear, Ham and Cheese sandwich which was accompanied by a carrot and mint soup which she deemed delicious.

Rosemary Scone Sandwich
Pear, Ham & Cheese Sandwich with Mint & Carrot Soup
What's that there in the back?? Is it The Chef and I!!

We didn't have time for cake but we left happy, so happy in fact that on Sunday morning Ms J and I wandered up there for breakfast/a cure after a long fun night out that only Galway knows how to put on!  For my brekkie I had the smoked salmon with eggs while Ms J got herself a full Irish which was so large I had to help her finish it. We finished off our breakfast meal with cake (how could we not!!) and this was actually the only thing we were disappointed in. We opted for a Victoria Sponge but for us the jam was overly sweet though of course in the purpose of research we finished it completely!! Later that day my mother brought us down a slice of their lime and courgette cake which was moist and reminded me a little of carrot cake. I definitely want to see if I can make it myself and it more than made up for the earlier Victoria sponge minor disappointment.


On the Saturday night five of us headed to Rouge. We found this place by complete accident after having tried to book a few of the more well known restaurants and practically being laughed at so we went wandering instead. Rouge was buzzing but welcomed us in to its warm and cosy restaurant. Rouge is unusual in Ireland as it offers a starter and main course for €15 all night where the starter is an amuse bouche and the main is a choice of only three dishes. This is something I have only ever come across in France and I actually felt like I was transported back there for an evening while we were in there.  

The amuse-bouche is a collection of bite-sized appetisers shared between everyone. On our visit it consisted of Fennel soup, Beetroot and Balsamic bites, Tuna and Tomato Tart and Celeriac wrapped in bacon. I am not a huge fan of fennel but I would have eaten a gallon of the soup.

For my main I ordered the Entrecote Steak with blue cheese while Ms J got the mushroom sauce. The mother ordered the vegetarian dish which was butternut squash lasagne while her two friends ordered the fish dish which was hake on this occasion. You get to choose a side with your main course from either French fries, gratin dauphinois, steamed potatoes, chefs potatoes, side salad or ratatouille. Lets just saw there were a lot of potatoes on the table!! The gratin dauphinois was sublime, creamy and very moreish.

Entrecote Steak
Butternut Squash Lasagne
One of the mother's friends got herself a very lovely looking Cafe Gourmand which is something I have always loved about France as it means you get to try a variety of desserts and have a coffee - no having to choose between that almond macaroon and the chocolate tart!!


This was all washed down with a Muscadet sur Lie chosen from an extensive wine list with something on it to suit everyone's budget. We could have stayed there all night but as it was Galway it was time to hit the town though we did leave the mother and her friends looking well fed and comfortable in La Rouge and with the wine list in hand!

On Sunday, once the fullness of An Cupán Tae had worn off, and before myself and Ms J headed back on our return journeys we decided to have our last Galway meal in Eat@Massimo.


This gastro pub offers a varied menu of delicious sounding meals and I was very tempted by the sound of the cider battered ling but instead was sold by the special Sunday offer of Pig on a Spit. For ten euros we got a plate load of food consisting of barbecued pork, a pile of tasty chips, salads and two types of sauce - apple and beetroot.


Galway is a great city it is well worth a visit not only for it's eclectic nightlife, it's range of events (there always seems to be something on) and of course its food. The only problem with Galway is that I may never get through my eating wish list as it just seems to keep getting longer!! 

EAT Gastro Pub @ Massimo on UrbanspoonCupán Tae on Urbanspoon


  1. Glad you enjoyed your stay and you chose your eateries well Kat. Next time let me know you are coming and we can have tea at An Cupán Tae... I love that place!

    1. Thanks a million Mona I really enjoyed my stay up there. It had been ages since I had been up to Galway and I won't leave it so long again next time as there are just too many great places to try!! Would love to do tea again at An Cupán Tae it's a wonderful place so I will def be keeping that in mind :)