Galway has always been known for its diversity – a mixed bag of vagabonds, sailors and tribes, our medieval city has been a melting pot for as long as it has existed. This too has been translated to our restaurants, Galway has always done ethnic very well. Our cuisine is now as varied as the population, as exciting as our history. There is a rich exchange of cultural influences, food traditions from far and wide that came with each of the many immigrant populations that chose to settle here and call Galway home. Cuban, Spanish, Caribbean and African, these exotic, spicy, complex cuisines have created a food culture that continues to evolve. We have long established Chinese and Indian restaurants, and more recently some terrific Japanese ones. Kashmir, Wa Cafe, Kappa-Ya and the Asian Tea House are all outstanding examples of good ethnic restaurants and each has their own enthusiastic advocates.
Thai Garden at the Spanish Arch is another popular spot and for good reason. This long serving restaurant still maintains the same high standard that it had when they opened their doors more than fifteen years ago. Their stall was one of the biggest hits during the Galway Food Festival, catering for close to one thousand happy diners in a day. Staffed almost entirely by Thai natives, it is certainly a cut above the average ‘Chinese’ restaurant.
Perfectly placed on that strip of Spanish Arch that now seems to be almost entirely populated by restaurants. In the space of a few yards you’ll find Ard Bia, The Kitchen and Lime, all with their various offerings overlooking the banks of the Corrib. The terrace at Thai Garden is a lovely spot to while away an evening over a glass of wine and some of their new Thai style tapas, a range of tasty authentic bites known as ‘Gup Glaam’. They are traditionally enjoyed with a drink and are the perfect start to the weekend, with friends or after work.
Single tapas or sharing plates can be ordered allowing you to sample a range of delicious Thai favourites at once, whether raw, steamed or grilled, batter fried or elegantly stuffed and always accompanied by bowls filled with sweet, salty, spicy concoctions to drench them in. There are the ever popular ribs, dimsum or chicken satay skewers served with rich peanut sauce. Thai cooking is characterized by freshness and generosity, it has its feet firmly in the ocean, with plenty of sticky prawn, fried octopus and steamed mussel dishes. Vegetarian dishes feature also, cubes of crispy deep fried tofu, spicy, creamy coconut soups and delicious fresh mango summer rolls.
The service here can only be described as gracious, both refined and casual. Their full menu is also available of course, with dishes such as whole sea bass with chili oil and (kiddie’s favorite) banana fritters for dessert, all served on their distinctive patterned bespoke delph. This is authentic Thai cooking at a reasonable price with genuine Thai hospitality.
The ‘Gup Glaam’ menu is available every Friday from 5.30-7.30pm with prices starting at €5 for single portions, €13.50 for a choice of three and €20 for five. A range of Italian, French and Spanish wines is be served alongside the food, starting at €5.50 per glass. Thai Garden, Spanish Arch, Galway. Tel: 091-567865 Email:email@example.com