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Tuesday, 4 September 2012

kai cafe & restaurant

On Sunday I was in Salthill early for a Triathalon. The small people were shaken awake and dressed at an early hour and we were up and out the door with bicycle, wetsuit and various sporting paraphernalia in tow. A few hours later after waving daddy off into the murky depths of the sea, we three hungry ladies turned our thoughts to breakfast in one of the sea-side cafes.

The bill was €15 for two glasses of milk, a cup of tea, a fairly decent croissant which was eaten and an elderly chocolate muffin which was not. Also included was my bacon bap. You can't go wrong with a bacon roll, right? Wrong! Unloved and unlovely as it was, I abandoned it and can safely say that I have not tasted anything as functional and joyless since my last stay on the maternity ward of the hospital… and that's really saying something! Not so much as a slick of butter to relieve the tedium of the dry bread and no offer of any help from the unenthusiastic staff either. Now, it seems to come as a shock to some cafes that it's Sunday again, but I have observed that Sunday happens at the very least once a week. There are measures you can take to ensure that anyone silly enough to order anything involving bread or baked goods is not disappointed. That was my first time eating there and I hope never to go back.

But this is not a story of a a bad breakfast - this is the tale of a glorious brunch and how the lovely people at Kai can turn a frown upside-down. Still hungry and refusing to be beaten where my stomach is concerned, I cheekily added my party of four to a friends table of ten in the beautiful room upstairs that is available for private hire. Lucky for us that our friends had booked it, as there was a steady queue of people waiting for a table downstairs, at what has become a very popular Sunday brunch destination. The staff, particularly David, were more than accommodating to us and quickly arranged the extra settings. An iPod dock means you can listen to your own selection of music (Toto's 'Africa' is recommended by head chef Jess Murphy).

The children now numbering six were served quickly. Spongy, fat pancakes full of zesty Sorrento lemon scent with toasted poppy-seeds popping in your month. Drenched in organic maple syrup and served with Wexford strawberries - these are the best pancakes in town. Fact! And six smiling kids is
an achievement in its own right.

Egg hollandaise on a bagel was the basis for a range of options - there was a choice of salmon, asparagus or bacon & avocado. The Hipster vegetarian fry listed rainbow courgettes and spinach among its components, and looked fantastic when it arrived.

But for me, the real star was the Kai fry. 'Pigs on the Green' sausage, bacon, creamy mushrooms, tomato, two poached eggs, home fries & brown bread. The streaky bacon was a bit too 'rindy' for my taste, but a lovely cure. The fantastic sausage, perfectly poached eggs, and lashings of sunshine-yellow hollandaise sauce more than made up for it.

Two orders of pancakes, a Kai fry and the grilled apricots on fig jam and toasted walnut bread came to 27 including a macchiato. Downstairs, the atmosphere was really buzzy and friendly, it has a real New York neighbourhood vibe going on and I left a happy camper, full and with my faith in humanity restored.

Contact: kaicaferestaurant@gmail.com + Sea Road, Galway, Ireland + 353 (0)91 526003


  1. Oh the beautiful little purple flower adornment. I would go there this very minute if I didn't have to pick the children up from school.

  2. Can't wait to try! off to Galway at the end of September and going to go around all these lovely places!


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