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Our Latest Great Place To Eat - Blackrock Cottage

Our Latest Great Place To Eat - Blackrock Cottage

Monday 17 April 2023

Needless to say, as I was nearly blown away while taking pictures of the iconic Blackrock Diving Tower at Salthill, there was one hardy swimmer braving the elements and diving into the cold cold waves. “There’s always one”, remarked a passerby….  The diving tower here is a really special place, its mid-century design making it one of the most photographed landmarks in Galway.

I wasn’t there just for the fresh air, but to visit the new Blackrock Cottage. I say, new, but this is in fact a stunningly stylish reincarnation and reinvention of an almost 200-year-old derelict cottage as a cafe, with a bike rental and repair station to come, by property developer Brían McHugh. The cottage has been restored with a very smart light filled extension and outdoor fire pit dining areas, all taking advantage of the stunning views over Galway Bay.

With Executive Chef Martin O’Donnell, ex The Twelve Hotel in Barna, at the helm, on our visit it was open daily for breakfast and lunch, with dinner to follow at a later date. We were lucky we arrived just after 9 am, they don’t take bookings, for within an hour there was a queue of beanie wearers on stools lining the passage between the old and new sections, clutching their menus as though their lives depended on it.

Smugly ensconced at a table in the old section, facing a display of divine pastries, I laid down the law of restaurant critiquing to the pals. “You’re not just having the full Irish, no matter how much you want it after a late night, nor are you having the soft-boiled egg with sourdough buttery soldiers. We’re here to try something ‘different’.”

The menu sounded great with protein buttermilk and blueberry pancakes with warm Sliabh Aughty Honey butter, coffee bacon and chia, as well as courgette and Aran Island Feta fritters with lemon, dill and black garlic crème fraiche, a brace of poached eggs and rocket.
Eschewing the eggy element of her dish, veggie pal Rena had lemon and chilli avocado on sourdough, with cherry tomatoes and smoked tofu, while Eamon had a new wave Eggs Benedict given the French twist being ‘Croissant Benny’, as opposed to the traditional English muffin, with a good hollandaise snaking down over a wave of smoked salmon and the statutory poached eggs. I hadn’t seen duck fat potato rosti before on breakfast menus, so of course….