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All the best places to eat, shop and stay in Ireland. A local guide to local places.

In Galway’s Loam restaurant, Enda McEvoy and Conor Cockram make the illogical seem entirely logical.
Mr McEvoy serves up a taster of beef tenderloin to start dinner. It looks like a prawn cracker, and eats like a prawn cracker. But it isn’t a prawn cracker.
Mr Cockram, meantime, puts peat in your pudding, alongside some black currant. Except, it isn’t peat. It isn’t the stuff that gets stuck to your boots in the bog.
Welcome to Loam, where nothing is as it seems.
The strange thing about this upside-down world, however, is not that the food in Loam is strange – it isn’t. No, the signature style of Loam is this: Loam food is – almost – unbearably sensual.
Look at the sauce that goes with the dish of carrot and buttermilk, for instance. It’s a reduction of carrot juice and buttermilk. But it is rendered down into such sexy sweetness that it’s startling. It’s like a kiss of flavour, rather than some standard, familiar flavour that you know, the flavour you might expect from carrots, or buttermilk. Loam is the sensual world.
It’s commonplace to say that the food is Loam is perfect, seamlessly conceived and delivered. But recent visits have revealed a kitchen that has gone beyond a concept of perfect, and which now serves food that is, quite simply, magical. Loam transcends the limits of terra madre, which is some kind of beautiful irony.

Enda McEvoy
Geata na Cathrach, Fairgreen, Galway
+ 353 91 569727

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Renmore Avenue, Galway.

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