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27 March 2009

Banyan, Tramore, County Waterford

Eugene Long is doing the good thing at Banyan, in Tramore, County Waterford.
Eamon Barrett feels the glam and relishes the grub.

It's Saturday night. We're in Tramore. The restaurant is full of people dressed up and having a great time and the atmosphere is absolutely alive. Who could have thought that lightning could strike the former Coast building again but here we are, having a ball of a time, recession or no recession.
The layout has changed a bit: there's a new and lovely bar, cushioned with studded green velvet, a row of white leather high stools in front. The room still has that glamour feeling - huge lampshades and quirky mirrors, modern art and nice lighting. Of course all of this is lovely but it's the food that remains in the memory.
Crab tart for two of the group was perhaps just a tad heavy on the wholegrain mustard but otherwise delicious; Beetroot and Ardsallagh goats cheese salad was perfect and my own bruschetta with mushroom punched way above its weight. Mains were faultless all round: Ravioli of salmon and langoustines, Confit duck with red cabbage, Panfried organic chicken with chorizo - all were highly praised. Veg were kept pleasingly simple, just some pan fried root vegetables in honey. Service throughout was calm, efficient and very friendly - no mean acchievement in a restaurant that was full to the door.
Desserts just elicited further praise from our happy group - an apple and berry crumble with cinnamon ice cream, orange and passionfruit cake and a sticky toffee and chocolate pudding were all just exactly what we wanted - a real pudding hit at the end of a really satisfying meal.
Prices are very reasonable with starters ranging from €7.95 to €10.75 and mains from €19.50 to €25.50. Mucht credit is due to Eugene Long, his partner Sinead Frisby and the front of house team they have assembled in creating such a stylish restaurant that delivers on all fronts: great welcome, great food and great service.

Banyan, Upper Branch Road, Tramore, Co. Waterford. 051 - 330707