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MICHELIN Guide's Point of View

A café by day and a laid-back restaurant in the evening, Kai (Maori for ‘food’), is run with real passion and has a gloriously cluttered, bohemian feel...
Read more on MICHELIN Guide
Bib Gourmand: good quality, good value cooking
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
Meals
Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, After-hours
CUISINES
Irish, European
FEATURES
Reservations, Seating, Highchairs Available, Serves Alcohol, Free Wifi, Accepts Credit Cards, Table Service
Reviews (1,237)
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Traveller rating
841
170
90
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31
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All reviews steak fish fingers crab monkfish cobb salad cakes bread potatoes main course top class galway city lovely atmosphere starters ireland ingredients blackboard desert
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Reviewed 1 week ago

I had dinner here with a colleague based on a recommendation. I was not disappointed. The main course was great as was the desert. Service was really good as well. Overall I thought the price was very fair for that type of quality. I will...absolutely be back to try more..More

Date of visit: January 2023
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Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

4 of us had lunch here recently. The menu is so different it was difficult to chose. The atmosphere the presentation and most importantly the taste was exceptional. You have to visit and you have to try the carrot cake, handsdown the most delicious carrot...cake I've ever tasted. Well done Kai can't wait to come back soon!More

Date of visit: January 2023
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Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Food was good but service was blah and because of this the experience was nothing to write home about. It is unfortunate because the creativity is there but the nonchalant was off putting…and do not get me wrong, been to plenty of places that had...casual vibes that served delicious meals and welcoming vibes. This was not it.More

Date of visit: January 2023
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Stellar meal located in West End area of Galway . Difficult to get a reservation but certainly lived up to the hype . Food was locally sourced , unique ( lavash seaweed in mashed potatoes ) and unbelievably tasty .Celeriac dumpling with fresh crabmeat was...amazing . Everything was a true treat for the tastebuds . Do yourself a favor and save room for Nann's prune pudding . Heaven . Cozy cottage vibe and lovely atmosphere .More

Date of visit: November 2022
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Reviewed 12 December 2022

A recent midweek trip to Galway gave me an opportunity to book a nice eatery to thank a close friend for travelling with me. A quick google search and Kai jumped out. Location seemed perfect and sample menus looked afordable and intriguing coupled with decent...photography leaving the food images pleasing to the eye. A courtosy call came through the morning of our booking checking our 8.30 reservation. Upon arrival we were humbly greeted by a very casual waiter and escorted to our table. The night in question was cold and very frosty outside. It became apparent very quickly this establishment was a very casual hot spot for dining. The clientele loaded in after us leaving the place to full capacity certainly a good sign. However the meal experience wasn't entirely what I expected. The menu comprises of limited choices with vague descriptions. The casual staff weren't briefed enough on its content to explain the dishes. Mains were priced in the mid 30s. A tad expensive for a cheap cut shortrib of beef.. otherwise I couldn't fault it. Impeccable flavours however presentation was a bit rustic. I could see why Kai got a mention in Michelin and also I could see why they will never achieve a star. Dessert was amazing. Pavlova with mascarpone, pistachio and orange segments, delicious and well executed but for 10.50 EURO one would expect so. Our table was draughty and cold the seating not the most comfortable. With food of this quality the ambience let the place down. I felt claustrophic, the neighbours were checking out our mains before they ordered. The presence of a uniform would go down well with waiting staff. Very overpriced for what it is. Such a shame because the food is top class.More

Date of visit: December 2022
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed 27 November 2022 via mobile

More interested in trying to be alrernative and hip 3rd visit this year and menu has gone downhill and staff very dismissive

Date of visit: November 2022
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed 25 November 2022

We were in Ireland for two weeks and there were four restaurants during our whole stay that were beyond amazing and Kai was at the very top. We made this reservation months ahead. Our driver on our first day tour in Galway and the driver...we had when leaving Galway, asked how we got in as it is always booked! It was amazing!! The mortadella appetizer, pork schnitzel, boozy onions on the beef entree, the wine, their staff, it all, such a special, special place. Thank you for one of the best dinners ever!!More

Date of visit: October 2022
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Reviewed 18 November 2022

My wife and I recently visited here whilst having a few days in Galway. We could see the restaurant from our AirBnb and the name sounded familiar, I was able to get a booking for the following day, so glad we did, everything was beautiful,...will definitely be back.More

Date of visit: October 2022
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Reviewed 27 October 2022 via mobile

Possibly the best restaurant in town. Great welcome, limitless Irish brown bread and table water. Highly inventive menu and extremely generous servings, unusual for such fine dining. The crab was sparkling fresh, the monkfish with cauliflower and aioli excellent. Very up to the minute wine...list….the Veneto garganeta was unexpectedly unfiltered and verging on ‘orange’ but was delicious. Loved the muscovado set cream and apple and bramble gelato.More

Date of visit: October 2022
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed 27 October 2022 via mobile

I’ve written several reviews of Kai, each time I visit Galway…this wondrous kitchen is a MUST do on any visitor’s list. From the floor staff to the hands-on manager-owner, and most importantly the chefs extraordinaire, all exude welcome and professionalism but with much warmth. The...dinner we had was sublime; I had the hake which was cooked to perfection and served in its clear broth, with giant butter-bean like legumes and pistou which is a magic combo. Himself indulged in the monkfish, again, cooked perfectly…moist yet seared and cooked though with a hint of Middle Eastern spices. Don’t get me started on theirs cakes and sweets…best eaten when they open at 11am, with a morning coffee…More

Date of visit: October 2022
Helpful?2  
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Reviewed 30 September 2022

I have eaten in Kai on numerous occasions over the years and always found the food to be fabulous. However today I tried to have lunch there with a friend. We were told we would have to wait approx 10 min as they were full....About 15 min after we arrived another couple arrived and put down their names too. One table now became available . A lady with a buggy arrived about 25 min after we arrived and asked us had we our names submitted? She waited inside and was given the second table that became available. About 5 min later her partner arrived and joined her. The first vacant table (15min) remained vacant so we left. After eating in another restaurant I rang and spoke to the manager Craig who was the person who took our names originally. He would not accept he had done anything wrong and that he was running the restaurant and that I had left when he came looking to seat us. The food is probably still top drawer but his behaviour and the way he received my complaint is indefensible. I would also ask the question. Would you sit down at a table knowing you were a queue jumper ahead of two couples?More

Date of visit: September 2022
Helpful?7  
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Reviewed 29 September 2022 via mobile

I love this place, they always have new things on the menu, amazing food and options for veggies and vegans. Also the coffee and cake are fantastic.

Date of visit: September 2022
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Reviewed 23 September 2022

I will be and cannot wait to return to this gem of a Restaurant. The food was superb, and the service was truly excellent. 5 Stars all day long.

Date of visit: September 2022
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Reviewed 25 August 2022

This restaurant is a bit off the beaten paths in Galway but is worth finding. We were a large group and were reserved for the intimate upstairs room, which was charming and special. Service was outstanding and food and wine even more so. My wife...and I have eaten all over the world, which we have plenty to compare; this was in the top 10% of restaurants relative to price, etc.More

Date of visit: August 2022
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Reviewed 21 August 2022 via mobile

Even tho this took place months ago, my experience here still haunts me to this day! First red flag was that we were not given menus and we were expected to squint at the unkempt blackboard from afar, which strained my delicate eyes!! We ended...up ordering these overpriced fish fingers between the two of us which came with one small sad slice of bread, but the butter was in a cute circle so it kind of made up for it. We then got 3 MINUSCULE fish fingers and to be quite Frank you would honestly be better off with the birds eye ones. Not to mention we qued for half an hour you could imagine our dissatisfaction. Also the name and description that we could hardly make out on the blackboard was extremely misleading and this dish was 90% salad and 10% fish finger, the vibes were just off. Overall, this experience left a sour taste in my mouth and me and my company shall take our business elsewhere!!!More

Date of visit: January 2022
Helpful?2  
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Questions & Answers
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Marie-Therese M
31 October 2019|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from Mary W | Reviewed this property |
Approx 25 for a main and about 10 for starter or desert maybe slightly less but as always dependent on what you choose, maybe 50 euros a head as a guide?
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KAI, Galway - Menu, Prices & Restaurant Reviews - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Kai

Kai is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travellers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 4.5
  • Value: 4
  • Atmosphere: 4.5