Myself and my partner ate at Sargasso last Friday (23rd August) on our last night in Donegal after 10 fantastic days in Ireland's most beautiful county. We took our hosts out for dinner and as my partner's cousin knows Head Chef Martin Hernandez through his work in the school on Arranmore Island, him and his food came highly recommended. We have eaten at other restaurants in Letterkenny (Chilli Shaker and The Yellow Pepper) and been really impressed so Sargasso had a lot to live up to and it achieved that and so much more. As there was 6 of us and our 17 month old baby in our party we were seated on the large round table in the centre of the restaurant which was the perfect "people watching" spot and made for a lovely atmosphere. The waitresses were friendly and attentive and were quick to find answers to any queries that they didn't already know. We skipped the starters and decided en masse to opt for a main course and dessert combination but shortly after our orders were taken we were presented with a delightful amuse bouche of homemade vegetable soup which was the perfect accompaniment to the fresh pesto and wheaten bread that had been brought previously. 4 of us opted for the 12oz Sirloin served with spinach puree, onions and mushrooms and a pepper sauce, while 2 of us went with chips as the chosen accompaniment, myself and my partner ordered Champ. I have a very big "When in Rome..." philosophy when I eat out on holiday so have had Champ in a number of restaurants in Ireland and this was the best I have ever tasted. A generous quantity of both spring onion and white onion in a superb creamy mash potato was the perfect accompaniment to the sublime sirloin steak which had been cooked to perfection. Our 9 year old loved his fish and chips from the varied children's menu and my partners cousin thoroughly enjoyed her chicken pasta. Our 16 month old son was not forgotten though and his "Baby Bowl" of homemade mashed potato and gravy was gorgeous enough to silence him completely, which is a rare feat! I ordered the Nut Cluster dessert which was 3 generous scoops of delightful vanilla ice cream rolled in 3 different types of nuts, and served with chocolate and caramel sauces. I could have done with a touch more sauce but on the whole it was a really good dessert. My partner's Eton Mess was an ingenious twist on a classic and was very well received. Our 9 year old has eyes bigger than his belly and ordered the chocolate brownie from the childrens menu which, to my delight, was too much for him so I had the pleasure of finishing it! The bill was more than reasonable and as with most restaurants we have visited in Donegal, represented fantastic value for money for the food we had.
Martin Hernandez paid us a visit at the end of the meal to chat to us and see how we had enjoyed the meal and it was really good to chat to him and tell him how pleased we were. I hope he was as well received at the Taste Of Donegal Festival over the weekend as he was by us, we will definately be back!
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