This is a younger sister of Pearla na Mara in Oranmore, where Justina Kocjan and Kamel Ourdache have earned a well deserved reputation for good cooking, good value and caring service - all qualities that they have brought with them to their second restaurant in 'Galway's West End'.
As in Oranmore, the interior is modern, simple and bright; a few stools at the bar provide somewhere to wait if your table is not ready, and there is an area to one side that has lower lighting and a more intimate ambience, making it especially popular in the evening.
Very different but equally carefully thought out menus are offered at lunch and dinner, with a strong offering of daily specials, especially fish, on a board in the evening - and always with Kamel’s cooking bringing a little Mediterranean sunshine to the Irish ingredients that he credits with pride.Pearla na Mara is recognised by the Irish Coeliac Society and special dietary requirements of all kinds are taken very seriously. Excellent baking is a highlight, and gluten-free bread is always available.
Daytime meals are quite casual - a good soup of the day, a range of salads, and simple hot dishes like fish & chips and minute steaks or penne pasta - and in the evening they offer appealing variations on popular dishes including good steaks, a range of fish and imaginative vegetarian dishes. Menus are not overlong and ordinary sounding dishes can be memorable thanks to the freshness and skilful cooking.
Excellent desserts are well worth saving room for - and always include (at least) one superb homemade parfait of the day - and the coffee that follows is also outstanding.
Their own in-house-filtered bottled water, still and sparkling, is available without restriction on quantity for €1 per table. Also, in addition to the wine list, Bring Your Own is an option at a very reasonable corkage charge.
An interesting and informative wine list includes little extras like kir and mulled wne and a good range of moderately priced wines by the glass.
Although it is not (yet) one of Galway's best known restaurants, Pearla na Mara is well worth seeking out.