RAW at Radisson Blu Galway

RAW at Radisson Blue Galway

There has been an ‘Ethnic Restaurant’ category in our awards since their inception in the early ‘90s. Originally interpreted as ‘oriental’, it now reflects the diversity of dining experience in contemporary Ireland to include all restaurants that truly represent any specific culture or cultures. 

When we started our awards, in the early ‘90s, Ireland was far from being a multi-cultural society and ‘ethnic’ in restaurant terms meant basically Chinese or Indian.

What a different story today, when we have a bewildering choice of world cuisines to choose from, including many far better Chinese and (especially) Indian restaurants than existed then.

One cuisine that was fairly slow to establish was Japanese, although there were several outstanding early examples - including Ayumi-Ya in Dublin, of course, and the wonderful Shiro Japanse Dinner House at Ahakista.

The arrival of Wagamama caused a stir in Dublin in 1998, but new branches were slow to follow and, although sushi bars are now popular in the cosmopolitan capital, the idea of dining out on almost exclusively cold food remains very ‘foreign’ to many Irish people.

It was a brave move to open ‘RAW - sushi in the sky’ in a mainstream Galway hotel even just a few years ago years ago - but the Radisson Blu, Galway chose well with their gifted Japanese-born chef, Hisashi Kumagai, who has a well-earned following in the area.

Against the odds perhaps, ‘Kuma’, as he is known, has delighted all - whether old sushi hands or new to the genre - with his exquisite offerings, and it’s good to see this excellent restaurant thriving.


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