Caprice Café

Caprice CaféCaprice Café

Situated on the corner of Church Lane and Market Street, Caprice is a labour of love for well-known Galwegian team Vicky and John Casey. It’s clear from the outset that a great deal of thought has gone into the design, which could have been ripped from a glossy interiors magazine. It’s stunning: bright and airy, with cool, icy blues softened by natural textures and an energising flood of natural light.

The spacious layout lends itself to groups, which made up the bulk of the clientele. With a considered wine list and heaving shelves of prosecco, it’s probably popular with local office-workers in the evening. We got a head-start on the crowd and began with two glasses of a crisp, easy-drinking Italian Pinot Grigio (Cecilia Beretta, €6.75).

Caprice’s extensive brunch menu enthralled us, but we were dining later in the day. We had planned on sharing mussels to start, but this sold out, so we opted for a fun, somewhat irreverent alternative: delicately spiced buffalo chicken wings, (€12.95). The portion was ample, and came with a creamy Cashel blue dip, which proved necessary, as the wings had suffered from sitting too long beneath a salamander.

For his main, my companion chose a pasta special (€12.50), which entailed a pretty jumble of fat, juicy tiger prawns, cherry tomatoes, sautéed spinach, black olives and coils of soft linguine. The tomato sauce could have benefited from a touch more seasoning, but the dish was fresh and light, perfect for a quick lunch.

Having opted for Mexican fish tacos (€13.95), I tucked into four fried fish goujons (haddock, I believe). They were wrapped in soft tortillas, stuffed with fresh, peppery salad and drizzled with a ‘mojito mayonnaise’ which did indeed lend a refreshing citrus tang.

The staff are smiling, and genial, but further training is necessary. I heard a neighbouring diner ask about the origin of the goat’s cheese: no idea. I enquired about the type of fish inside my tacos: no idea. We couldn’t identify a dessert from the trolley: no idea.

By the time we encountered the latter challenge, I gave up, and dug into the mystery confection. It was a cake, of sorts, with layers of soft sponge and coffee-scented cream, pebble-dashed with crushed nuts and topped with a delicate curl of milk chocolate. Whatever it was, it was excellent. Our coffees were a no-show, and eventually, we asked for them to go (the staff kindly comped these and the dessert as a result). However, like many things in life, they were very much worth the wait. The brand is called ‘Really Good Organic Coffee’ and on this occasion, the description certainly matched the product. The brew – 100% Peruvian Arabica – was smooth and full, with a clean, balanced finish, rounding off the meal on a thoroughly enjoyable high.

We loved the fresh, contemporary design, eclectic menu and superb coffee
We spent €52.90 on a starter, two mains and two wines

Caprice Café

1 Church Lane, Galway Tel: +353(91)564781 www.caprice.ie
Open: From 8am Monday-Saturday, from 11am Sunday