The food in Loam is based around the region and season and does well to capture the current climate. Our tasting menu opened with a course of tender beef tartare, with a rich semi set egg yolk which was lightened and lifted with salted gooseberries. The next dish showed what Loam do best, an uncluttered clarity with big, but well defined, flavours. Salt cod, perfectly cooked, with kale, earthy salsify and a fantastic shitake mushroom broth – a really well thought out dish. This was followed by a pleasing offering of delicious pumpkin served in its own juices. A dish of mallard, perfectly pink, with earthy beetroot and rose, which gave it interesting fragrance, also captured the flavours and colours of autumn and was another delightful highlight on our six course dinner.
Too often chefs are putting herbage on a dish for aesthetics, but they do not add anything. In Loam they were used well and each one added something relevant. This was evident in a lovely dessert of carrot caramel and sea buckthorn which was elevated with the use of tarragon which it gave an aniseed note – quite clever. The last second dessert was even better though. An intense, and quite grown-up, whiskey ice-cream which on the palate gave way to a taste of burnt hay and worked fantastically with a barley and rosehip sauce.
Enda McEvoy’s food is accomplished, very well thought out with some clever touches that captured the landscape and climate. The flavours are big, but each ingredient stands out and everything on the plate is needed.
A lot of restaurants these days claim to have a Nordic or a Scandinavian design, but in truth very few do and most are just trying to cash in on a trend. However, Loam is one dining room that actually does have this sleek, spacious and minimalist look. It felt a bit derivative, but it is a nice, comfortable space to spend a few hours.
€60 for this six course tasting menu felt like excellent value and €90 with well-matched wine pairings was definitely worth the extra. The service was decent, with knowledgeable servers, but lacked a bit of warmth at times.
We couldn't fail to be impressed with Loam; a restaurant serving seasonal, regional and delicious food, prepared with skill, care and by a talented kitchen.