Tra Ban steak and seafood restaurant in Strandhill in Co. Sligo is a recent winner in the RAI awards; Best Chef in Sligo went to their head chef Julian Regneres. The restaurant is on the Main Street that leads down to the white sands (hence the name) of Strandhill, where surfers from all over Ireland and the world come to experience the waves. The dining room is on the first floor over the Strand Pub, and enjoys lovely views over the bay.
The restaurant is casual but smart, with well spaced tables and chairs, sea scapes on the walls and a row of windows that look out on some of the best views in Ireland. The menu offers some of the very best seafood dishes, as well as plenty to keep the carnivore happy, including consistently good locally sourced steaks and Sligo lamb.
If seafood is what you fancy, then starters such as fresh Mullaghmore crab meat Quenelle or the smoked salmon sushi, which is smoked salmon rolled and stuffed with crabmeat and served with a wasabi cream, are bound to please. These dishes show off some of the more adventurous food available, but there are plenty of more classic combinations.
For main courses, it’s difficult to see past the chargrilled Mullaghmore lobster tail on a bed of spring onion risotto, which is a dish that reminds me of one of Barcelona’s great seafood restaurant, Xiringuito in Garraf; where a similar dish is a perennial favourite. However if you do fancy meat, the beef can be reefed with the addition of the lobster tail; a surf and turf for wave-riding gourmands perhaps?
Service is laid back and friendly and staff are invariably local and happy to share knowledge with inquisitive travellers who have only recently discovered this picturesque gem of a spot. Finish off the evening with Cedric’s tartlet and some excellent coffee, and then go downstairs to enjoy some of the great local musicians and maybe walk off the meal down by the sea shore. Tra Ban is a destination for great seafood, and Strandhill is just a great destination. Almost as good a combo as the lobster and steak. Almost.