I have been following the very funny and talented local Irish chef Martin Anderson on SnapChat for quite a few months now, so I was intrigued and very eager to try out his new restaurant Sonder as it is only a short twenty five minute drive from my home.
I had after all spent countless weeks watching on as he overseen the building being gutted, completely transforming the previous premises, from a hair salon to a chic, modern restaurant. I sort of felt like I was part of the whole experience already!
So a few weeks after Sonder opened on a beautiful sunny day I decided to take Cora my eldest child as a treat, after her school exams were over. We made the short journey over the border from Derry~Londonderry (Northern Ireland) to Letterkenny in Donegal (Ireland) and easily found the restaurant without having to go into the city centre – such a relief as I had baby Max with me too who had just woken up and the pressure was on to get him fed before he went into an almighty meltdown!
I could tell instantly from the outside and the high quality finish that Chef Martin is a bit of a perfectionist (I won’t lie I was beginning to get nervous at how much this ‘treat’ was going to cost me!) In we went…
I was immediately impressed with the fact that the doors were wide as my Quinny Buzz pram is quite cumbersome and the wheels are forever getting caught in doorways! But not here, it boded well.
We got a big, warm welcome from the main man himself as soon as we walked through the door, he was chatting to some customers and ushered us in, showing us to our seat personally, which was lovely.
It was almost like meeting a celebrity after watching his Snaps everyday! With a book already under his belt, Fat Chef Slim, the fun loving, inspirational chef has detailed his impressive five stone weight loss journey, giving tips and advice for others along the way. He is also a columnist for local newspaper The Donegal Daily, writing weekly healthy food recipes, and talks on local radio station, Highland Radio one day a week too.
He was every bit as friendly in person and was touched when I told him that we had travelled especially just to sample his cooking!
As it was early in the morning we ordered off the breakfast menu. There was so much variety to choose from and there was something to suit all palettes or lifestyle choices – with Luca’s cow’s milk protein allergy, I am always on the look out for things that would suit him too. In the end (after a lot of eenie meany miney mo) we both settled on the vegetable omelette.
From our vantage point, being near the counter we could watch as the food was being freshly prepared – right infront of your eyes, from the prep stage to the plate!
Cora and I were both amazed at how good our food looked when it was served, the sheer amount of fresh vegetables on the plate was fantastic. The generous portion size was perfect – we love our food and Sonder didn’t disappoint! It was divine – by far the nicest, biggest, fluffiest, yummiest omelette I have ever tasted!
Sitting back we ate at our leisure, with some of the friendly staff coming over to check if everything was to our liking and taking time to play with baby Max which was so nice. It was a lovely, cosy atmosphere, light, bright and airy with the sound of happy, cheerful voices of the other customers and staff around us, adding to the ambience.
We each really enjoyed the food very much, I finished every last bite! (Cora nearly did too, give or take a few vegetables) We stayed full up for hours after and it didn’t feel heavy in our tummies.
Just as I finished eating, right on cue Max woke up needing a nappy change so off to the toilets we went. I loved the bright quirky arty work on the toilet doors – not your typical toilet signs – which added a nice personal touch.
The baby changing/disabled toilet door had a picture of a man, woman and baby – I liked how it embraced the whole family -other shops take note, sometimes dads change nappies too!
We couldn’t leave without trying the tray-bakes, they were much too tempting! Displayed at the counter, that freshly baked smell was just way too good to resist, so we didn’t deny ourselves.
We chose the gluten and dairy free chocolate brownies to take home one each for everyone, so that little Luca wouldn’t be left out. The smell coming from the box was just so good we gobbled ours up in the car and had to hide the rest in the boot so we wouldn’t give in and eat them all too!
We were more than happy with the price – it wasn’t at all expensive like I expected, (especially when we tasted the high quality of the food) infact it was very reasonably priced!
We will definitely be back for more!
Pleas note: this is not an ad, just our honest opinion.