I’m in Galway, Republic of Ireland on a secret mission (Codename Blackbird) and today I stopped in at the cathedral to be confronted in the Chapel of the Resurrection with a mosaic depicting John F Kennedy, at prayer with the Irish martyr Pádraig Pearse, shot during the Easter Rising.
Lunch a block or so away at Re’Nao, a Chinese restaurant serving Xi’an food, which was authentic when I ordered it because I knew what was supposed to be in it. The restaurant offers so many customisation options on its food that it is possible for the overly picky client to turn everything into something completely different. I also had an authentic roujiamou meat bun (“rogermoores” as they are known in our house), although there were so many Have It Your Way options that I could have easily transformed it into a chicken bap with ketchup.
Re’Nao was one of three Xi’an establishments withing spitting distance of one another in Galway, all owned by the same Xi’an expat. For more about Chinese food in Ireland, particularly the never-ending quest for authenticity, you can click on my interview with Sean Moncrieff on Newstalk.
Jonathan Clements is the author of The Emperor’s Feast: A History of Chinese Food in Twelve Meals.