About Martin O'Donnell

Martin trained and worked in many of Galway’s and Ireland’s finest restaurants before taking up position of Head Chef at The Pins Gastro Bar. Under his direction, it quickly became one of Galway’s top casual eateries; winning ‘The Best Gastro-Pub in Ireland’ and numerous other accolades. The Pins was recently acclaimed with its first culinary Star Rosette from The Automobile Association’s Food Academy.

Martin took on the role of Executive Head Chef of The Twelve to bring his talents to West at The Twelve. West has gone on to become a finalist in the ‘Best Hotel Restaurant in Ireland’ and has won a Gold Medal Finalist award for ‘Best Bistro in Ireland.’  It has also been awarded two culinary rosettes for creative excellence.

With a style of cooking that focuses on local and seasonal ingredients – traditional dishes with a contemporary twist – Martin’s passion is using local producers who are passionate about their produce. True to the region, True to the season.

Pan roasted Cod Loin, Crunchy Nori, Warm Poached Oyster and Dillisk sauce


800 g fresh cod loin pinboned skin on

Tablespoon vegetable oil

250 g Foraged fresh nori , or fresh seaweed washed

300 g gluten free flour


10 g citric acid powder or vinegar powder

12 fresh Galway oysters opened

1 shallot, finely diced

50 g best quality butter

50 ml white wine

100 ml cream

250 g cold diced butter, cuinneog is ideal

Tsp freshly powdered dillisk powder.


Firstly toss the fresh nori in gluten free flour and then deep fry at 180 c for 1 minute, remove from fryer and season with salt and vinegar powder, allow to cool.

For the sauce:

Cook the shallot in a knob of butter for few minutes until tender on a low heat, add the wine and reduce by half. Then add the cream and reduce again by half.

Remove from the heat and whisk in the diced butter slowly until it blends in with the emulsion and creates a lovely sauce consistency similar to cream. Do not re heat as it will split, keep in a warm (not hot) place.

Shuck the oysters add them at this stage including all juices, and the warmth of the sauce will nicely warm the oysters.

Add tsp dillisk and taste, add a tiny squeeze of fresh lemon juice if desired.

For the fish: 

Always try to buy fish from a good quality fishmonger and ask them to scale the fish so the skin will get nice and crispy

To cook the fish place it skin side down on a hot pan (ovenproof)  with 2 tbsp of vegetable oil for 3 minutes or until the skin is crispy.  Place it into a hot oven for approx 5 minutes with the flesh side up

Remove from the oven and turn it over so the skin is up.

To plate:

Place the fish on a plate and drizzle with the sauce and the oysters (3 per person)

Top with crunchy nori and enjoy with a nice glass of white wine, Percorino works great