See what I did with the headline? Boom boom (groan!) With all the cute cafes, hotly tipped restaurants and non-Starbucksy coffee shops in Dublin, it’s easy to overlook the restaurants in the city’s many fine hotels when it comes to eating out. I’m as guilty of this as the next person so last week it was a rare treat to sample dining at one of Dublin’s popular hotel picks, none other than the Hilton. Was it worth writing home about? You bet.
Located 2 minutes from the Charlemont Luas stop, the Hilton Dublin is a stroll from town and a handy walk along the canal to Rathmines Village so it’s got location in the bag from the get go. If you’ve walked past the Hilton many times, maybe glancing into the restaurant to fix your hair as you go (yes, I’m talking about myself here), and you’re wondering why you should make a dinner reservation now, let me tell you. In the last 6 months the hotel has nabbed a new chef, Jason Bunyan, who spent a decade cooking up a storm on cruise ships. With Bunyan firmly at the helm, Uisce, the Hilton’s quietly sophisticated restaurant, is getting a sparkly new menu which I was lucky enough to sample.
As I mention in probably every post, I’m vegetarian so I kicked things off with a goats cheese pannacotta with beetroot carpaccio and an interesting vegetable terrine. Some people find goats cheese a snoozefest but I live for the stuff so I was in heaven with the goats cheese in breadcrumb in particular. Paired with a glass of Swallow’s Tale from South Africa and dinner was off with a bang.
If you’re not veggie, don’t fret, you’ll be well looked after. The Dublin Bay Prawn Bouillabaisse (a seafood and fish medley in a saffron broth) looked appealing even to my non-pescetarian eyes or you can start with a ham hock terrine with the goats cheese I just gushed over. Next up was the Wild Mushroom soup topped with frothy truffle foam which – with about 8 varieties of mushroom thrown in – gives mushroom soup a new edge.
For main courses, top choices include tender beef ribs with applewood smoked bacon, duck breast with saffron fondant, seared seabass with vine ripened tomato salsa and more. Are you drooling yet? Back on the veggie front, I can heartily recommend the mushroom pie with giant couscous and salsa. 5 days later and I’m still full (I wish I was joking).
And finally – the greatest course of all, dessert! As a self-confessed dessert fiend, the Eton Mess was obviously my favourite course. Forget your standard Eton mess you can get anywhere, the Hilton version is a prettier affair with slices of meringue, Chantilly cream and fresh strawberries all delicately arranged on the plate. Delish.
Even if you call Dublin home and you’re not checking into the Hilton, Uisce restaurant is well worth a try for a post-work pick-me-up dinner. A word of warning – wear loose trousers because if you ate what I ate, you’ll be rolled out of here. If the carefully selected wines with dinner don’t quench your thirst, Sli bar is right across the hall so you can make a night of it. Just as well the Luas is right on the hotel’s doorstep, right?
Go to Dublin.hilton.com to find out more about the Hilton Dublin.