Stepping through the enormous glass doors of the InterContinental Dublin, always evokes a sense of occasion. From the impeccably presented doorman to the warm welcome at reception, each step you take envelops you further into the opulence that awaits. General Manager Nicky Logue runs a slick operation with his innate sense of style eminating throughout.
We had booked dinner in The Lobby Lounge. All health and safety procedures were firmly in place with antibacterial wipes and sanitiser on every table. With menus in hand and a pre-dinner cocktail ordered, we were ready to spend the next hour and forty-five minutes spoiling ourselves.
A succinct menu reflective of the festive season made ordering a very straightforward affair. The Table d’hôte Menu runs at €45 for two courses and €50 for three courses. Very fair prices for dining in a Five Star Luxury Hotel.
To start we ordered O’Mahony’s Pressed Ham Hock and Raviolo of Confit Duck.
The pressed ham hock terrine had a really sublime balance of flavour. Little nuggets of salty ham hock accentuated by the tangy addition of Pickled Roscoff and the sweetness of Noor Date Gel. Shards of Sourdough Crisps proved perfect for scooping this tastebud tickler.
Raviolo of Confit Duck was a welcome change to how we normally see Duck presented as a starter. This was such a beautifully executed dish, we would happily eat multiples of this as a main course. Juicy, shredded duck encased in perfectly cooked pasta with Chestnut Puree and herbaceous Thyme Velouté topped of with a more than generous helping of Black Winter Truffle made this something of a dream dish.
After such gorgeous starters we were excited for what was yet to come. For our main courses we ordered Pork, King Oyster & Balsamic and Traditional Turkey & Ham.
Every unctuous ounce of this meaty Pork Belly treat was devoured feverishly. A layer of crackling that made a distinct shattering sound only served to heighten the all round deliciousness even further. Served with a helping of creamy Potato Gratin and King Oyster Mushroom. Least we forget the sensational Pork Scratching that topped this magnificent dish.
Oh how the traditionalist in us loves a good solid Turkey and Ham dinner. We are genuine fans of Turkey all year round. A very generous helping of Turkey with Jameson Glazed Ham smothered in the most delicious Turkey Jus. Chestnut & Cranberry Stuffing the perfect platemate for these festive meats, a dainty little veg parcel of carrot, parsnip and tenderstem along with buttered poached potatoes. This truly was a Christmas feast that satisfied.
Dessert was far too tempting to pass,as we had spotted a table across the room receiving dessert plates that looked utterly delightful. Ordering Tea with Milk and Hazelnut and Dark Chocolate. The names of each dessert not really giving too much away. What appeared on the table was two fun and fabulous plates.
Tea with Milk was comprised of an Earl Grey Mousse, Milk Panacotta and Orange Shortbread. The Earl Grey Mousse far lighter and moreish than we could have imagined. Zesty Orange Shortbread served to harmonise all of the flavours at play in this terrific trio.
Hazelnut and Dark Chocolate was presented in a fun and festive fashion. Dark Chocolate Mousse with Praline Bavarois atop a Chocolate Hazelnut Crisp. Deeply decadent and capable of curbing the most intense of chocolate cravings in a single mouthful.
Dinner in the InterContinental Dublin is a really lovely way to spend an evening at any time of the year. We really look forward to brighter days ahead when we can revisit and indulge in some more of the fabulous offerings of this Ballsbridge beauty.
WRITTEN BY KEITH MAHON & OLIVIA BYRNE