The Saddle Room at The Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin 2

Monday of the Halloween bank holiday weekend and we were wandering in town, browsing in the shops with no real plan for the day other than we wanted to have a nice lunch somewhere. We ended up in The Shelbourne Hotel, a little bit by accident as a lot of places were closed but we were so glad we did as we had such a wonderful enjoyable lunch stretching into dinner, as we were there for a few hours.

The Saddle Room at The Shelbourne Hotel
The Saddle Room at The Shelbourne Hotel
The Saddle Room, The Shelbourne Hotel
The Saddle Room, The Shelbourne Hotel

We had no reservation made and it was quite busy when we arrived at The Saddle Room, we were offered a small booth table in the front part next to the oyster bar and open kitchen. This was perfect for us, being able to watch the comings and goings and enjoy nice food and wine. The lunch menu offers two courses at €23 or three courses at €27 and quite reasonable choice with 5 starters, 5 mains and 5 desserts, along with sides. On Sundays the lunch menu is a little more (2 Courses €26 | 3 Courses €31). For me this menu represents excellent value bearing in mind the food, setting and service.

Lunch Menu at The Saddle Room at The Shelbourne Hotel
Lunch Menu at The Saddle Room at The Shelbourne Hotel

A basket of warm bread was delivered first and then to start for me, the Shelbourne Shrimp Cocktail, Iceberg Lettuce, Marie Rose Sauce and for him, Cardamom Smoked Castletownbere Salmon, Lemon Puree, Liscannor Crab.

Bread - The Saddle Room, The Shelbourne Hotel
Bread – The Saddle Room, The Shelbourne Hotel
Shrimp Cocktail at The Saddle Room at The Shelbourne Hotel
Shrimp Cocktail – The Saddle Room, The Shelbourne Hotel

Sometimes the traditional, simple dishes are best and my prawn cocktail was truly wonderful. Big tasty prawns, at the right temperature smothered in the perfect amount of marie rose sauce atop crisp shredded iceberg lettuce; I loved it. Yes it’s simple but sometimes that makes it harder to get right but this hit all the right notes. His salmon was beautifully presented and while the salmon itself was wonderful, the liscannor crab really elevated the dish.

Smoked Salmon - The Saddle Room, The Shelbourne Hotel
Smoked Salmon – The Saddle Room, The Shelbourne Hotel
Pork Belly - The Saddle Room, The Shelbourne Hotel
Pork Belly – The Saddle Room, The Shelbourne Hotel

Onto main courses, we both chose the same thing which doesn’t often happen – Grannagh pork Belly, Carrot Puree, Salt Baked Turnip and we added a side of baby potatoes. I was tempted by the Kilmore Quay Cod or the crab risotto, but the pork won out in the end.

Pork Belly - The Saddle Room, The Shelbourne Hotel
Pork Belly – The Saddle Room, The Shelbourne Hotel
Baby Potatoes - The Saddle Room, The Shelbourne Hotel
Baby Potatoes – The Saddle Room, The Shelbourne Hotel

Perfectly cooked, tender, not too much fat on top, balanced by the carrot and turnip and the ideal accompaniment in the baby potatoes, it was delicious.

Lunch at The Saddle Room, The Shelbourne Hotel
Lunch at The Saddle Room, The Shelbourne Hotel

We started with a couple of glasses of La Plasir Chardonnay from France (€8.50 ea) and followed this with a bottle of Heritage Reserve Pinot Noir De Loach from California (€47); a light red yet with enough weight to work well with the pork belly.

The Saddle Room, The Shelbourne Hotel
The Saddle Room, The Shelbourne Hotel

For dessert, a warm chocolate and raspberry tart with pistachio ice cream, mostly for him but I did have a taste…and two espressos served with little cookies (€3.80 ea).

Dessert - The Saddle Room, The Shelbourne Hotel
Dessert – The Saddle Room, The Shelbourne Hotel
Dessert - The Saddle Room, The Shelbourne Hotel
Dessert – The Saddle Room, The Shelbourne Hotel
Espresso & Cookies - The Saddle Room, The Shelbourne Hotel
Espresso & Cookies – The Saddle Room, The Shelbourne Hotel

As much as we enjoyed the food, it was also the ambiance, the chatter from the kitchen, the comings and goings of people and staff that added to the experience. We had a very comfortable booth for two, and we were very happy to linger and chat, eat and drink, and while away a bank holiday afternoon here.

Oyster Bar - The Saddle Room, The Shelbourne Hotel
Oyster Bar – The Saddle Room, The Shelbourne Hotel

And as it was the Halloween bank holiday, the hotel was also suitably scarily decorated too…boo!

Halloween at The Shelbourne Hotel
Halloween at The Shelbourne Hotel

The Saddle Room at The Shelbourne Dublin | 27 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2 | 01 6634500

www.shelbournedining.ie@theshelbourne

We recently enjoyed an overnight stay in The Shelbourne which you can read about here also.

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