The Merrion Hotel is the epicenter of festive and luxurious dining in Dublin. The Hotel, located in Merrion Square, is steps or minutes away from Grafton Street, Trinity College/The Book of Kells, and Chester Beatty. There are several dining options inside from an intimate cocktail bar to a two star Michelin restaurant. We dined at The Garden Room on this particular evening. The Garden Room, led by Executive Chef Ed Cooney, serves delightfully whimsical artisan dishes. The dishes quite literally pop off the plate. Not only is everything so delicious, the presentation and unique concepts are hard to come by elsewhere.
The Garden Room is family friendly, and lovingly pays great attention to the menu for their youngest guests. Their lunch and dinner menu includes diverse selections like a Grilled Dubliner Cheddar Cheese and Baby Tomato Toastie, and Steamed Filet of Cod.
There are lovely garden elements throughout from the upholstered chairs to the menus themselves. For the holiday season, there is the added twinkle of lights and touches of festivity.
The all day dining menu starts with complimentary homemade sourdough and multi-seed bread. The bread is served with Glenilen Irish country butter. Glenilen butter is the best butter I have ever had. A true testament to this is: Ireland is the only country in the world where I generously spread my bread with plenty of butter. I was introduced to Glenilen’s butter during my last visit and it was a real treat to have it again.
Their cocktail menu is like a little storybook. Each cocktail is divided into ‘chapters’ depending upon your taste, the mood, or time of day. Heading to the theatre? Choose the Classic Champagne Cocktail or Negroni. ‘One for the Road’? The Hanky Panky or Vieux Carre are perfect ways to end the night. I chose the Sherry Cobbler: Fino (dry) Sherry wine, fresh lemon and orange juice, a touch of sugar and float of port wine to finish (€16). Served with crush ice, this was ideal after a long day’s walk while shopping on Grafton Street and walking through St. Stephen’s Green.
The Garden Room Dinner Menu
Thanksgiving specials were being served from Monday, November 25th-30th. We chose the Friendly Farmer Irish Roast Turkey (€28.50). The Turkey was served with Thyme and Apricot Stuffing, Roast Potatoes, Pumpkin Crush with Marshmallows, Chestnut Purée, Brussels Sprouts and Cranberry Sauce. The turkey was perfectly moist and the chestnut purée and thyme stuffing were cheery tastes to the start of the season.
For starters, we selected the Kataifi Prawns with Mango Salsa (€14.50); and the Caesar Salad with Cos Lettuce, Cashew and Caper Caesar Dressing, Savoury Chickpea Croutons and Hemp Seeds (€15). The Prawns were recommended by our waiter. I normally would not choose prawns as my first selection but I was delighted I did. The Kataifi provided that delicate crunch with a slightly sweet balance, pairing beautifully with the refreshing mango salsa. The Caesar Salad quite simply was the best my guest had ever had.
Additional and notable dinner menu main courses are the Seared Filet of Turbot, Dry Aged Thornhill Duck Breast, and Steamed Clare Island Organic Salmon.
The Garden Room serves homemade ice cream and sorbet with flavors like milk chocolate chip and honeycomb. Sorbet flavors include mango, lemon, champagne, and raspberry sorbet (€3, per scoop).
Our dessert selections were the Salted Caramel Tart with Popcorn Ice Cream and Dark Chocolate Crumble (€15); and the Kefir Coconut Milk Panna Cotta with Honey, Fermented Strawberries, and Yuzu Sesame Seeds (€15). That salted caramel is one of a kind and each bite was dramatic and luscious. The textures and sweet crunch of the popcorn were a memorable and tasty performance, one I want to experience again soon. We also loved the Coconut Milk Panna Cotta that was smartly paired with fermented strawberries. The balance was spot on.
An epic Banana Split with marshmallows and chocolate sauce was the top selection. Other choices include homemade Jelly and Ice Cream Sandwiches, and Fruit Skewers with White Chocolate Sauce.
At The Garden Room Restaurant, vegan dishes are properly noted.
The Garden Room Restaurant at The Merrion Hotel serves breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner. Reservations in advance for dinner are strongly encouraged.
+353 1 603 0608