Uisce Restaurant is in the Hilton Hotel, on the banks of the Grand Canal near Charlemont Street. Head chef Chad Byrne has tried over the past couple of years to make it more that just a hotel dining room, with innovative menus and prices. It’s fair to say he has succeeded.
The dining room looks out onto the canal, and as we sat there on a Thursday evening, I was thinking it is actually a very nice view. No doubt in summer, with the trees in full bloom and the swans swimming by, it is beautiful. I went with my daughter Abigail who just finished her second year Food Science exams, and is becoming quite the foodie in her own right. Seated at our window table, we soon had our sparkling water and a good selection of homemade breads.
The menu is short enough to be really clear, and long enough to give good choice, and I was stuck on three starters we liked the sound of; pan fried Irish scallops, Carlingford oysters or the beef Carpaccio. Abigail fancied the scallops, while I decided on the Carpaccio. I should point out the starters run from €5 for the soup, up to a maximum of €9.50 for the scallops, with the other options all around €6-€7, not a price range you expect to find in a four star hotel in the city.
The main courses offer a selection choice of meat, fish and game. There is Blossom from Clogherhead, Clare island organic salmon, Pat Casey’s Sandy and Black pork, Kerry Mountain Hill lamb and a seared Barbary duck breast. After some discussion we decided on the lamb for Abi, and I have the duck breast. We continue to nibble on the bread and drink our sparkling water and soon the starters arrive
Our starters arrived promptly, and Abigail’s scallops with Jack McCarthy’s pudding were a winner, perfectly cooked scallops matched with Jack’s peerless pudding are a great combination. The Carpaccio of beef is well flavoured and is always a favourite of mine. Main courses continue to impress, but Abigail’s mountain lamb, served sliced on top curly kale is the winner here, the flavours are strong and almost gamey, and she finishes every piece. The duck is very good mind, and the flavours or cardamom and organic vegetables works very well. We managed some coffees and a tangy lemon Posset to share.
Uisce has tried to be more that just another corporate dining room, and with an imaginative menu, very reasonable pricing and good service, they have succeeded. A very good canal side venue, worth a visit.