Ashton’s Bar and restaurant is on the banks of the river Dodder in leafy Clonskeagh. This landmark pub has been here in its present form since the late 1980’s, when it received a huge makeover and became one of the south city’s premier destination pubs. Its fortunes waned over the last few years but now they have been taken over by a new team - the people behind two of Kildare’s better food pubs, the Dew Drop in Kill and Harte’s in Kildare Town.
Ashton’s has one of the best locations in south Dublin, it backs onto the Dodder just above a waterfall and large picture windows afford great views over the river. There is a lovely walk along the banks if you fancy stretching the legs after lunch, and there is parking outside, with a very popular and sun blessed terraced area out front which teems with customers in the summer.
The building is low and nicely pained outside in shades of cream, while inside the colours are restful with the odd splash of colour and plenty of natural light. Each lunchtime there is a carvery as well as an A la Carte menu which runs throughout the day and into the evening. The carvery offers a range of very good salads and chilled options such as cold fish platters and prawn cocktails as well as the traditional roasts.
The daily menu features a selection of café bar favourites, so there are some very good and spicy wings, goats cheese salad, prawns Pil Pil and a couple of soups to start, followed by home made burger, salmon and haddock fishcakes, very good beer battered cod and chips and a selection of steaks, some of which are available on hot rocks which you can cook at your table. The hot rock concept it a bit of fun, and has proved hugely popular over the past couple of years, and seems to be going strong.
We enjoyed the wings; they really pack a kick, while the prawn cocktail has a nice, tangy Mary Rose sauce and comes with good home made brown bread. A steak salad, good to order and marinated to taste, comes with sautéed potatoes, rocket and blue cheese, while the cod and chips is perfectly cooked, with a crispy beer batter and really good home made chips.
We have noticed how popular bars serving good food have become and Ashton’s should go from strength to strength. The menu is still a work in progress, and will continue to develop over time, but Ashton’s is potentially one of the best Sunday lunch venues. With new owners, it will come back to its best; there are few places nicer to watch the world go by on a summer’s day.