Bar and Bistro at The Hampton Donnybrook
19 -29 Morehampton Road, Donnybrook, Dublin 4.
The Hampton Hotel has gone under quite a transformation over the last three years. The new hotel is stylish, elegant and ticks all the boxes for boutique hotel, from the sophisticated bar and bistro, to the icy cool Vanilla Club downstairs.
The building occupies almost a block on Morehampton Road, and it has been painted a dazzling white, making the Georgian edifice stand out. There is car parking to the front and more to the rear, no small feat in Donnybrook, where parking is as rare as hen’s teeth. There is a large terraced area outside, with comfy sofas and large canopies to protect patrons from the elements.
The Bar and Bistro occupies one side of the hotel, and runs the length to the front. Inside there are shiny wooden floors, a large bar runs down the back wall and banquette seating runs along some of the walls, while feature wallpaper, funky lighting and cool tub chairs complete the look.
During the day the Bistro kicks off the day with breakfast and serves lunches and coffees throughout the days, while come evening the menu changes and becomes a more sophisticated affair, offering a range of classic bistro dishes at reasonable prices.
The menu is short, but well thought out and offers some good choices. We shared a Caesar salad to start, and then it was Dover sole and surf and turf. The sole was served off the bone, as requested, but it’s cooked on, to ensure maximum flavour. Perfectly cooked, it was simply served with a butter and lemon juice, and creamy mash. The surf and turf came on top of some more of the mash, with garlicky prawns on top of a fine piece of medium rare rib eye steak, The dish was really well seasoned and packed of flavour, and when you consider that both main courses were priced around the €16 mark, it’s very good value indeed.
We finished with a chocolate fondant and two good coffees. The Hampton is a stylish spot serving good, honest food at value for money prices. At night there’s music, and if you’re young and good looking enough, you might just blend in at Vanilla.