Stepping through the doors of Ladurée Dublin is like being suddenly transported to the most elegant of Parisian salons where every little stylish touch has been considered for for your comfort and enjoyment. Passing by the the colourful and tempting displays of macarons, I was shown to my table in the chic and beautifully decorated tea/dining room.
I had been invited along to try out some of the brunch/lunch dishes and on reading the menu, which contained a nicely selected classic French fare, I was really looking forward to it.
As a devoted tea-lover, I was impressed by the interesting range of teas which included a good number of classic teas (Darjeeling, Earl Grey, Lapsang Souchong etc.) and an enticing selection of tea blends. I tried two: the Marie Antoinette which was aromatic with a fresh finish and also the Chéri, which would appeal to anyone who is a fan of chocolate as it had a lovely cocoa nose on it. Both of these were black teas but green tea and herbal options are also available.
I then tried some of the French Toast. Two options are offered – one served with maple syrup, jam or chantilly cream and another, the Le Pain Perdu Rose Framboise Ladurée (€9.50) which I had. I have eaten French toast in numerous establishments around the city and this was amongst the best. I loved the presentation of the dish which used generous slices of a well flavoured and buttery disc shaped brioche. I also enjoyed the pomp and ceremony as my waiter drizzled the toast with the intensely flavoured raspberry coulis. Little touches like this make the diner feel special and were in keeping with the chic surroundings.
The French Toast was incredibly light and without a hint of stodginess. Too often the custard used to make it is over sweetened but this was perfectly judged. The raspberry coulis had a nice tartness to it which refreshed the palate. Fresh raspberries and light chantilly cream, subtly flavoured with rosewater, were perfect accompaniments.
Next up, I sampled both Les Croque Monsieurs that Ladurée offer on the menu: one with ham (€16) and one without (€15). The presentation of this dish was an unexpected but welcome surprise. I am more used to this classic French dish being made with two slices of bread sandwiched together. Here they were creatively presented in a ‘swiss roll’ fashion which was very appealing and looked stunning.
All the ingredients used were top notch; a slightly salty ham, creamy emmental with an assertive flavour and a decent béchamel. All were combined together to make a delicious tasting dish. I particularly liked the accompanying salad which had been simply dressed with an outstanding olive oil/lemon vinaigrette. This would make a filling and very satisfying lunch, but this is not to suggest that I found the dish heavy as the outstanding Croques Monsieurs were surprising light.
To finish I was treated to one of the simplest and most delicious things that I have eaten in a long time. The Omelette a la Truffe Noir – Black Truffle Omelette (€16) was the perfect example of how the most delicious things are often the most simple. I really liked the fact that I was asked how I would like my omelette cooked (I opted for still slightly runny on the inside) and when it arrived it had been cooked to perfection.
The first thing that hit me was the heady aroma of truffles but when I bit into it I was astounded by how such simple ingredients could pack such a big flavour punch. I particularly liked the subtle background notes of olive and gherkin which which had been delicately included in the filling and which served to emphasize the flavour of the truffle.
This omelette, a simply dressed salad and a glass of wine (from the small but nice selection on offer) would make the perfect lunch. At €16 it isn’t cheap but for a simple and elegant lunch you couldn’t find anything to surpass it.
There are great plans for the future with more cakes and patisserie being introduced shortly along with an Ice Cream Bar, but in the short term I was hugely impressed by my lunch in Ladurée dublin and would highly recommend it.
1-3 South William Street
T: 01 679 8828
Niamh believes Ireland produces some of the best food in the world, and travels around the country; seeking out the best food producers, and places to eat.
An accomplished cook and baker, Niamh is also a previous MasterChef Ireland finalist. During the competition she had the opportunity to cook in some of Ireland’s top restaurants and experience life on the other side of the kitchen pass.
Working with TheTaste allows Niamh to write about her experiences and to share her passion for food and cooking with a wide audience.
Visit Niamh’s blog The Game Bird Food Chronicles.