Balfes, Westbury Hotel, Dublin, IrelandBack to Forum
Anonymous1 Oct 2014
September 2014, Sunday Brunch
After watching an Iranian movie called Willow and Wind at the Irish Film Institute we wanted to have brunch at Cafe Novo at the Westbury Hotel in Dublin, Ireland, which we visited a few times over the years.
To our surprise the name had changed to Balfes. That wasn’t the only thing that was different. It had been renovated and there were some menu changes too. For example there was no longer French Toast on the menu.
The renovation was a success in our opinion and looked good. It had now a nice contrast in black and white, dark chairs and comfortable leather sofas.
The atmosphere was good with a lot of families with young children, who were very well behaved.
The staff recognized us immediately, but they were very busy. They were attentive, though, and always there when we needed them.
We ordered during Sunday brunch four chai latte, two fresh orange juice, one Eggs Benedict, one Eggs Royal, blueberry pancakes with bacon and maple syrup and mixed berries with champagne sabayon. Everything was fresh and delicious.
We paid 55.50 Euro, ca. 71.90 USD.
No matter if it’s called Cafe Novo or Balfes we are going to be regular guests in the future again and again.
Would we recommend this Bistro to a friend? YES!
Would we again visit this Bistro for lunch / brunch in the future? YES!1 Oct 2014
Have already stayed there – it was chavtastic -impressive to some – personally wouldn’t stay again-saving grace was the it’s a stones throw away from Bruxelles and the Stags Head.1 Oct 2014
@Ekond222, we like the hotel and can recommend it incl. their rooms and food outlets. Breakfast is very good too at Wilde, their main restaurant, plus we enjoyed Afternoon Tea in the Gallery and drinks in the Marble Bar. So far we stayed there 3 times and enjoyed ourselves. Thanks.
@PatJordan, thanks for your compliments.2 Oct 2014
It has changed hands 2 or 3 times in 7 years and has gone from good to mediocre – your recommendation is duly noted – in closing my preference is the Clarence although the location is not as convenient.2 Oct 2014
We lived in Dublin in the mid ’80s when the Westbury opened and I well remember a pre-opening tour of the hotel and the general shock at the (small) room size when compared with stable-mate in the Doyle Group, the Berkeley Court or, indeed, the venerable (pre-refurb) Shelbourne across the Green. Location was (and is) great but The Westbury was widely damned with faint praise as “the sort of place Americans will love”!!. The Clarence was pre-U2 in those days and a very mediocre 2*, not in the same league as the market leaders. The hotel market in Dublin has changed beyond recognition in the 30 odd years since, generally but not totally for the best!!2 Oct 2014
March 2017, Our weekend brunch experiences
Since Balfes at the Westbury Hotel in Dublin was always busy, we pre-booked a table for brunch during a weekend in March 2017. There was a time we could simply “pop in” but this isn’t possible anymore due to demand during busy breakfast/lunch/dinner and brunch hours.
We were brought to our table and as expected nearly all others were already occupied. Our fellow diners ranged from couples to families, to a birthday party and a business group.
The waitress was attentive and offered tap, still or sparkling water. We ordered a large bottle of still Acqua Panna, a Florsheim signature cocktail made with white rum, Vermouth, Crème de Cacao, lime juice and grenadine and two chili hot chocolate.
The cocktail was at first creamy and a bit dry and turned later floral and sweet. A beautiful offering.
Our chili hot chocolates were very spicy with real red chili peppers, so if you can’t take the heat or don’t like spiciness I wouldn’t recommend you order it, as for us, we enjoyed our beverages.
Our starters were Tuna tartare with avocado, Goma Wakame seaweed and Kimuchi sauce. It looked colorful and the sweetness of the seaweed went well with the tangy sauce, the tuna and the creamy avocado.
Main courses were the BodyByrne Turkey Burgers topped with guacamole, paprika sweet potato wedges, salsa and healthy coleslaw.
The Westbury works closely together with BodyByrne in order to offer nutritious and healthy food.
The burgers came without a bun.
The coleslaw was Asian inspired and the sweet potato wedges were a delight. The whole combination was very tasty. Some foods can make you tired, but our main courses left us energetic, satisfied and not hungry at all.
A meal wouldn’t be complete with dessert, so our indulgences included grilled peppered pineapple with rum sauce, pink pepper and cardamom ice cream and crème brulee. Both desserts weren’t overly sweet.
The pineapple’s sweetness went well with the peppery notes, the generous sauce and the spice of the cardamom.
The crème brulee was beautifully presented with ice cream and flowers on top and was not sweet at all due to the Matcha green tea used.
We enjoyed our meal. The staff was busy, but attentive and brought our bill quickly. It was ca. 107 Euro (ca. 120 USD).
This is a restaurant we visit regular and will do so in the future.
Would we recommend this restaurant to a friend? YES!
Would we want to enjoy breakfast/lunch/dinner/brunch again in our future at this restaurant? YES!6 Jun 2017