Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

Sunday brunch – and all that jazz – at the Gibson Hotel

You may or may not know this by now, but Dublin’s Gibson Hotel has started to do Sunday brunch – which just so happens to be my favourite meal, perhaps because it only ever seems to fall on a weekend and …

Wed, Aug 15, 2012, 07:30

   

You may or may not know this by now, but Dublin’s Gibson Hotel has started to do Sunday brunch – which just so happens to be my favourite meal, perhaps because it only ever seems to fall on a weekend and is therefore like Christmas: rare and that little bit special for it. They invited me along to sample their wares, so this Sunday gone I popped along with a friend to see what it was they had to offer and whether it was worth the trip out of town!

Firstly, let me say this: the Gibson is an odd kind of hotel. The reception is on the third floor, meaning it’s possible to enter through its large, glass-fronted doors and see absolutely no one until you disembark the elevator on the third floor. There’s something kind of eery about it, as if it’s been abandoned. But once you do get upstairs, it’s just as lovely as you would expect a brand new hotel to be, and last Sunday it was positively heaving.

To accompany brunch, there’s jazz in the HemiDemiSemiQuaver bar overlooking the O2, which actually struck all the right notes – not too loud, not too quiet. It didn’t get in the way of good conversation, but it prevented uncomfortable silences: in short, it was the perfect backing track to a mid-afternoon meal.

We both ordered the eggs Benedict, but without bacon and with spinach – in other words, eggs Florentine, although this wasn’t on the menu. (In terms of vegetarian options, there were very few – but the chefs were more than happy to accommodate our request, which was great.) To accompany this, we each had (I know, I should have insisted my guest get something different so we could sample each other’s!) a non alcoholic mango fruit mojito, which was, hands down, the nicest non alcoholic cocktail I have ever tasted. So delicious, in fact, that we each had two.

My eggs Florentine were delicious – perfectly poached eggs, with a good serving of buttery Hollandaise. (When I say “good”, I mean, I could always eat more – but I wasn’t left wanting, and it was probably for the best that I wasn’t given a gravy boat and told to do my worst.) We ordered chunky chips on the side, which was a bit greedy of us, and in fact, they were nothing to write home about. A little under done, not particularly crispy … grand. I wouldn’t send them back, but I wouldn’t recommend them, either.

For dessert (with brunch? why not?) I had the raspberry creme brulee while my number 2 had the Eton mess. Both were absolutely spot-on. The raspberry creme brulee had the perfect mix of slightly burnt caramel and custardy filling, and it was massive, while the Eton mess was great – not too much of anything, which I think is important. Often you’ll find Eton mess goes overboard on the cream, but this was perfect.

Overall? A really enjoyable way to spend an afternoon, and good food, to boot. Plus, the jazz was pretty lovely – even if it was more contemporary easy listening than jazz, if you ask my (untrained) ear.

Our meal was on the house, but for two Eggs florentine, chunky chips, two mango mojitos, a raspberry creme brulee, an Eton mess and two lattes, we would have been out around €50. (The extra mojitos really pushed us over the financial edge there!)

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