The Lady Helen is a fine dining restaurant serving modern, light and refined food using seasonal produce, some from the estate, to create interesting and clever dishes. Our 6 course surprise tasting menu had some delightful offerings, including cod with cauliflower purée, which was lightened and elevated with the addition of a lime gel. Perfectly cooked quail with hazelnut and truffle was delicious and moreish. A crispy suckling pig with octopus was another pleasing and noteworthy dish. The best dish of the meal was one of the most memorable desserts we had in Ireland this year; slightly toasty and surprisingly light sugar tarte was extremely elegant and refined.
The cookery in The Lady Helen is very polished and it would be rare to find any major errors here. On the whole the servings are uncluttered with each dish well composed, but a serving of scallop, carrot, fennel, smoked eel and yuzo felt a bit like two dishes colliding with too many components on a plate. A nice finishing course of strawberry, white chocolate and green tea was delicate, summery and fragrant but maybe missing something to bring it all together and may have been better served before the sugar tarte instead of after.
The dining room is elegant and the service is friendly, whilst remaining professional. €99 euro for a 6 course menu (advertised as a 9 course menu, but that includes bouches, pre-desserts and petit-fours) is a bit on the high side, but you always pay a bit more in fine hotels.
The Lady Helen is serving classical, but modern food with some clever little touches that elevate it to something a little bit interesting. The restaurant is an excellent example of what some of Ireland's best hotels get wrong: having a quality restaurant that lives up to it's surroundings.