Samphire food survives rocky storms

We headed out to to Donabate on a seriously stormy night last Friday when most people were wrapped up at home , but we were determined to see what people enjoyed so much about Samphire.

When we arrived into the restaurant, only one would can describe the room, underwhelming! Samphire is a 34 seater restaurant and the decor is quite dated. This did not bode well for the evening. However this just goes to prove the old adage “never judge a book by it’s cover”. Our server Eric on the night could not have been more friendly or attentive. He suggested a beautiful entree of cream of celery topped with bacon which was presented in a small espresso cup, prefect portion just to whet your appetite.

Eager to get stuck into the menu we settled on the Sea seared scallops which were deliciously fresh and cooked beautifully. The pea purée velouté was perfectly positioned along with caramelised onions and slivers of apple, truly fantastic dish and expertly presented.

The Parfait of goats cheese was equally as impressive if not more. The roast hazelnuts and tarragon gave a contrasting bite, but the real delight was the pear and mustard purée and poached baby pear which gave this often seen dish it’s uniqueness.

At this stage the surroundings became irrelevant the focus was on the food. The mains arrived, a saddle of the most succulent Wicklow venison surrounded by rosti potatoes, divine compressed figs with pickled carrots in a beautiful blackberry jus. Next up was the Tortelonni of Lobster with King Scallops, nestled in a langoustine and chilli broth with delicate crisp leeks and micro coriander. Something a little different and the chilli really brought the lobster to life.

For dessert we chose a Coconut meringue with a mango mousse and exotic sorbet to boot, light, refreshing and once again presented with great care. The Deconstructed Vanilla bean Cheesecake topped with honeycomb biscuit and forest berries filling was a modern take on a traditional dish and a superb finish to the meal. We chose a 2011 Albizua Tempranillo Rioja which Eric recommended and this was a perfect pairing over dinner.

Tom Walsh’s food is like a beacon that draws people from all over and is the unique selling point of Samphire. The food on offer here is nothing short of five star and if this was set in the city centre it would be booked out ever night!

This is a unique taste we highly recommend.


Samphire Restaurant @ The Waterside Hotel
Donabate, Co. Dublin

To book Call 01 8436153 or Email




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