Balfes, Westbury Hotel, Dublin, Ireland [REVIEW : PHOTOS]

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  1. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    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!

    Thank you and safe travels. :)
     
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  2. lapointdm

    lapointdm Silver Member

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    Seems kind of pricy.. Is it always that expensive in Ireland, or is the quality of the food so good they can charge that amount?
     
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  3. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Ireland overall is more on the pricier side, of course there are less expensive options available, but the quality is top notch, plus the service and surroundings are wonderful at Balfes, being located in the famous Westbury Hotel in the heart of Dublin, this adds some premium, having said this, we would recommend it, despite the higher prices. Regarding less expensive options, Dublin does have shopping mall food courts, cafes and bistros available which are independent and sometimes cheaper, look out for set lunch / dinner offers, or drink promotions, it all depends on how the individual defines "what's expensive" and "what's not".
     
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  4. uggboy
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  5. uggboy
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    Balfes, Westbury Hotel, Dublin, October 2014, Breakfast:

    Before travelling by long distance bus to Belfast we had breakfast at Balfes, located at the Westbury Hotel, Dublin, Ireland and formerly known as Cafe Novo.

    Normally we are frequently going there for the weekend brunch, so breakfast during the week was a new experience for us.

    During brunch the whole restaurant is accessible, not so when having breakfast during the week. Only the bar section was open to the public. This was the only thing I disliked. The bar was busy due to some job interviews taking place and other guests. All the low tables were occupied. It left us only high ones and meant sitting on a bench or bar stool. It was a bit uncomfortable for me and the table slightly too small.

    There was another difference. The portion sizes were much larger at breakfast than it is during brunch.

    The service was as always attentive and we were recognized as regulars.

    We ordered two Chai Lattes, two Orange, carrot and ginger juices, Eggs Benedict, an omelette with smoked salmon and oat pancakes sweetened with agave syrup. The food was delivered timely and was delicious. The oat pancakes were especially interesting and filling.

    The bill came in at 45 Euro (ca. 56.20 USD).

    In the future we will return either for breakfast or brunch.

    Would we recommend this Cafe / Bistro to a friend? YES!
    Would we visit again this Cafe / Bistro in the future? YES!

    Thank you and safe travels. :)
     
  6. uggboy
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  7. uggboy
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    Our Pre-Christmas lunch @ Balfes, The Westbury Hotel, Dublin, Ireland, December 2014:

    Every year we try to have a pre-Christmas lunch. This time we went to Balfes at the Westbury Hotel, Dublin. We have frequented Balfes for breakfast and brunch before.

    We arrived shortly before Midday and were brought to a table near the window.
    The staff was totally new to us. All members encountered were friendly, attentive and non-obstructive.

    All menus are available online, so we had already checked out what we wanted to have.

    Choosing our drinks was easy, but what to have as starter, main course and dessert wasn't so obvious.

    We ordered four Chai Latte, two each, one carrot, orange and ginger juice and apple, celery, spinach and kale juice. Later we were told that unfortunately the spinach was not available, but they could make an apple, carrot and kale juice, so I took that. There was no big difference between the juices. Mine was slightly more bitter.

    We shared a starter sized chicken salad. It was generous and contained green leaves and guacamole.

    Our main courses were two chicken fillets with cassoulet. We were surprised how light the dish was and the meat portion really large, but the chicken was tender and juicy.

    A meal wouldn't be complete without a dessert. We had mixed berries with champagne sabayon and Banoffi with hot chocolate mousse. We know both desserts. As always they were delicious. We liked the contrast between ice cold banana and warm chocolate mousse.
    The berries with sabayon were delicately flavored and well balanced.

    When we arrived the restaurant was empty, but when we left it was nearly full. Having learned this, we might consider booking a table in advance to avoid disappointment.

    Noise levels weren't very high, considering how many guests were dining with us.

    Overall we had a leisurely lunch and stayed for around two hours.

    The cost was 90 Euro (ca. 112.40 USD) excluding tip.

    We will be back again.

    Would we recommend this restaurant to a friend? YES!
    Would we have breakfast / lunch / brunch again here in the future? YES!

    Thank you and safe travels. :)
     
  8. uggboy
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