An 8 course Michelin Star Tasting Menu at the Lady Helen Restaurant in the Mount Juliet Hotel? Yes please!
You have to be in it to win it and in it we were when we won a night in the gorgeous Mount Juliet hotel in Kilkenny, Ireland thanks to the husband’s amazing photography skills (seriously, have you seen his pictures?!). After resisting all offers of food after breakfast time we couldn’t wait to sit down for our 8 course Michelin Star delight!
We were presented with the 8 course tasting menu and our mouths were watering! The menu consisted of 4 larger courses served with 4 smaller plates in between. The dishes included duck, cod and scallops and, as an extra treat, we opted for the wine pairing to accompany our tasting menu.
We were off to a fabulous start with the arrival of our amuse bouche. The beetroot macaroons were delicious and pretty in equal amounts and the mixture of beetroot meringue, mackerel pate and pickled cucumber made for an excellent small bite.
The beetroot macaroons were followed by a surprise second amuse bouche, a shot glass of artichoke veloute, chestnut foam and shavings.
Despite our good intentions to resist the breads and save room for the 8 courses, the selection was too tempting and we had to sample a few! They were most delicious!
With two dishes and some very good bread down I was happy with our resolve to skip lunch and focus on dinner! Our first course of seared scallops, celeriac and apple with Iberico ham and Dashi arrived and the combination of the scallops and ham worked really well alongside the celeriac.
After the variety of flavours and textures from the amuse bouches and the scallops the palette cleansing sorbet was light and refreshing and provided a nice change of pace! We lingered over our wine and chats until we were ready to move onto the main courses.
First up was the cod which was served with cauliflower, girolles, lime and brown butter. The dish was beautifully presented and the sauce was a nice complement to the cod and celeriac puree.
The duck was served with bulgur wheat, Moroccan spices and a mix of rhubarb, turnip and yoghurt. The vegetables and yoghurt were a nice contrast to the rich duck and the herb infused bulgur wheat complemented the dish beautifully.
The dining room atmosphere was very relaxed and, with only one sitting, we enjoyed well needed breaks between courses! Our pre dessert was an interesting mix of mango jelly, yoghurt and green tea. This wasn’t my favourite dish by any stretch but the flavours were interesting and I, for one, was hopeful the green tea would speed up my metabolism after all the food we’d consumed!
I’m a chocolate girl through and through and, I have to admit, my heart sank a little at the prospect of a strawberry themed dessert. The Lady Helen instantly redeemed itself when the stunning strawberry extravaganza arrived at our table!
OK, so technically the strawberry extravaganza wasn’t the finale. It was time for coffee and petit fours! We were served a beautiful plate which included a chocolate and poppy seed biscuit, a blueberry marshmallow, a macaroon and a butterscotch doughnut. Despite vowing that we were couldn’t possibly eat any more food we managed to finish the plate of petit fours and the sweet treats were an excellent grand finale!
The Lady Helen is a beautiful venue and we loved the old world period charm of the Georgian House overlooking the River Noire. We arrived early in the evening and the dining room was bright and airy and we were seated at a gorgeous window seat overlooking the grounds and the river. The mix of groups and couples made for a relaxed and chatty atmosphere and our service was excellent.
Nightcaps in the bar!
The Lady Helen exceeded our expectations and we had an excellent meal. The dishes were beautifully presented and the variety of foods and flavours was a real treat. It’s definitely one of our best meals in Ireland and we both preferred it to our two Michelin Star outing at Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud in Dublin (check out our review here!) even if we did have to walk around the entire 1,500 acre estate to work off some of our dinner!