Samphire

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richard dawkins
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Samphire

Post by richard dawkins » 31 Dec 2012, 10:15

Well, thumbs up to Samphire. Great food and service. Will be going back.

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Vlad the Impaler
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Re: Samphire

Post by Vlad the Impaler » 31 Dec 2012, 10:39

Yeah, good review in the times. Will have to give it a go.

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/mag ... 14074.html

Spider
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Re: Samphire

Post by Spider » 02 Jan 2013, 09:51

I've heard so many good reports about Samphire recently that we went yesterday and took my mother out for dinner. We were so disappointed I'm sorry to say. We were almost two hours waiting for our main course, which was cold and far too salty. My husbands desert was not what he ordered and tasted awful but we hadn't the heart to change it as we had been there so long. The kids were starving it was so long between courses. I know the service and the food has been brilliant recently but we seem to have been there on a bad day. The waiting staff were very friendly as usual but the service was so ridiculously slow it really spoiled the day. The last time we were there it was the Signal restaurant and a similar thing happened. Despite having a booking we were left waiting 30 mins for a table and then the service was very slow aswell as the food being very disappointing. I was hoping it had improved. Maybe we just arrived on a bad day but I won't be taking the chance again I'm afraid. In case anyone thinks I'm one of those people who is never happy, we have never complained to staff or been unfriendly and left a very generous tip anyway. Its very rarely we get to eat out so its a disappointment when it doesn't turn out to be great.

Banana
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Re: Samphire

Post by Banana » 02 Jan 2013, 10:47

i was there on the weekend too......had been there a few weeks ago and food was excellent ,

this time we went with friends , as they had seen review in the Times but it was bad experience.....waiting ages and food was not good, but the staff didi keep apologisng for delays but i think they had a bad weekend- maybe the regular kitchen staff weren't there or something,

hopefully they'll get their house back in order because its great to have a good restaurant in donabate

diggerbarnes
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Re: Samphire

Post by diggerbarnes » 02 Jan 2013, 11:12

It was the joint winner for best hotel restaurant in Paolo Tullio's column. Sounds like it was a bad weekend rather than standard. I think you would have been well within your rights to complain and give them the opportunity to make it up to you with a free meal. You would expect no less from a serious restaurant. Drop them a mail.

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richard dawkins
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Re: Samphire

Post by richard dawkins » 02 Jan 2013, 13:10

I can only imagine. Busier than expected and who knows maybe a few staff get a flu or have time off for xmas. But agree, it's brilliant to have another nice place to eat.

Moomer

Re: Samphire

Post by Moomer » 02 Jan 2013, 14:45

its not an excuse these days for a restaurant to have a 'bad weekend'
professionally run establishments should be able to cope with a staff member being off sick etc.

it's such a pity because I was really looking forward to trying this restaurant soon.
now, because of these 2 reviews, that soon has been put on the long finger. I do still hope to get there but wont be next on my list now until I start hearing some positive reviews again.

i do of course wish them every success as Donabate needs a good restaurant.

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Harry Byrne
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Re: Samphire

Post by Harry Byrne » 02 Jan 2013, 18:16

Disappointing to hear it hasn't been up to its recent reviews - the delays you could almost tolerate but the fact that the grub was a let-down is more telling. Still I had intended going and look forward to it and I hope they think I'm a food critic.

Banana
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Re: Samphire

Post by Banana » 02 Jan 2013, 19:21

moomer,

i'd still recommend it.....its the best food around by miles.....and their early bird is great value too

Seanny
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Re: Samphire

Post by Seanny » 02 Jan 2013, 22:44

Had a fantastic meal in Samphire last Saturday night probably the best meal out in a restaurant in a long time. The quality of the food was unbelievably good. Also got collected and dropped home on the shuttle bus. The service was at times maybe a little slow probably because everything was freshly cooked but we were in no hurry so was happy enough with the service.

I had told a few friends I was heading down on Saturday night and one of them booked for Sunday night. I was delighted when he reported how happy he was with the food and service and was really looking forward to visiting again.

I hope the bad reviews I read are really just a temporary blip and this should not ever be the case when you are spending your hard earned cash.

Spider you say you still left a tip and didn't complain even though you weren't happy, I just can't understand why you would ever ever not complain if you are not happy let aside leave a tip. I think you should always state clearly and politely why you are not happy then the restaurant have some chance of salvaging your business. I know if it was my business I would value fair criticism equally if not more as I would praise. I also think it is never too late and you should try and contact the manager of the restaurant and make them aware of how unhappy you are. They also have a Facebook page why don't you post a comment?

I have no connection what ever to Samphire, I just really would love to see this restaurant succeed as I think they are also making a real effort with the shuttle bus service etc and an excellent restaurant like Samphire is a fantastic plus for our area.

Regards

Sean

Spider
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Re: Samphire

Post by Spider » 02 Jan 2013, 23:34

Hi Sean, I guess your right, I should have complained there and then but I am no good at complaining (a typical Irish problem). The waiting staff were friendly and I really felt it was more a problem with the kitchen, that's why I still left the tip. I wouldn't have minded the wait so much if the food had been of a better quality (although with kids waiting is never ideal). I've eaten in the bar there a few times and the food was of a better standard. Anyway, I hope they continue to be successful and that it was an isolated incident. I wholeheartedly support local business when I can, unfortunately we can't afford to go out often and that's why I was so disappointed.

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Vlad the Impaler
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Re: Samphire

Post by Vlad the Impaler » 04 Jan 2013, 15:31

Two hours waiting for your meal Spider??? Are you serious? Sorry to hear that if so but I would have left after 30/40 minutes with a few words to the manager on the way out. Did you not complain?

I'm still looking forward to a visit.

sallyanne
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Re: Samphire

Post by sallyanne » 06 Jan 2013, 00:36

We went with friends to Samphire on New Year's Eve and I have to say the food was superb, the little touches like the tomato bread and the little savoury drink before our starter were very welcome. The waiters couldnt have been more attentive but (there's always a but!) my only criticisms were, firstly, the decor and the non existence of ambiance in the place, I would have expected on New Year's Eve to have some Christmas music but instead there was some dreadful piped music coming through and the bright lights did nothing for the atmosphere. Secondly, I was very annoyed about the amount of supplements added on, I have no problem with supplments on steak but we had been quoted a price of €31.95p.p. for a four course meal with some bubbly at the start, all at a great price but what was not advertised was all the extra supplements on meat, fish and even on some of the desserts! All side dishes were extra as well,maybe this is the norm now in restaurants, I dont know but to me it is false advertising.
It is definitely worth a visit for the fabulous food but beware of the extra costs, maybe the ambiance might improve in time and the decor changed!

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richard dawkins
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Re: Samphire

Post by richard dawkins » 06 Jan 2013, 12:38

Did you mention of your issues to the staff?

sallyanne
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Re: Samphire

Post by sallyanne » 06 Jan 2013, 15:13

Yes, I sent an email about my criticisms but have not received a reply

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richard dawkins
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Re: Samphire

Post by richard dawkins » 06 Jan 2013, 15:57

Did you mention it staff at time when presented the bill?

sallyanne
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Re: Samphire

Post by sallyanne » 06 Jan 2013, 18:10

Well, I did mention it to the Waiter and he agreed with me about the supplements on the desserts but, the night that was in it, I didn't want to spend it complaining. The waiters are only doing their job at the end of the day. Hopefully they will respond to my email, I mean the price quoted is the price you should pay in my view.

fred
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Re: Samphire

Post by fred » 06 Jan 2013, 20:48

Ate in samphire recently + found the food to be lovely + the service v friendly.Agree about the supplements tho..half of the dishes on each course had a supplement including the soup ( which is very basic).It costs 26 euro for 3 courses,but if you want to stick to this price your choice is v limited.

Sylvie
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Re: Samphire

Post by Sylvie » 13 Feb 2013, 12:22

I visited Samphire on two occasions so far and both times had a fantastic meal. Food standard is far above anything that you can get in the Malahide – Portrane - Swords area. The review in the Irish Times set my expectations very high food-wise and I wasn’t disappointed.

The second time the service was very slow indeed. Saying so it was only 20-30 minutes before the starter arrived on the table; it was the breaks between the meals that were long. We weren’t in any rush and the staff brought us a complimentary small bites / sorbet in between meals, clearly trying to compensate for the waiting time so overall we had a great evening.

I can understand that this is not a scenario that families with small children might want but on the other side, if you’re going out for an evening meal, it’s nice to be able to take your time and enjoy the experience, not watch the clock. If you need to be in and out in a limited amount of time, what’s the point of going to the restaurant in the first place?

As Vlad said, if the food doesn’t arrive in 30-40 minutes, you should make a point of politely complaining / leaving, I hate doing this but if nobody makes a valid complaint, how can you expect things to improve?
There are things that need to be ironed out in Samphire (waiting time, supplements, décor) but I think it’s a great addition for Donabate, I wish them every success and will be definitely going back for more of the beautiful food they are serving.

Al the Pal
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Re: Samphire

Post by Al the Pal » 15 Feb 2013, 15:50

Regarding the service, yes a 30-40 minutes wait is a bit long but I suppose it's a sign that at least the food is being freshly cooked and not reheated!

I hate a restaurant where the starter flies out minutes after the order is taken and the main course seconds after the starter dishes are cleared...

Aster
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Re: Samphire

Post by Aster » 18 Feb 2013, 20:46

Went for our first meal there on Saturday night; it most definitely won't be our last. Great food, excellent service and a lift home! :D

diggerbarnes
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Re: Samphire

Post by diggerbarnes » 19 Feb 2013, 10:21

How do you go about organising the lift down and back Aster? Just cheek? :) But really, just ring?

Aster
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Re: Samphire

Post by Aster » 19 Feb 2013, 20:51

We made our own way down, but they were more than happy to organise a lift back for us in their courtesy van. I just asked a passing staff member when the van was going up to the village. They came back and gave us a 5 minute warning and we were off home!

From their website:
Free Local Home Pick-ups / Drop-offs

The Waterside House Hotel offers free pick-up and drop-off to all customers (not only overnight guests) within a 10km radius of the hotel. Please ring 843 6153 or Click here to contact our reservations team to book your pick-up in advance. Shuttle bus may be subject to availability at time of booking.

diggerbarnes
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Re: Samphire

Post by diggerbarnes » 20 Feb 2013, 07:50

Great, thanks Aster

HeyMama.ie
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Re: Samphire

Post by HeyMama.ie » 23 Feb 2013, 18:58

Ate here a month or so ago but think we caught them at a bad time: they'd closed the kitchen between lunch and evening service and just as we'd been told this we were ushered in anyway. I think the owner was standing nearby and didn't want to see people being turned away :oops: In hindsight, I wish we'd insisted "no, we'll come back another time"... So I've *every* sympathy for the chef and kitchen here. BTW, I saw the chef do a demo at the Flavous of Fingal during the summer and I've no doubt he's a talented guy and the menu he's come up with sounds smashing.

Anyway, the starters were beautiful: chicken liver parfait with an apricot or mixed jam (I think) and some brioche toast. It was seriously, *seriously*, good. There wasn't much toast but we had been given these lovely little mini loaves of bread when we were seated and they did the job very nicely. The dish was presented very well too: in little mason jars and on a board with a line of seal salt. It was a pleasure to look at and eat. I'd go back for it alone.

I'd the Duck Leg Confit with white bean casulet for mains. The duck leg was nice but the sauce just didn't taste right to me... maybe that's just me though. There was a few other little flaws: carrots didn't seem to be scrubbed well, Mrs. HeyMama's salmon for her main was waaay overdone (bland, loads of that white stuff come to the surface). It was disappointing after that starter.

The service was great though. We were also asked would we like to take our leftover bread away at the end of the mean which was a nice touch I thought; friendly and it's always a shame to see good food wasted so was nice to take it home.

We'll definitely go back (and at a more suitable time... sorry chef!) and I'm sure they'll be putting their best foot forward as they usually do, judging by most other accounts.
http://www.heymama.ie
Mother & Baby Store, Donabate.

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