Now we all love a good deal don’t we? And we are spoilt in Northern Ireland, because our food is exactly that. Nowhere else will you find food and drink of such quality (It’s something our makers, bakers and shakers pride themselves in), and at such value for money.
I imagine the set menu is something of a conundrum for restaurateurs. Trying to please the masses without being ‘safe’. Aiming for adventurous without scaring everyone away. All while hitting the right price point for value seeking customers (that’s pretty much all of us).
Finding this perfect balance, particularly if a wee glass of bubbly or something like that is included, can be a very satisfying experience as a diner. These five places will deliver on choice, price and overall experience.
Six by Nico Belfast
Brand spanking new to the city, Six by Nico opened in the Cathedral Quarter at the beginning of March. Chef Nico Simeone and his team have brought their unique dining concept over from Scotland, with a Nicos in both Glasgow and Edinburgh.
A six course tasting menu designed around a different theme which changes every six weeks. The first theme for Belfast is ‘The Chippie’ which will change in mid April to the next experience.
The tasting menu is £28 and you can add a paired wine with each course for £25. So at less than a fiver per course, and per drink, it’s excellent value.
Horatio’s is an ever popular bar and restaurant in Ballyhackamore in East Belfast. They have a huge cocktail list and loads of live entertainment on every Thursday to Sunday.
The set menu here has 7 starters, 6 mains and 4 desserts, so plenty of choice. It’s £16.95 for 2 courses and £19.95 for 3, including a wine, beer, or soft drink, and available Monday to Thursday 5pm-9pm.
My Pick: Brie & smoked bacon croquette with spiced pear chutney followed by beef daube, dauphinoise, root veg and red wine jus, and for dessert, something different, Turkish Delight creme brulee and cardamom shortbread, all for less than £20, fantastic!
Stix And Stones Belfast
Steak and seafood are what Stix & Stones are all about. Diners also have the option of cooking their own steak on a hot stone right at the table, something many choose to try, even if just the once.
The pre-theatre menu is served on weekdays from 5 to 6.30pm, and is £18.50 for 2 courses or £21.95 for 3.
My pick: Chicken wings, hot & sweet sauce, creme fraiche salsa, rocket and pickled cucumber. And for main, 8oz rump (3 quid extra, well worth it), with salsa verde, roast cherry tomatoes and chunky chips.
Made In Belfast - City Hall
The entrancing decor, and basic, rustic approach to their food have kept Made in Belfast in the minds of diners since opening almost 11 years ago. They also take responsible and sustainable sourcing of their meat and fish very seriously.
The ‘Showtime’ menu is on during the week from 4pm-6pm, and 12 noon – 6pm at weekends. 2 courses costs £18, and 3, £22.
My Pick: bring a friend and get the sharing starter, baked fougasse loaf, regatta cheese, olives, tapenade, oils, balsamic, and definitely add the baked Cooleeney cheese for ana added £3.50. For main, the big fish supper with mushy peas and curry sauce. And for dessert, Armagh apple & berry crumble with ice cream.
Nu Delhi Restaurant - Lounge
Nu Delhi recently relocated to a modern 1st floor 100 seater restaurant. Using the likes of local lamb and fish, and adding their mix of Indian spices, they’ve created an extensive menu that you can enjoy amidst vibrant music, cocktails and fashionable decor with a giant splash of beautiful Bollywood thrown in.
The Nu Delhi Banquet menu is hard to beat for a gathering of friends and family in the evening. 3 courses with one side dish £22.95 per person, and it gives you a taste of everything Indian cooking is famous for.
Poppadoms with chutney and spiced onions to begin. Then the house platter which includes bhaji, seekh kebab and aloo bonda. Then, choose from the various main course sections (many mains are gluten free), I’d go for the Punjabi butter chicken or the lamb Punjabi masala, and choose a side, pilau or steamed rice, or one of four different naan breads.