So it’s time to head ‘out out’ in Belfast and it’s a special occasion or you just feel like being a bit flash. The fine dining experience combines the highest standard of service in the most stunning of settings, using simply the best ingredients you can find to make plates of food so gobsmackingly beautiful, you’ll be compelled to Instagram the life clean out of them.
Now, Belfast is packed with scores of place that have great menus, fresh produce and great atmosphere, but here are a handful of places that offer the finest eating experience money can buy (without hitting the bank balance too hard either).
Recently revamped and looking more stylish than ever, James St has one of the best (and most deserved) reputations in Belfast. It’s always one the of first that springs to mind when your asked ‘Where’s good to eat on a Saturday night here?…’. The menu is packed with no fewer than eleven starter choices and, retaining shades of the old James St Bar & Grill, a worthy selection of prime Northern Ireland beef steaks, cooked on their charcoal grill.
In its long established Victorian terrace home on the Lisburn Road, Shu has been pleasing the masses and outlasting a lot of competition since the new Millenium. What to try here? The 4-9-4 lunch menu. Fantastic value for venue, location and quality. You can dine in style in the middle of the day with the like of harissa glazed aubergine, braised beef with miso turnips and elderflower & lemon posset.
No write-up on fine dining in Belfast is complete without mentioning Eipic. Michael Deane’s Michelin starred masterpiece, recently retaining the coveted award for the fourth year in a row. For what is arguably the pinnacle of fine dining in Belfast, you can experience a £45 menu (Wednesday & Thursday), £70 menu (Wednesday to Saturday) or a slightly more modest £30 Friday lunch menu (all menus are available Friday lunch).
In a rather inconspicuous spot in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter sits the Muddlers Club. Named after the secretive organisation that use to meet in the same location. These days, Muddlers is a not-so-secret heavy hitter. And, despite still being a nipper at 3 ½ years old, is up there with the most highly spoken of restaurants in town and with a multitude of awards to show off.
Seahorse Restaurant at the Grand Central Hotel
The still shiny new Grand Central dominates the Belfast skyline. The heady height of the 23rd floor observatory is no doubt the top talking point, but for dining in style, settle for the high ceilings of the first floor Seahorse Restaurant. Grand in both name and design, the plush newness of the decor and the hearty entrees of the a la carte menu make this a most appealing venue The beef wellington to share looks like an exceptional feast.