As the hospitality industry has at last re-opened we decided that in this issue we would relaunch our Fantasy Menu celebrating our favourite starter, main course and dessert which we have most enjoyed in restaurants over the last few weeks.
Starter – Union Street Bar & Restaurant, Belfast
Literally a stone’s throw from GNI HQ, Union Street has been a popular venue for affordable drink, tasty pub grub, and great music and entertainment for nearly twenty years, and since reopening last month with a brand new menu and chef, we just had to try it out.
The staff, who are always up for a bit of craic, were attentive and helpful, explaining how the new menu and ordering system works, and ensuring a safe, socially-distanced environment.
Now to the menu. The food is divided into a number of sections; Brunch, Small Plates, Large Plates, Burgers, Sides and Desserts. We decided to avail of the “Three Small Plates for £16” offer. This is outstandingly good value, as not only is the food delicious, but Union Street’s interpretation of the word “small” is perhaps rather loose!
The Halloumi Fries with Sweet Chilli, Sour Cream and Coriander were ‘squeaky cheese’ heaven. The Panko Coated Squid Rings were tender and not in the least bit chewy, accompanied by a fresh Asian Slaw. But our favourite dish, and this is the reason why Union Street is our Fantasy Menu Starter choice, was the Buffalo Cauliflower Wings, sprinkled with sesame seeds and served with creamy aioli and a fiendishly hot dipping sauce. Moreish finger food of the highest quality!
Main – Prawnagraphic, Belfast
A brand new venture by the team behind ‘Made In Belfast’ is always worth checking out, and so we took the ‘oppor-tuna-ty’ to visit Prawnagraphic on Hill Street during its opening week.
The menu has a ‘so-fish-ticated’ street-food feel, and we fell ‘hook, line and sinker’ for everything we tried.
The starters of Spicy Tuna Tartare and Salmon Ceviche with Wasabi Snow were deliciously fresh-just perfect for a summer lunchtime snack.
The mains of Cauliflower “Scampi” and Coronation Crab Burger was absolutely ‘fin-tastic’ but our Fantasy Menu Main Course this month had to be the Lobster Roll: sweet, perfectly poached lobster topped with sauerkraut, sour cream and chives, and garlic butter, accompanied by crispy skin-on fries. The generous portion sizes ensured we were ‘stuffed to the gills’ (although we were ‘reeled in’ by a very tempting chocolate tart, just to finish things off!)
Prawnagraphic? By cod, we’re hooked!
Dessert – Alexander’s & Co, Holywood
But our Fantasy Dessert this month has to be the eye-poppingly inventive Chef’s Assiette. The menu stated that this was “made to surprise”, and we certainly weren’t disappointed! Was it a dessert, or an Ulster Fry? Cinnamon Churros or sausages? Nut Brittle or baked beans? Shortbread Fingers, or chunky chips? Meringue Nest with Lemon Curd or a fried egg?? Have a look at the picture and you decide! All we’re going to tell you is that it was a terrific end to an exceptional evening of wonderful food and great company.
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