06/07: Tuesday Goodie Bag

Welcome to our second weekly “TGB Tuesday Goodie Bag”.

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Restaurant Recommendations

  • Stock Belfast
  • Linen Hall Café
  • Il Pirata
The Gourmet Boys

Stock, Belfast

Chefs Danny Millar and Andy Rea have created an amazing restaurant above the bustling St George’s Market serving memorable, quality dishes using only the finest of Irish ingredients. The team work with local suppliers who are just as passionate about the produce as they are. The classic architectural surroundings on the second floor are stunning with a dining balcony overlooking the thriving marketplace below.  

We chose a few of the lighter dishes for starters, and as soon as they arrived, we knew this was going to be a very special lunch indeed. Tasty, traditional Irish Crubeens, crispy Courgette Fries sprinkled liberally with Parmesan, an incredible fresh Ballyhornan Crab Salad, and slow-fermented “Sour Bake” pizza bread, oozing with garlic butter.  

All of our main course options showcased some of the amazing fresh seafood on the menu; rich sweet Strangford Lobster on a prawn and lobster raviolo, an outstanding Market Seafood Casserole, perfectly cooked Dover Sole on the bone, and a special of Lobster-Stuffed Courgette Flowers with a rich lobster bisque.

And desserts were also a delight; light as a feather Strawberry Pavlova, and a Dark Chocolate Tart with raspberries and orange mascarpone – a perfect ending to a wonderful lunch.

We can’t wait to return to Stock in the very near future.

Linen Hall Cafe

If you are searching for a perfect little oasis of calm in Belfast’s bustling city centre, then look no further than the Linen Hall Cafe. On the second floor of the Linen Hall Library, this nod to yesteryear is a sanctuary of relaxation serving a variety of delicious dishes throughout the day.  We were invited for lunch and decided to try their plantbased menu which was an absolute revelation.  

The Plantbased Linen Hall Breakfast includes sausages, black pudding, wild mushrooms on sourdough with flavoursome confit tomatoes and drizzled with earthy truffle oil. The vegan version of the Grilled Halloumi Salad features an incredible plantbased halloumi from La Rousse Foods served on a bed of dressed rocket with sweet pear, asparagus, and toasted walnuts.  All accompanied with a glass of our favourite Porta 6, we could have sat all afternoon.

Il Pirata, Ballyhackamore

The phrase “we’ve an exciting new menu” often makes us slightly apprehensive, especially when referring to the reopening of one of our favourite Ballyhack institutions Il Pirata. But we needn’t have worried. The menu had a comfortable familiarity and many of Il Pirata’s crowd-pleasing dishes and flavour combinations were still there, or had been reimagined to create a fresh take on their delicious Italian fare.


 To start, we went straight to the cocktail list. The Bitter Passion is a fruity yet sour rum-based concoction and was a very welcome start to the evening, and although a Negroni is no longer on the menu, their mixologist was more than happy to make one for us. We chose a couple of cichetti to share; pea and saffron arancini on a spicy tomato sauce, and some truffled taleggio tartlets drizzled with rosemary honey, both of which were excellent.  

The mains were Casarecce: a creamy vegetarian pasta dish with artichokes, spinach and onion pangratatto, and the flaky, perfectly cooked Hake was accompanied by a wonderful salsa verde packed with seaweed which complemented the fish beautifully.

Product of the Week

product mushroom ketchup

Pickled Mushroom Ketchup by Shorthorn Kitchen.

We came across these guys at the terrific Saturday Market in Saintfield, and were really impressed by the range and quality of their sauces, ketchups and chutneys, especially this piquant little number which was the perfect accompaniment to the Italian cheeses we had picked up.