Farewell lunch at Ruby’s

The BFM has just finished his contract in Larne,and as a treat the girls treated me to lunch at Ruby’s.

168 Old Glenarm Road
Larne
BT40 1TS
United Kingdom
028 2826 0924

So we all pre ordered and only had a wee wait at the restaurant. I was reliably informed that it had been done up and doubled as a sports bar and club also.

I had Cod and chips which was fantastic. There were two pieces of cod well battered and fried to perfection and served in a mini frying basket, minted peas, tartare sauce, wedge if lemon and bowl of chips. I wasn’t allowed to pay so don’t know how much. Suffice to say the restaurant was great,service fabulous,food amazing,will definitely try it again!!!

Once again the BFM shares the food love!!! Ciao down now!!!

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Cute cuisine at Curran Court

The BFM had some awesome food at the Alexandra restaurant at the Canal Court Hotel earlier, wow what a feed!!

6 Redlands Road
Larne
BT40 1AX
United Kingdom
http://www.currancourthotel.co.uk
028 2827 5505

When I arrived I was invited to pick a table,which I duly did. I was awaiting two others also. Whilst I was waiting and browsing the menu I had my customary jug of water and was served complimentary white and wheaten bread and butter.

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I shall just outline what I had. I chose the Roast chicken special (£10.95 instead of £12.95) with Garlic potatoes (£0.75 extra) Gravy boat, turnip and cabbage. The order was taken using a mini tablet-Samsung I believe!!!

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The food was served very promptly and there was plenty of it!!! The half roast chicken was succulent,potatoes had just enough garlic, stuffing and bacon was scrummy and turnips and cabbage were tender and tasty.

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All in all the restaurant ambience, service, portion size and quality was second to none. A thoroughly enjoyable meal!!!

Once again the BFM shares the food love!!! Ciao down now!!!

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Sunday snax in Hadskis

The BFM wants to share a Sunday afternoon in January when I ventured to Hadskis and had a wee snack or two!!

33 Donegall Street / Commercial Court
Belfast
BT1 2NB
United Kingdom
http://www.hadskis.co.uk
028 9032 5444

Hadskis was the brainchild of Niall McKenna who is very quickly becoming a major player in the Belfast restaurant trade. Hadskis was named after Stewart Hadski who in the 1790’s made pots and pans.

Without further clunking and clanking, let’s tell you what I had!!!! I ordered two small plates.The first was Smoked Haddock Chowder (£5.50) which was 1cm cubed potato chunks,mussels and haddock. The second was
Orecchiette pasta c spiced sausage (£5.50). The pasta pieces were
smaller than 10p concave circles, in a tomato sauce.

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To wash it all down I had cucumber infused water,very refreshing. The plates came out together and after 20 mins, so they were cooked from fresh. They both tasted exceptional and I was impressed with the portion size. Service was prompt and the restaurant decor was impeccable, it’s quite deceptive from outside,as it’s long and thin. Well done all the guys at Hadskis!!!

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Great traditional Spirit grocer that is Billy Andy’s

Well the BFM had a meeting in Billy Andy’s, a licensed spirit grocer, in the countryside of Antrim.

66 Browndod Road
Larne
BT40 3DX
United Kingdom
http://www.billyandys.com
028 2827 0648

The Spirit Grocer,brings me back to time gone by!! This is a lovely countryside pub,meeting place and restaurant in a real authentic old Irish place,just like olden days.

I was greeted very warmly and given menu and ordered my usual water,which came promptly with ice and lemon. For my food I ordered the Rare Breed Pork platter and apple. This had five different types of pork- loin, hock, bacon, crackling and black pudding served on a rectangular white plate and then the place mat was a black slate, so impressive. I have wanted to try Billy Andy’s since February as I was told it served great Irish food. So you cannot get more Irish than five types of pork especially black pudding, cabbage and of course spuds. The mash was mustard mash and creamy and fulfilling. The whole dish was well constructed and presented and was well worth the 25 minute wait,another indication of food cooked fresh and to perfection.

In short this was the best plate I have eaten all year. I’m looking forward to sampling more. This is a gem off the beaten track and Must be tried.

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Christmas lunch with lads at the Bureau

I know it’s only July but the BFM wants you all to at least start thinking of Christmas !!!!
With this in mind I am casting my mind back to December 2013 when I lunched with the lads at The Bureau by the Lough

637 Shore Road
Whiteabbey
Jordanstown
BT37 0ST
United Kingdom

http://www.bureaubythelough.com
028 9086 6111

An absolutely amazing location and great during the summer time with fabulous beer garden overlooking the lough. Equally good in the winter when it’s cold and inclement.

So the deal was two courses for £16, 3 for £19. We were all good and chose two courses with soft drinks, as all three of us were driving!!!

I had fish cakes to start, which were delicately cooked and served with salad. Then the main was turkey and ham with trimmings. The meals were pre plated and portion size was immaculate. Two roasties,3 sprouts,scoop of mash and carrot/parsnip, ham stuffing and turkey with gravy,the cranberry was to taste. Food was hot,tasty and just right,no wastage. An absolute spot on portion size well done. I think we will go back this year!!!!

Ps @BureauByLough serve some cocktail sausages as well!! Hehe

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End of holiday dinner at Wagamama

Following up on my earlier article,the BFM has to applaud Wagamama Belfast.

First Floor
Victoria Square
Belfast
BT1 4QG
United Kingdom
http://www.wagamama.ie/restaurants/belfast-victoria-square
028 9023 6098

I wanted to celebrate end of holidays with a meal with my significant other before work starts tomorrow. So I chose Wagamama. I know I wrote about local versus chain and this did personify my thoughts,however it was not pseudo. The staff were fantastic and the food was exceptional and at very reasonable prices for mains,but starter and sides bit expensive.

We ordered fried chicken gyoza (5 pieces for £5.95) and for mains it was Wagamama ramen (£12.95) and firecracker chicken (£12.95) with side of sweet potato fries (£2.95) all washed down with water.

The gyoza was out very quick with a tangy plum dip, bit pricey for what we got,but tasty nevertheless. The fries came soon after then the mains, and wow would have fed 3 hungry adults,very tasty and you could taste the Japanese.

Overall a good Restaurant chain,with signature dishes and worth the money and not pretentious,so do give it a try!

Once again the BFM shares the food love!!! Ciao down now!!!

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Local v Global/Chains

Hi guys,sorry BFM has been quiet as my iPhone crashed!!!!

Today I want to have a chat about restaurants being local v global or chains. Let me expand on the title. By local is meant is the establishment owned,run,sourced and operated locally in the home town/state/country or is it part of a national/internationally held chain.

Now when it comes to us as consumers we demand varying types of food from the cheap and cheerful to Michelin starred haute cuisine and everything in between. We want a varied genre of food from fast food to fine dining to snacks etc, at prices to compare.

As businesses the local restauranteurs through to multinationals want to make a decent living by providing a consistently high quality product and service,as well as looking after staff and environment. I know as our family have experience in a local independent family run restaurant.

As a local enterprise it is very competitive trying to balance all the different variables and still provide good product,service and staff morale as well as complying with all the legislation and running a business.Hence prices must be set to reflect this. For me one of the most important things a local family run restaurant is that the family should be present, but that will invite more discussion.

Step in the chains.These guys will have a replicable,consistent,exacting model which may be competitively priced, but does,in my experience, fall down in many areas. Let’s praise the good,at least we know that the food quality is consistent at any given time and location for comparable prices and that decour and staff dress are the same. But this takes away one of the big reasons for going to restaurants in my opinion, and that is people. You don’t get to know owners,chef and staff and I have found this is important. Also a lot of these chains are artificial looking and are poor copies of the original.

It strikes me that being “corporations” all they are after is profit at the expense of everything else. Now some sweeping statements, I invite comment, let’s get the discussion started!!!!

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First South Indian Eatery in Belfast

The BFM has to share this little pearl in the culinary treasure chest in Belfast.
It is Bollywood Spices which was the Pharaoh previously.

199 Lisburn Rd
Belfast
BT9 7EJ
United Kingdom
028 9543 8355
https://www.facebook.com/BollywoodSpices

The place is primarily a takeaway with some limited seating and does deliveries also. The region of India that the food is from is Kerala which is the south west of India, the locals call it Gods Own Country. I must say it is a lush region which is the centre of spices and herbs in South East Asia and deserves the accolade.

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We (myself and significant other) opted for Idli (4 pieces, £4) and masala dosa (£3.50). The idli are steamed rice cakes and are soft and fluffy,the masala dosa is a crepe made from split lentil flour,cooked like a crepe and stuffed with spiced potatoes. This was served with sambar (spiced lentil and vegetable curry), green coconut chutney and red spicy chutney.

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The food was amazing and great to see in Belfast.The service was exceptional and the place was clean.I have since been and had chicken chilli masala and chicken varutharuchathu (mild coconut sauce), both “curries” @£6.50. A refreshing addition to Indian cuisine in Belfast and this demonstrates the diversity in Indian cuisine and the tastes and flavours.
Best to try for yourself. They do have a loyalty scheme and are open in the evenings from 16.30, but only serve the idli and dosa on Sunday,Monday and Tuesday.

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Remembering an Authentic Mexican

The BFM loves real,genuine and freshly cooked Mexican food, just like I had in Mexico City and Cancun in 2012. So I went to Acapulco in Ballyhack back end of summer last year for lunch,as I had a craving for the authentic thing.

257 Upper Newtownards Rd
Belfast
BT4
United Kingdom
028 9029 6400
@AcapulcoBelfast

This is the second Acapulco in Ireland owned by Patricia Carson,the first being in Dublin and also the second one in Belfast (no relation).
It is decorated just like the restaurants in Mexico,so I knew I was in for a treat!!!

I ordered the spicy chicken taquitos (£5) and boy was it nice mmmmm!! The dish was spicy chicken in a tortilla with grilled cheese and a dollop of sour cream on top along side a mixed salad and a couple of nachos,just enough for a lunch and served piping hot very quickly. Not like the rubbery textured food served up in Mexican chain restaurants!! A gem of a place.

The restaurant is Open tue-sun from
12.00-22.00. So go on down and eat in or take away a piece of authentic Mexican.

07081

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Once again the BFM shares the food love!!! Ciao down now!!!

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Proper Eurasian Fusion in Belfast

The BFM was in the Fine Dining Quarter of Belfast (I’ve just coined it that!!!) nestled in Howard Street,Brunswick Street and James Street South. When I realised the pedigree of Fine Dining we have so close together I swelled with pride, Belfast we have come afar and come of age!

I decided to try the newest addition Shiro, the Eurasian Restaurant Bar Lounge.

Bruswick Street
Belfast
BT2 7GE
United Kingdom
http://www.shirobelfast.com
+44 28 9024 8000

This was Irene and Nan’s in its previous incarnation. Shiro’s general layout was not very different from its predecessor but very well illuminated and decorated, a definite Oriental feel.

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I arrived at noon and ordered the pan fried chicken breast (£8.50) on bed of veg,udon noodles and peanut sauce. Service was excellent and staff very friendly. Food came out after about 15 minutes, so yes nice and fresh. Presentation was excellent. Felt the chicken was a tad bland, this was rectified with some house chilli oil- not too hot!! Udon noodles best I’ve had for a while well complimented by a modest amount of stir fried vegetables with a hint of peanuts. So overall fantastic food, super service, amazing ambience and of course delicious dining, a must to try!!!!

Ps for drinks I had my usual water,which was present in bottles in ice buckets dotted throughout the restaurant. If you are indulgent you can buy a bottle of spirits,what u don’t drink you give back,get brass tag and next time you are in present tag and drink- nice idea!!!

Once again the BFM shares the food love!!! Ciao down now!!!

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