lunch at the MAC

I went to the MAC canteen for a delightful and chilled out lunch with Mrs BFM- without the kids-what a rarety!!!


Exchange St West
Cathedral Quarter
Belfast
BT1

I can still remember the day the MAC or the Metropolitan Arts Centre opened as I was a guest there. There is also an original member of staff still working there, a really pleasant young lady called Amy who just happened to serve us. She was very attentive and chatty.

The MAC is a great arts centre and has had and still had many good art shows/displays/exhibitions and plays. It has also the finest restaurant of any of the art centres in Belfast and serves from 10am til 8pm breakfast, lunch, dinner and tapas.

We opted for the seafood platter (tapas) which contained salmon, prawns, rollmops, breads and remoulade sauce. Also we had the seafood chowder (which was red/orange in colour and delicious) served with Guinness and treacle bread which again was amazing. The chunky chips came well recommended and were super as was the mushroom arancini on a bed of squash chutney. To wash it down I had water and my wife had fizzy orange. To finish I had a latte and the good lady had a devine hot chocolate.

The guys in the open plan kitchen did a fantastic job of the food and are very on the ball listing the 14 allergens in the menu and website.

This was my wife’s first visit and she did naively ask if the walls were to be painted!! I explained that this bare wall look was intentional and that that was the way the architect designed it. It is superbly lit up at night inside and outside and the art displays are worth looking at. I love the openess of the dining area on the ground floor and first floor. It’s a real relaxed dining experience with the privacy of booths. A very fine,highly recommended eatery!! 

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Cakeage

Yep you read right cakeage as in corkage. I heard on the radio that a restaurant charged a table for ten,who were celebrating a birthday party, a gut wrenching £9 per person to serve and cut a birthday cake!!!


Obviously this would be outrageous but if one looks at the principle then one can see the logic. Let’s look at corkage. This is when an establishment levies a charge to open an alcoholic drink (usually wine), which is the difference between the cost of the drink and how much the establishment would charge for the drink themselves. So if you apply this to a cake then cakeage would be the difference between the cost of the cake and how much the establishment would sell it for. So if it was a huge, costly cake then applying the principle, the cakeage would be expensive. Remember in setting up,delivering and serving the cake, an employee would have to expend time and effort and use resources (plates,cleaning and napkins) to facilitate this. So in a kind of way this would justify the charge BUT let’s be real and decent about this and NOT go down this road!!!!

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Meal for four

The BFM cooked for the clan today. In the menu was Sardine masala with brown rice and jeera aloo. The sardines were cooked in ghee,onion,garlic,ginger,tomato and salt. The brown rice was coloured in ghee and cumin seeds before boiling in water and finished with spinach and sweet corn. The potatoes were sliced and boiled,before adding to cumin infused ghee with masala and turmeric. 

All in all a balanced, tasty,cheap and delicious meal for the family of four. Note can have with naan and yoghurt. I served a simple tomato and cucumber salad.



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Jordanstown Indian Jewel

I was treated to a truly amazing culinary experience in the Crown Jewel of Indian cuisine in Jordanstown that is TAAJ. 

620 Shore Road

Jordanstown

United Kingdom

http://www.taajrestaurant.com/

028 9086 6599

TAAJ is an acronym for Traditional Authentic Aromatic Journey  and along with the very strong Lion logo and branding exhibits a very powerful message. TAAJ Jordanstown is the second TAAJ after the Magherafelt branch brought to us by Manjeev and Pradeep. It is a truly authentic Indian restaurant having owners and chef of Indian origin. Chef in Jordanstown is Nirmal.

After chatting to Manjeev and Nirmal I was recommended the signature dish of Sea Bass. This was delicately pan fried in a selection of aromatic spices, served on pan fried new potatoes, topped off by cherry tomatoes and accompanied by boiled rice, side salad (lettuce,cherry tomatoes, red onion and cucumber) and makhani sauce, with a wedge if lemon. This was all served on a single square white plate. The whole combination worked very well,was absolutely an amazing dish and was enough for my satiation.

The food was so nice I took a take out of chicken tikka bhuna with pilau rice (for wife and kids). Again that was delicious and finished by three hungry ladies! Meat wasvery succulent as with the fish,very flavoured and a bit spicy for the girls,but this was quitened down with yoghurt.

The team are very up to date with legislation and regulations and are very proactive and forward thinking. Again this is reflected on the menu and restaurant set up. A truly great addition to the Indian food scene in the greater Belfast area, thoroughly recommended!!

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Fantastic Traditional Butcher

This traditional butcher cum grocer and bakery shop has been a fixture and fitting of Ballynure for a long time.

Main St
Ballynure
BT39 9TU
028 9335 2592
http://www.jacksonsbutchers.co.uk/

It is a family run shop and is always busy. I picked up a 10 inch square birthday cake for my nephew (great taste and value for £12.50) yesterday. There is a wide range of cakes,pastries and tray bakes available. Also a varied range of vegetables, pies, ready meals, general grocery provisions and a huge selection of fresh meats and some frozen. Their selection of fresh condiments and accompaniments are worth checking out as well. This is how a traditional shop should be.

They are very pro active and up to date with legislation and have displayed a list of 14 allergens in a mind map format.

Once againe the BFM shares the food love!!! Ciao 4 now!!
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Lunch treat

I decided to have a treat so I went to Di’Maggios Southside for lunch.

1038 Pollokshaws Road
Glasgow
G41 3EB
United Kingdom
http://www.dimaggios.co.uk/
+44 141 632 7924

I had a 12 inch Americano Pizza for £5.95. Bargain and great VFM and service. Loved the remote control tea lites, very cool!!! The pizza is same size in evening but more expensive!!

Once againe the BFM shares the food love!!! Ciao 4 now!!
The BelfastFoodMan
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Amazing Indian food in Fantastic ambience

I was truly treated to a great meal in the original Mother India set up by Monir in 1990. Monir was with Ashoka restaurant before going it alone and very well!!

It’s a 170 seater spread over 3 floors. I chose the two course menu for £11.50. I had to start Aloo Saag Dosa and for main it was Chicken tikka Chasni with peshwari nan. The food and service was amazing. Definitely worth a visit.

Once againe the BFM shares the food love!!! Ciao 4 now!!
The BelfastFoodMan
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