Harra (green) kebab

A kebab is Middle Eastern grilled or fried meat. There have been many spin offs by many different nations/regions. I want to share a North Indian Moghul influenced dish called Harra Kebab. Harra means green and the colour of the meat, in my case Northern Irish minced lamb from LIDL, had a green tinge-very Irish!!!!

I started with the green component. Into my magic bullet I put green leaves coriander, fenugreek, spinach, basil and mint and blended with ginger, garlic, salt and pepper and ground cumin, cinnamon, clove and cardamom. 


I added this to 400g of the lean minced lamb and a finely diced onion. To help bind the mixture I added some plain flour. I shallow fried the round patty shaped kebab and the long sausage shaped kebabs until they coloured (as per pictures-about 10-15 mins, turning occasionally). I served up in pitta pockets with salad and mint sauce…….Yummy.

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Lunch treat for my 4 year old at Ambrosia

In Greek Ambrosia is the food or drink of the Greek gods. It just so happens that we have our very own Italian restaurant, by the name of Ambrosia, where one can eat and drink excellent quality food fit for a God!! 


I took my 4 year old daughter for lunch the other day and we had a great lunch. She wanted pizza and pasta so I ordered a kids meal of pepperoni pizza and I ordered penne carbonnara with prawns preceded by the best calamari I have had. Why was it the best? Simple-the calamari rings were thin, lightly battered and fried so they were crispy on the outside and soft-not rubbery inside, resting on a bed of leaves and mayo. My daughter loved them also!!


The pizza was excellent and the pasta was creamy, meaty and good portion size. We both had our fair share, yet my daughter still found room for ice cream!! To wash it all down we had chilled water and I finished off with a cappuccino. All for under £25- great price for what we had!!

The decor was very authentic Italian and I believe will be getting a facelift. The staff were absolutely wonderful and my daughter had them well entertained!! We were very fortunate to have the proprietor, Michael, joining us for a bite and yarn. He was telling us about his first restaurant Solo and new venture Il Gusto (Lisburn Road opening September end) with utmost passion. I know Solo and now Ambrosia and I’m sure Il Gusto will also be a roaring success. Thanx to Michael and the girls for making our lunch very memorable and enjoyable.

Beer Tasting and dinner at The Londonderry Arms

Last night a group of us had the pleasure of having fun, learning some history, dining and staying over (except me!!) at The Londonderry Arms Hotel in Carnlough. Our host and proprietor,Denise was excellent and really made us feel welcome. The staff were amazing and made us all feel at home. The style of hotel is definitely “Ye Olde” style with the wooden beams, intricate wooden panelling and grandiose fire places and stair well, as well as the stuffed deers head.
Before our sumptuous 5 course meal, we were treated to local (Ballycastle) craft beer tasting courtesy of Isabelle from Glens of Antrim Craft Ales and Beer. On offer was Fairhead Gold, Rathlin Red and Lizzies Gold-my favourite was Rathlin Red!! 


We then proceeded to The Tapestry Room to be spoilt by Manus the chef. For starters I had fish-salmon, mousse and eel, followed by chicken on champ with roasted root vegetables and pepper sauce, followed by a delightful caramel tart, coffee and a cheese board. We then retired to the Coach House for some good old County Antrim “craic”. In short the food was out of this world, the service was spectacular and the evening was a roaring success!!


The hotel has a wonderful history- Hector gave us a fine account over dinner!! Sir Winston Churchill was once the proud owner of the Arms and we did have drinks in the Churchill Lounge whilst he looked over us-I will stay in the Churchill suite next visit!!!


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Craft beer cans

Ireland’s favourite craft beer launches new cans in Northern Ireland
CRAFT brewer Franciscan Well, which includes Ireland’s number one* craft beerRebel Red in its range, is bringing its award winning craft beers into canned format in Northern Ireland from September.
Rebel Red, Friar Weisse and Chieftain IPAwill be available in a 330ml can for the first time in off licences across Northern Ireland, with selected bars also stocking the product.
It is the first time Franciscan Well, which is brewed in Cork, has canned any of its beers and also the first time that Friar Weisse or Chieftain IPA will be available for purchase in off licenses.
The decision to can Ireland’s favourite craft beer range is part of an international trend which has seen rising consumer demand for craft beer in a can instead of a bottle.
In the USA, 30 per cent of all craft beer sold in the off-trade is in can format. In Ireland craft beer sold in cans accounts for around 15 per cent of sales in the off-trade and that figure is expected to double over the next couple of years.
Commenting on the decision to offer Franciscan Well in a can, Shane Long, founder of Franciscan Well, said:
“This is a very exciting development for the company. Taste and quality are at the core of our craft beers and we always prioritise ways to ensure that these core traits are maximized. The decision to move to the canned format reflects the growing trend within craft beer internationally, whereby more and more products are sold in 330ml can format. This is something that has been prevalent in the U.S. and has proven extremely popular. We are confident this will be the case as we roll out craft in a can for consumers here in Northern Ireland.”
All brewing and canning will take place at Franciscan Well’s new brewery in Cork city. The brewery opened last year, reinforcing Franciscan Well’s Irish and Cork heritage. The North Mall site will be used as an innovation centre.
This decision from the award winning Cork Brewery is in keeping with internationally recognized best practice for freshness and taste, with cans providing superior product packaging quality and infinite recyclability.
Consumers are increasingly choosing to buy craft beer in cans for a number of reasons. Cans are more lightweight and portable than bottles, meaning they are easier for consumers to enjoy in more places and for bars and off licences to display. They are also infinitely recyclable, chill more quickly and are better at protecting the taste of the beer.
“We are very excited about this latest innovation for Franciscan Well, coming as it does less than a year after the opening of our new brewery in Cork,” said Shane Long. 
“Since the introduction of craft beer in a can it has proven extremely popular with consumers. It is a very handy, portable way of consuming the beer and one that preserves the taste better than any other. We are delighted to be able to offer consumers the chance to enjoy our award winning beers in a format that preserves the taste better than bottles.”
As well as being offered in a can, the Franciscan Well range will also feature a new logo.
Shane continued: “The new logo more clearly reflects the provenance of the brand and its roots in Cork. The new identity and logo retains the strength of the previous mark, while emphasizing that this is very firmly an Irish beer which was established in Cork and which is still brewed there. We believe that the provenance of Franciscan Well and its roots in Ireland are extremely important and it is something we are very proud of.
“The new brand mark positions Franciscan Well as an authentic Craft brewery from Cork, Ireland. The archway is a new devise that has been created to highlight a strong sense of place, that is welcoming and which captures the unrivalled heritage associated with the brewery founding site along with the welcoming aspect of our range of beers,” concluded Shane.
*AC Nielsen ROI On-Trade MAT to end June 2016

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Fermanagh restaurant week

This is a family favourite place of ours:
KILLYHEVLIN LAKESIDE HOTEL GETS A TASTE FOR FERMANAGH RESTAURANT WEEK

The Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel is celebrating the first ever Fermanagh Restaurant Week by offering ‘A Taste of Killyhevlin’ Taster Menu from Monday 19th to Thursday 22nd September.

Fermanagh Restaurant Week, which runs from 16th -25th September, will embrace all things local by offering foodies a series of events and tastings in various locations across the county.

The award-winning Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel is a proud member of Taste of Ulster and prides itself in supporting and celebrating local farmers, producers and fishermen, and the Taster Menu highlights this commitment.

Killyhevlin Executive Head Chef Kevin Watson, alongside Premier Sous Chef Trevor Shannon have created the detailed Taster Menu paying close attention to local produce.

“We hope the first ever Fermanagh Restaurant Week will be a really popular event,” commented Kevin.  

“We can’t wait for customers to try out the bespoke menu we have created which really showcases the tasty produce this county has to offer. Fermanagh is renowned for its beauty and scenery and we hope that the restaurant week will help put it on the map for its delicious food too!”

Jacqueline Wright, Director of Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel said:

“We are very excited to be part of Fermanagh Restaurant Week and thrilled to bring customers ‘A Taste of Killyhevlin’. Our chefs pride themselves on using only the very best local produce and have put a lot of thought, imagination and work into this menu.”

‘A Taste of Killyhevlin’ combines an assortment of the county’s delicacies, ranging from delicious Fermanagh Black Bacon to tasty Erin Grove Chutney and Preserves and those with a sweet tooth will be spoiled for choice with the Killyhevlin Sweet Selection.

The Kove restaurant at the Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel boasts chefs with a wealth of experience, a relaxed ‘art deco’ interior and spectacular unspoilt views across Lough Erne.

For more information on the Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel or to book ‘A Taste of Killyhevlin’ go to http://www.killyhevlin.com or call +44(0) 28 6632 3481.

Find out more at http://www.facebook.com/Killyhevlin and on twitter @killyhevlin


The Belfast Food Man

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