(image: Tandem Photography)
Nestled away in the quite stunning Glens of Antrim lies a restaurant that many of you will know and the rest will want to after reading this post. Along the picturesque Antrim Coast you will find many things of beauty; Glenariff Forrest Park with its Waterfall Walkway, The Dark Hedges with its GOT lure, The Giant’s Causeway and its Magical Myth and some of the most quaint villages you’ll ever see – all justifying why The Causeway Coastal Route has been named Lonely Planet’s number 1 region to visit in the World, yes the World, in 2018
One of these Villages, Cushendall, is home to Harry’s restaurant – this ever popular eatery has been under new management since February last year and Liane and Alistair McGregor have heavily invested in a decor overhaul, increased kerb appeal and new menu additions. I travelled down from Belfast to see what all the fuss was about, journey time came in at around 55 minutes but I did hit road works on two occasions so I’d expect normal journey time to be around 45 minutes.
10-12 Mill Street, Cushendall
The restaurant sits in quite a narrow street so it’s a massive bonus that there’s off street parking behind the restaurant. After parking up we made our way into Harry’s which sits over two floors (they have a stair lift for anyone that may need it) . It was bustling and there was a good atmosphere, very friendly – I knew I wasn’t in Belfast, as even though this was a busy Friday night, there was still this sense of calmness and a relaxed vibe.
We were seated upstairs and I came across my favourite feature, a beautiful stained glass window, the other windows were Sash and the hard wood floor and velvet backed chairs added to a sense of luxury – which for this being a small family run village restaurant, was a real plus and totally unexpected.
The menu arrived, after a quick glance it was clear that this was a Pub Grub establishment, and that’s exactly what you want in a village like this, it plays perfectly to their location and patrons. We dined on a Friday night which is their Seafood Special Night, what more could a seafood lover want, you are literally 2 minutes from the sea so this was the freshest of the fresh, if however, like me you are not an avid seafood fan there are still a host of dishes to choose from including the Chicken Stack, Harry’s Burger, Steaks and even some vegetarian options, But Seafood is where they really excel and if you are a seafood fan I think you could just fall in love with Harry’s.
We shared a starter, the shredded duck spring rolls with a Hoisin glaze (£5.75) – now before I post the starter I must warm you, these are coastal portions, and they like their food in coastal town and villages, again this was for one person but we shared. A crunchy bite later and I’d reached the duck which had most definitely been cooked or marinated in an Asian Soy, and once dipped into the think Hoisin, magic – very thick spring rolls and well filled I must add, most definitely shareable
Onto the main courses, not being a Seafood fan I got the Chicken Stack (£13.95) – a chicken breast on a bed of Bacon Champ… let that sink in, topped with a mountain of tobacco onions and served with a creamy peppercorn sauce. A very enjoyable meal, filling but a little too much tobacco onion for me.
Lauren got the Battered Cod (£13.45) and we also dined with the In Laws who both got from the Fish Specials, Sean got the Haddock Thermidor (£14.95) and Carol the Poached Salmon with Chive Veloute (£14.95) – I must add that the Friday Seafood Specials do change weekly depending on the fishermen’s catch, this just means you’ll have to go back a few times.
It was great to see they use local businesses for their produce, Kearney’s Butchers supply the meat, Keenan’s Seafood provide the fish and McMullan Seafood provide the scallops and lobster.
I managed to squeeze in a dessert… for the blog, here I present Raisin and Cinnamon Apple Crumble with Custard, however they could rename this dish; Heaven in a bowl. And there’s also a Mint Aero Cheesecake,not a baked cheesecake but rather more of a creamy cheesecake if that makes sense, it actually made it very light which was needed after our mains.
The ethos in Harry’s is; Good Food, Good People, Good Times and I certainly enjoyed my trip to the North Coast. Please keep an eye on their Facebook page, CLICK HERE as they have some brilliant offers and on occasion even have some local musicians in to set the scene.