Let’s face it, the Belfast Food Scene is thriving – which is fantastic. A new dawn of what constitutes a good night is upon us; gone are the days of going out at 10:30pm, after a few ‘pre drinks’, paying £20 into a club, drinking doubles and staggering to a taxi, burger in one hand and shoes in the other…now we like to head out early; fine dine, drink cocktails, go home before 10 and wake up fresh ready to breakfast or brunch!
We now go out after work, around 5pm for an after work drink, a small plate or even just a coffee (irish coffee if you’re with Lauren) and restaurants have noticed this and acted on it, Pre Theatre Menus are back.
I recently checked out the Pre Theatre offering at The Fitzwilliam Hotel – 2 courses for £20 or 3 for £25, the menu is Summer themed and offers a simplistic yet refreshing choice of four starters, four mains and four desserts – with enough variety in there to entice all.
I’ve linked the full menu here
With this thriving food scene, Hotel Restaurants often get forgotten about. The aren’t what people instantly consider, and in the past Hotel Restaurants have sometimes had a bad name, people don’t always associate them with good food – However the Restaurant at The Fitz breaks this trend, the AA Rosette kitchen offers up excellent food, presented impeccably on some of the nicest plates I’ve ever come across.
For starter I got the Asparagus; charred asparagus topped with crispy hens egg and scattered chorizo. The asparagus was lovely, it had a slight crunch, was salty and matched perfectly with the egg, let’s face it, asparagus and egg isn’t new but the addition of chorizo and wild garlic truffle oil elevated this dish – it worked very well.
Lauren got the Monkfish for starter, Monkfish cheeks with a black truffle and parmesan arancini – arancini is like a risotto ball covered in breadcrumbs btw. I tried this, quite a meaty fish so I was pleasantly surprised by it given I am not a seafood fan – both starters came on beautiful plates, really really lovely.
Onto the mains, I went Chicken (what a choice) and Lauren went for the Fish course again. My Chicken came wrapped in Prosciutto ham and was served with a ham and cabbage roulade which was immense. There was also a small portion of Potato Gratin, it was beautiful but I wanted a bigger portion and the dish finished off with some french peas. A really fresh dish, very light and tasty – would order again
The fish dish was Seabass, Lauren’s favourite fish – I always think Seabass looks amazing and i just wish I enjoyed fish as this looked superb (Lauren polished it off so it must have been good) this came with a croquette and and butter poached leeks – often Seabass is served as a whole chunk, almost like a fish steak but this one was carved and each bit of Seabass was positioned on a leek – it was clear the kitchen had taken pride in each plate coming out.
We enjoyed desserts after, these were good but didn’t live up to the quality of the previous four courses, Lauren enjoyed hers (Pear and Almond Tart) more than I did my Lemon Meringue Roulade.
Overall a very enjoyable evening, a really strong option for those seeking some tasty food before a show – for me, given its locality, price point and taste this is a great choice for those craving a pre-theatre experience. On a final note it was nice to see some local artwork hanging up as you walk to the restaurant – this was my favourite piece.