the seal knows...Review: Restaurant
I went to: Mourne Seafood Bar, Belfast
On the: 26th of July
For: Lunch with my two favourite ladies, "our hen" (sister) and Little Miss Manuel.
I gorged on: Baked Lemon Sole with herb butter, served with herb roast potatoes and crunchy fennel salad. Our hen had Smoked Haddock Fishcake with smoked salmon, creamed leeks, and soft poached egg. LMM had the traditional fish and chips with mushy peas. We shared a basket of bread. We drank bottled water. It was lunchtime, I'm not an animal you know...
And it was: So damn good I could have cried for all the fish that don't make it into this kitchen. My sole was light and so full of flavour, if that makes sense. The potatoes were cooked to perfection and the salad was crunchy as advertised.
The service was: Efficient, quick, accurate, pleasant, but without any love. Where was the love? Manuel needs to be loved.
It cost me: £37 before tip.
I'll be going back: Oh hell yes, I'll be going back over and over again.
And so it gets: 4 out 5. -1 for lack of love.
Other words: Located beside Kelly's Cellars in the centre of Belfast The Mourne Seafood Bar is now one of Belfast's better restaurants, and certainly it's best fish restaurant. And that is a big statement when you consider that Tedford's is such a good restaurant. The difference between the 2 being the lack of formality and more relaxed atmosphere in The Mourne Seafood Bar. The regular menu is supplemented with a daily special menu that on the day we visited had everything from Hot n Sour Broth to Grilled Lobster with Gremolata. The service was fine without being great. It wouldn't have upset you but wouldn't have wowed you either. Lunch took about an hour but could have gone on all afternoon if LMM had let me order the Bloody Oyster Shot (Vodka, tomato juice, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce over an oyster) mmmm. The food is complimented by a good, well priced wine list, a selection of locally produced beers and ales, and cocktails. There is no covered smoking area but that's okay as you can just nip under the awning of the bar next door. And if you are really lucky you will get have a conversation with a local character/mentalist. Where else would you get that?!
Booking is essential for evenings and if you want lunch you should get there early or expect to wait for a table. And wait you must, because it is so worth it.