Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dinner at Cayenne, Belfast

Myself and Miss Like Mam Used To Bake were up bright & early last Saturday morning because we drove at a sedate pace up the M1 to Belfast where the Irish Blog Awards were being held.  I only made it as far as the shortlist, but she was a finalist (clever clogs) so it would have been rude not to, right?  As part of the festivities, the lovely Walter organised a bloggers dinner in Cayenne - just a quick stroll from our base in the Europa Hotel where we were joined by The Mire, Deirdre from Vulgo and her lovely friends B & MT.

Cayenne is owned by Paul Rankin, previously of Roscoff (where myself & The Hubs had a memorably delicious lunch many years ago) so I knew our meal would be lovely.  In fact, Mr. Rankin had heard about our visit & very kindly tweeted me fresh from his Comic Relief appearance, hoping to get back to Belfast in time to say hi.,  Sadly, this was not to be, but our evening more than compensated for this!

Cayenne's early bird menu is an absolute bargain at just £18.50 for 3 courses.  The staff are friendly and charming, and to my delight have a large selection of gin to choose from (always a great starting point).  One Miller's G&T later and it was time to choose from the small but perfectly formed menu.

I had the Ryefield Goats Cheese & Potato "Puff Pizza" to start.  I am not ordinarily a goats cheese fan but this was absolutely delicious - thin and very crispy with a tiny dice of tender potato & goats cheese on top.

Miss LMUTB opted for the Asian Seafood Chowder.  I would like to point out that I offered her some of my pizza but I don't recall her being as forthcoming with her soup.

The main course chose itself as far as I was concerned... Chargrilled Bavette with Chips & Bearnaise.  And I wanted it as pink as possible.  The well done meat eaters on the far side of the table could barely suppress a shudder.  It was delicious.

Miss LMUTB had the Potato Gnocchi & Wild Mushroom Gratin with Gruyere.  This was fabulous & she offered me some in a very generous manner.  Pillowy, tender and crammed full of flavour - this would convert any carnivore.

It would have been rude not to try dessert and the choices were superb.  After a lot of mental anguish, I finally  had the Buttermilk Pannacotta with Caramelised Oranges & Miss LMUTB had the selection of icecreams.  Thankfully Cayenne don't believe in the vanilla, strawberry & chocolate standard offering, and I was able to "borrow" some of hers.  The ginger icecream in particular was incredible - something I must make very soon.

To summarise: the company was lively, charming & entertaining.  So was Cayenne.  Go there.  Now...

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