Sunday, March 16, 2014

Review : Howard Street, Belfast

Howard Street is a new kid on the block which already hosts Deanes, just around the corner from the Fitzwilliam Hotel and the Opera House.  Very unassuming from the outside, inside it's big, cavernous and very noisy indeed.  Most definitely not the place for a romantic dinner or to pop the question unless your intended can read lips.   Howard Street is industrial in appearance with exposed pipe work and a long bottle green wall that reminds me a bit of school uniforms.  Tables are simple and wooden, as are the chairs unless you're sitting at one of the green leather banquettes along the wall facing into the room.  The long bar is busy with staff pouring drinks, making coffees and issuing bills.  Peroni is on tap (£4.50) and the house Prosecco is deliciously moreish at £5 per glass.

The staff are young and very friendly in grey shirts, jeans & green aprons. Menus are printed on a single sheet of paper as is the well balanced wine list.  Seven starters and seven mains appear on the menu, together with an assortment of side dishes. 

I struck gold with my Chicken Liver Parfait (£6.50).  Liberally adorned with shards of crispy chicken skin. This definitely goes onto my last meal on earth wishlist.  I had to eke it out as no matter how much was on the plate, it would still never be enough.  The parfait was silky with toasted brioche soldiers, crunchy hazelnuts and mellow onion jam. I love my husband dearly but I begrudged sharing more than a tiny piece with him. I took great pleasure in being childish and doing the "mine is nicer than yours" chant.  He had the Tiger Prawns (£7.00) in a spicy tomato sauce with a fish croquette wrapped in crispy potato.  It was pretty and well flavoured but not a patch on my starter.
Main courses were equally impressive.  I had Pork Belly (£15) with a crispy champ cake (which was more croquette than cake), black pudding, celeriac puree and apple & cider sauce.  Lots of lovely piggy components including crisp crackling which came together with the champ and celeriac to form a well balanced dish.  The Hubs had meat in mind so ordered the 10oz Fermanagh Rib Eye (£19.00) with caramelised onion & black pepper butter, onion rings, chips and red wine jus.  He stuck to the Peroni while I had a glass of Los Espinos Sauvignon Blanc (£4.50)

And so to dessert.  I was really full at this point but the bottomless pit opposite me still had space left.  He chose the Apple Crumble (£6) which was almost granola like in appearance with sliced almonds and oats in a flat steel pan. Lots of warm spice contrasted with the tart apple and sweet crumble, while a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top completed his happiness. And when the staff say the handle is hot, they mean it...

The coffee is from Bailies so suitably top notch and milk is served in the prettiest little milk churns which I understand have been pilfered by half of Belfast at this stage.  Not me though.  Drat.

Dinner was £72 excluding service and worth every last penny. 

Howard Street, 56 Howard Street, Belfast

Tel : +44 2890248362

1 comment:

  1. I have thinking about going there, but somehow I always forget about it. Now I am definitely going. :)