Dirty Duck Ale House, 2-4 Kinnegar Road, Holywood, Co Down.
The Dirty Duck Alehouse is situated in Holywood along the waterfront. Meals are served in both the upstairs and downstairs sections and there are tables outside which, on a sunny day, would be a perfect spot to enjoy a leisurely meal. As it was a bit chilly, we opted for the upstairs restaurant with its spectacular view over Belfast Lough. It is pleasantly decorated with wooden tables - the higher ones with stools, bold-coloured walls and large windows along the front and sides.
There was a steady flow of diners of all ages ranging from families to groups of friends catching up with one another.
There is a fantastic range of dishes on offer with around nine starters including soup of the day, Caesar salads, cured salmon, baked prawns, feta cheese salad and a selection of Dirty Duck chowders: creamy seafood; creamy chicken and sweetcorn and creamy vegetable. There is also an option to have most starters as a main course.
There are around 10 Dirty Duck favourites including Basically Beautiful - slow cooked pork sausage in onion gravy with best back bacon and creamy champ; Squires Smoker: creamy champ with the finest smoked haddock and creamy leek sauce; Portavogie scampi, and Dirty Duck deli burger. And the choice doesn't end there with around 11 main courses including venison burger with tomato, onion, gherkin and salad; monkfish medallions with spiced pork belly and a tomato and chilli jam; rack of lamb; roast salmon; beef and Guinness stew; grilled seabass, and goats cheese. There is also an extensive list of side orders including chips, champ, onion rings, vegetables, salad. And, if you have room, there is a dessert menu with sticky toffee pudding, mango rice pudding, apple and rhubarb crumble, to name but a few.
What did we have?
I had prime fresh Irish cod in beer batter with mushy peas and tartar sauce, served with home-made chips. My friend had creamy seafood chowder served with wheaten bread.
Food is served downstairs and there is a disabled toilet facility on this level as well.
My battered cod was done in a light crispy batter and was very satisfying. The portions were plentiful and the home-made chips were thick, chunky and fluffy inside. My friend had the seafood chowder which had prawns, mussels and a selection of fish. This was pronounced neither too salty nor too bland, and very filling especially with the fresh bread and the perfect choice for a grey day.
Prime fresh Irish cod: £8.50; Creamy seafood chowder: £7; Coffee x 2: £2.30. Total: £17.80.
Don't duck out of visiting here.