With its innovative healthy menu and chic style, this new cafe and takeaway is a welcome addition to the eating out (and in) experience in Belfast
Rollo Pollo Kitchen, 699 Lisburn Road, Belfast.
This healthy fast-food cafe and takeaway is compact yet bright and airy, with a sense of understated funk and chic as befits its location amidst the designer boutiques and bars of the Lisburn Road.
A good spread of ages, no doubt drawn from the local area, as well as a few Saturday afternoon shoppers. Despite the nature of the cuisine on offer, there aren't just skinnier-than-thou health nuts about.
A healthy fast-food outlet it may be, but the menu is far more accessible than you might think (there are even 'healthy' chips on offer £ cooked in cholesterol-free oil). Chicken features heavily on the menu £ everything from their signature roast chickens turning juicily in the Australian rotisserie which adorns one wall (the first in Northern Ireland, the menu proudly boasts), to Thai red curry and drumsticks. There is also a colourful and sumptuous-looking spread of sandwiches, salads and soups as well as homemade cookies and buns.
What did we have?
Although this was not my first visit, I decided to plump for the as-yet personally untested spaghetti bolognese. My wife went for the Thai red curry, which came with a serving of brown rice. Both dishes were available as part of a lunchtime special which offered a choice of a hot dish or soup and a sandwich or a large salad for under a fiver.
One of the best quick meals I have had in a very long time in Belfast. The bolognese £ a dish which is often easy to do an injustice to - was absolutely bursting with rich, meaty flavour, and came shot through with some small chunks of vegetable. The spaghetti was not in the least bit soggy or overcooked. I know from experience that the curry is similarly excellent - spicy yet refreshing - and my wife's dish was packed with a good deal of meat and lashings of vegetables, complemented with some very tasty rice.
The cafe is at floor level with double doors at the entrance. The owners have made good use of the limited space inside, and any mobility problems should be easily overcome by shifting a few tables or chairs. There are also seats and tables in a more spacious area outside the front.
Spaghetti Bolognese £4.90; Thai red curry £4.90; 2 x soft drinks £2.20; Coffee £1.20; Latte £1.80. Total: £15.
A unique asset to Belfast's sometimes jaded cafe scene.