Basic but high quality fare gives TK One the edge over its nearby rivals
TK One, 124-126 Andersonstown Road, Belfast.
Long one-storey building in a little cul-de-sac just beside Casement Park GAA ground. Extensive use of bi-lingual signage from Failte (Welcome) to Slan Abhaile (Safe Home) on the frontage and inside. Some of the bare brick interior walls are painted a distressing raspberry colour which is a mistake. The bare-wall look is much superior.
On a wet Saturday morning the restaurant was crowded. It offers all-day dining, from breakfast, through an extensive lunch menu to an even longer evening menu and by all accounts does a thriving business throughout the day. Customers popping in for brunch covered a wide range, from shoppers wanting a quick bite out of the rain to a couple of community nurses on a break to families who fancied someone else doing the Saturday morning fry.
The breakfast menu features fries heavily - large fries down to mini-fries; four-stack pancakes; croissants; omelettes and a six-option kid's menu. It's all fairly standard fare, but a sign promises that everything is cooked fresh to order. We were warned that our order would take 15 minutes; it took nearly 40, and certainly seemed fresh off the griddle.
What did we have?
My wife opted for a mini-fry - bacon, sausage, egg and toast (although option to have potato and/or soda bread) and pot of tea. I had a ham, cheese and tomato omelette and tea. Both meals, when they arrived, were piping hot and the omelette was certainly stuffed full of ham and cheese. The tea had long been dispatched but the pots were replenished without prompting - a welcome and unexpected touch.
Access is straight off the street, even if the entrance we used seemed relatively narrow. Inside most of the restaurant is on one level (there is a slightly raised section) although space is at a premium. Negotiable with care.
It's hard, but not impossible, to go wrong with such simple fare. The mini-fry was tasty with an ample lean rasher of bacon. The omelette was of generous proportions, cooked to perfection and filling.
Mini fry £3.20; Omelette £3.90; 2 x tea £1.70. Total: £8.80.
The last word?
There are a number of cafes/restaurants in the area offering a quick daytime bite, but given the volume of custom through TK One on the number of occasions I have been there, it is very high in the popularity rankings. The morning menu offers basic breakfast/brunch fare but apparently just what the customers want - surely a good business model. Staff work hard but remain pleasant and helpful. On a value-for-money scale, hard to beat.