Outstanding value for money and great food in welcoming interior
The Devenish entertainment complex, Finaghy Road North, Belfast.
Flannigan's restaurant is part of a complex also including pub, nightclub and fitness centre. Light wood and contrasting caramel coloured seating provides a bright and welcoming interior and the restaurant also has its own dedicated bar and seating area.
It had just opened for lunch on this particular Saturday and my wife and I were the first customers, followed by three elderly ladies who were apparently intent on keeping the cold at bay by ordering a hot whiskey and a bottle of wine. The adjacent pub's staple diet of all-day sport on television was proving a much more popular draw. Although the pub has its own bar menu, patrons can also order from the restaurant.
The lunch menu - we were told we could also order from the evening menu if we wished - consisted of a range of starters including soup of the day, garlic bread, chicken tempura, breaded mushrooms and chicken Caesar salad. The range of 12 mains include chilli beef and vegetable wrap, chicken wrap, club and steak sandwich, a number of burgers, lasagne and cod and chips.
What did we have?
My wife Eileen chose the bacon and lentil soup followed with a chicken club sandwich and I had the steak sandwich with mushrooms, onions and a side order of sauté potatoes (garlic potatoes, chips and mash were also available).
With access to the bar/restaurant area straight from the large carpark, and the restaurant essentially a long straight room, there is little difficulty for anyone with a disability to enter or to be seated.
The bacon and lentil soup, accompanied by the usual crusty roll, was quite the most flavoursome soup I have tasted for some time. Eileen, who has a more questioning palate, was also delighted with the choice. Her club sandwich consisted of moist chicken fillets and bacon on two generous portions of ciabatta and accompanied by a crunchy salad. My steak sandwich was even more generous in size, with tasty strips of sizzling meat, meaning the portion of sauté potatoes was not finished.
Soup of the day £2.25; club sandwich £3.95, steak sandwich £6.50. TOTAL £12.70
The restaurant does a good evening trade with a mixture of special promotions and beat-the-clock pricing, hence our surprise that it was virtually empty for lunch on the day we visited. However, the packed pub next door showed that the complex is a bit of a lads' club on Saturday afternoons. Flannigans offers outstanding value for money and the standard of the food continues to surprise. After this pitstop there was no need for refuelling until late evening.