A Revamped menu helps take a hotel's public bar to a whole new level
Lady Anne Grill Bar, Balmoral Hotel, Blacks Road, Belfast.
Essentially the downstairs public bar of the hotel, with its own entrance, although also accessible from the main hotel.
Extensive seating for couples or larger groups and with a warming stove in one raised alcove. Two decking areas outside with chairs and tables for smokers.
On a Monday evening it was quite busy with a wide range of customers, from mature couples to family groupings and the occasional patron grabbing a quick bite on the way home from work.
A very extensive menu including five chef's specials, a range of starters from the ubiquitous vegetable broth to duck breast and baby back ribs and main courses including chicken, salmon, steaks, lasagne, sweet chilli ciabatta with strips of chicken garnished with onion and mushroom and a selections of sandwiches.
The hotel also has a formal restaurant.
What did we have?
My son, a firm fan of the quick food options, chose the chicken fillet coated in southern fried breadcrumbs in a burger bap with a garnish of salad and a side order of chips. I opted for the chef's special of cod in a dill sauce with chips (mash also available).
Access is at ground level straight from the car park with ample room between tables for wheelchair users. Toilets are on the same level and readily accessible.
My son's chicken fillet was enormous, well-cooked and tasty, as evidenced by how he tucked in. The cod was of adequate proportions, complemented by the sauce which added a wholesome flavour. Washed down with a quarter bottle of sauvignon blanc, the meal was surprisingly filling.
Chicken £5.95; Cod £7.50; Coke £1.40; Wine £3.40. Total: £18.25.
The new menu in an old favourite establishment is much improved on previous offerings. While it is hardly giveaway prices, the food still represents good value for money, and allied to swift and friendly service, helps the Lady Anne to retain its popularity in an increasingly built-up area.