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Revealed: Ulster best restaurants, cafes and chefs named at Irish Restaurant Awards 2016

Published 17/03/2016

David Gillmore
David Gillmore
Ginger, located on Belfast's Hope Street
Uluru in Armagh
Harry’s Shack in Portstewart
Danny Millar of Balloo House won best chef in Co. Down
The 4 Vicars in Armagh won best casual dining in Co. Armagh
The Dirty Duck Bar/Restaurant in Holywood won best casual dining in Co. Down
The Salty Dog in Bangor
Harlem Cafe won the best cafe in Co. Antrim
Sweet Afton was crowned best gastro pub in Co. Antrim
Café One Eighty won best cafe in Co. Armagh
The Yellow Heifer in Camlough was awarded best gastro pub in Co. Armagh
The Poacher’s Pocket in Lisbane
The Muddler’s Club in Belfast was awarded best newcomer in Co. Antrim
Wine and Brine in Moira was crowned best newcomer in Co. Down
The Wheathill won best newcomer in Co. Down

The best restaurants in Ulster have been revealed at the regional finals of the Irish Restaurant Awards.

Over 400 restaurateurs, chefs, managers and staff were celebrating at the Guildhall in Londonderry on Tuesday night as the local winners were announced.

Each county champion will now compete to win the overall regional and All Ireland trophies which will be announced at the Irish Restaurant Awards in the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel, Dublin on May 16.

The Ulster regional winners were:

Best Restaurant sponsored by Dalcassian Wines and Spirits and Astoria Wines:

Antrim: The Muddlers Club Belfast

Armagh: Uluru Bar & Grill

Cavan: MacNean House & Restaurant

Donegal: Harry's Restaurant

Down: The Boat House

Fermanagh: Watermill Restaurant

Monaghan: Courthouse Restaurant

Tyrone: The Red Pepper

Derry: Browns Restaurant & Champagne Lounge


Best Chefs sponsored by La Rousse Foods:

Antrim: David Gillmore of James Street South Bar & Grill

Armagh: John Mathers of Newforge House

Cavan: Neven Maguire of Macnean House and Restaurant

Donegal: Conor McKee of Harvey's Point

Down: Danny Millar of Balloo House

Fermanagh: Noel McMeel of Catalina Restaurant at Lough Erne Resort

Monaghan: Conor Mee of Courthouse Restaurant

Tyrone: Brian McMonagle of The Brewer's House

Derry: Roly Graham of Church Street Restaurant


The Ulster regional winner of Best Restaurant Manager sponsored by Tindal Wine Merchants:

Alain Kerloc'h of OX Belfast.


Best Casual Dining sponsored by San Pellegrino:

Antrim: The Ginger Bistro

Armagh: 4 vicars

Cavan: The Oak Room

Donegal: The Harbour Restaurant

Down: The Dirty Duck Alehouse

Fermanagh: Dollakis Restaurant

Monaghan: Porky's Restaurant

Tyrone: Oysters Restaurant

Derry: Harry's Shack


The Local Food Hero award sponsored by Rewarding Times:

This award recognises the individual that promotes food culture in their locality and stirs up the passion in people to explore various cuisines.

Robert Curley of Slemish Market Supper Club


Best Hotel Restaurant sponsored by Elavon Merchant Services:

Antrim: The River Room at Galgorm Resort & Spa

Armagh: Newforge House

Cavan: The Courtroom Restaurant at Cabra Castle

Donegal: Harvey's Restaurant at Harvey's Point

Down: The Salty Dog Hotel & Bistro

Fermanagh: Catalina Restaurant at Lough Erne Resort

Monaghan: Snaffles Restaurant at Castle Leslie Estate

Tyrone: The Kitchen Restaurant at Tullylagan Country House Hotel

Derry: Ardmore Restaurant at Beech Hill Country House Hotel


Best Cafe sponsored by Aryzta Food Solutions:

Antrim: Harlem Cafe

Armagh: One Eighty

Cavan: The Hard boiled egg cafe

Donegal: Aroma Cafe

Down: Niki's Kitchen Cafe

Fermanagh: The Jolly Sandwich Bar

Monaghan: Roberto's Coffee Shop

Tyrone: The Moy Larder

Derry: Lost & Found


Best Kids Size Me category sponsored by Heinz Ireland

Kids Size Me is an initiative on the provision of child size portions of adult meals in restaurants. This award recognises the restaurant that ensures children have access to healthier food options when dining out by making child size portions of adult meals available as an alternative to ordering from the standard children’s menu.

The overall Ulster winner is Upstairs at Joes in Co. Antrim.


Best Gastro Pub sponsored by Bunzl Mclaughlin:

Antrim: Sweet Afton - Bar & Kitchen

Armagh: The Yellow Heifer

Cavan: Murphs Bistro at Derragarra Inn

Donegal: The Village Tavern Bar & Restaurant

Down: The Poacher's Pocket

Fermanagh: Molly's Bar & The Parlour Restaurant

Monaghan: Old Coach Inn

Tyrone: The Brewer's House

Derry: Walled City Brewery


Best World Cuisine sponsored by Keelings Farm Fresh - Arnotts Fresh Fruit:

Antrim: DinaDina

Armagh: Shapla Tandori

Cavan: Sophia's Ristorante

Donegal: Chandpur Indian Restaurant Donegal

Down: Koi Asian Cuisine

Fermanagh: Dollakis Restaurant

Monaghan: Eastern Balti House

Tyrone: Dragon Garden Chinese

Derry: Taaj Magherafelt


Best Newcomer sponsored by BWG Foodservice:

Antrim: The Muddlers Club Belfast

Armagh: Wine&Brine

Donegal: Blas

Down: The Wheathill

Fermanagh: The Happiness Trap

Tyrone: Chapter V Restaurant

Derry: Walled City Brewery


Best Emerging Irish Cuisine sponsored by Odaios Foods:

Holohans at the Barge


Best Customer Service sponsored by

Antrim: The Great Room Restaurant at The Merchant Hotel

Armagh: The Moody Boar Bistro & Restaurant

Cavan: Macnean House and Restaurant

Donegal: Chandpur Indian Restaurant Donegal

Down: Kilmorey Arms Hotel Kilkeel

Fermanagh: Dollakis Restaurant

Monaghan: The Restaurant at Nuremore Hotel & Country Club

Tyrone: Black Cat Traditional Restaurant

Derry: Browns in Town


Best Wine Experience sponsored by Classic Drinks:

Antrim: OX Belfast's OX Cave

Armagh: Uluru Bar & Grill

Cavan: The Oak Room Restaurant

Donegal: Castle Murray House Hotel & Restaurant

Down: The Boat House

Fermanagh: Cafe Merlot

Monaghan: The Batch Loaf

Tyrone: The Brewer's House

Derry: Browns Restaurant and Champagne Lounge

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