Belfast Telegraph

Observer critic Jay Rayner ladles praise on Harry's Shack after Portstewart visit

By Amanda Ferguson

Food critic Jay Rayner's love affair with the Northern Ireland restaurant scene has been boosted by a visit to Portstewart beach hut Harry's Shack.

Writing in The Observer, Rayner ladled praise on the Strand Road restaurant opened by Donal Doherty and chef Derek Creagh.

It offered "straightforward stuff that doesn't so much speak to an appetite nurtured by striding along the beach, as hector it".

He added its popularity is such "people drive a long way to get here". "It's as simple as this," Rayner wrote. "Coming to Northern Ireland right now and not going to Harry's Shack would be a stupid thing to do."

The glowing review comes after John and Sally McKenna's Guides rated it the top eaterie of 2014 despite only opening at the National Trust-run strand in August. Last month Belfast Telegraph food critic Joris Minne also praised the "cool and compelling" restaurant.

"Harry's Shack is shifting the centre of gravity on the North Coast and Portstewart now finds itself with a destination restaurant," he said.

Minne was among the social media users to share their thoughts on Rayner's review.

"Delighted," he wrote on Twitter.

"@jayrayner1 confirms @BelTel was right! Keep 'er lit."

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