Belfast Telegraph

Lunch isn't for wimps: Belfast Castle

By Louise Small

After a hard morning in the office I decided to treat my darling mother to lunch.

We were totally undecided where to go and with my continuing obsession with champ, I googled 'best champ in Belfast' to see where would be recommended. I was perturbed by the result: 'Best champ in Belfast, Darren Clarke....' As much as Darren is a legend and a 'champ' I didn't fancy taking a bite. This lightened the mood for the day and we set off to , with the beautiful grounds and excellent reviews, but we noticed the Cellar restaurant was closed for renovations. We were seated in the Ben Madigan room upstairs, which was bright and open, but not as welcoming as we had hoped. There were only two other tables and I felt we couldn't talk to each other unless it was in a low tone. Mum ordered the grilled salmon with saute potatoes and I opted for the sirloin steak, cooked medium-well, with, surprise surprise, a side of champ. When the food arrived I had to weigh up my steak. I did not know whether to eat it or climb it. It was huge. The champ needless to say was beautiful. Unfortunately I have yet to master making it this way myself. Mum enjoyed the salmon and after trying some of it, I possibly could be tempted to opt for it rather than steak next time. It would have been impossible to order a dessert after the meal we had, so we asked for the bill. I was pleasantly surprised, as what we had, plus two soft drinks, came to £28.45. I will return to weigh up the renovations and enjoy another bowl of delicious champ.