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Joris Minne restaurant reviews: Finegan & Son in Newry and Belfast's Roam Pop-Up

Roam Pop-up, www.roampopup.com. Finegan & Son, 9 Kildare Street, Newry BT34 1DQ. Tel: 07714 290002

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 A dish from Roam Pop-Up

A dish from Roam Pop-Up

The recent explosion of restaurant takeaways reveals that the lockdown's whole new world of eat-at-home experiences looks likely to become a permanent fixture. Long after the restrictive, damaging and depressing Covid-19 days become a memory, the green shoots of the takeaway economy will have taken hold and blossomed into an entirely new sector, the restaurant-at-home.

Three-course dinner kits, pre-mixed cocktails and paired wines are taking food lovers to new heights in their own kitchens and dining rooms. Whether this has a lasting impact on the numbers who actually go out to a restaurant for lunch or dinner remains to be seen. You can never replicate the joy and sense of occasion of a busy restaurant and that ambience and magic will keep us coming back for ever. In his book on the history of restaurants, William Sitwell shows us that we have enjoyed eating out for thousands of years, so it's hardly likely that we will forsake this habit in favour of takeaways just yet (although takeaways from Pompeiian restaurants were already a thing 2000 years ago).

Nonetheless, when the takeaways are as good as many of those I have enjoyed in recent months, there is little doubt that they are here to stay.