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Ziti by Knags: Great new Glengormley Italian gives Belfast’s finest a run for their money

375 Antrim Rd, Glengormley, BT36 5EP Tel: 028 9099 3598

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ACCOMPLISHED: Ziti by Knags

ACCOMPLISHED: Ziti by Knags

Pan-fried hake, jumbo prawns and fiery cajun cream

Pan-fried hake, jumbo prawns and fiery cajun cream

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ACCOMPLISHED: Ziti by Knags

There’s a certain hospitality hubris which afflicts some city dwellers.

It’s an arrogance country people can spot a mile off, inherent even in the sayings they use.

City slickers versus country bumpkins, the latter, those culchies, somehow more backward, less sophisticated than their counterparts a few miles down the road.

I readily admit it’s a recurring bias of mine.

No matter how many times a brilliant meal out in the sticks disabuses me of the notion, I’m still drawn to the fallacy all the best bars and restaurants are located in the big smoke, the engine room of the economy, where the best talent resides, where the highest wages are paid, and so on and so forth.

So as predictably as night follows day, and despite a glut of endorsements from friends, that arrogance got in the way of my expectations as I set off for Ziti in Glengormley a few Friday nights ago.

Now I live in Glengormley and it’s hardly the countryside, granted, but the same logic applies: why wine and dine here in the suburbs when those bright lights of the city beckon but a 10-minute taxi ride away? Surely these kind of places just can’t compete.

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Well, to no one’s surprise by now, I’m happy to report I was wrong — again. Spectacularly so in fact, for Ziti was nothing short of superb.

Situated directly under the long-established Khyber, and operated by Knags which set up camp some 10 years ago on the adjacent block, Ziti markets itself as a modern Italian.

But, while it proffers up all the big box office hits from that country — pizzas and linguines and bruschettas abound on the menu — some are just brazen crowd pleasers, plain and simple.

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Pan-fried hake, jumbo prawns and fiery cajun cream

Pan-fried hake, jumbo prawns and fiery cajun cream

Pan-fried hake, jumbo prawns and fiery cajun cream

Like the stacked chicken with buttery champ and smoky bacon, piled high with tobacco onions and accompanied by a peppercorn cream. Other dishes, meanwhile, veer more towards fine dining, like my dad’s special, scallops with black pudding, wilted cabbage and crispy bacon.

Not an original ensemble by any stretch, but who cares, when it’s done like this, presentation, taste and texture all in culinary concert, it’s really impressive.

As was the mains which followed his starter — pan-fried hake and jumbo prawns in a fiery Cajun cream.

It was another showstopper of a dish, and that’s the thing about Ziti, it’s got mass appeal. From the king prawn linguine to the goat’s cheese pizza to the halloumi fries, the food was big and bold and ballsy.

The friendly, efficient service only underscored the sense of a well-oiled operation.

If I have a criticism, and I’m splitting hairs here, it’s that they could work on the lighting.

It was just a tad too bright, a bit too canteen-like.

Dial up the ambience a little, get it nice and atmospheric, and it’s close to perfection.

THE Food

Scallops special£7.50

Bruschetta, pesto£6.95

Pizza, goat’s cheese£12.75

Stacked chicken£14.95

Hake, prawns, cream£14.95

King prawn linguine£14.50

Halloumi fries£4.95

Porta 6 red wine£24.50

TOTAL£101.05


THE RATING

Service****

Food****

Decor***

Vegetarian***

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