The early bird bags a bargain
Temple Restaurant, Belfast
Extensive menu offers great value
Temple Restaurant, |62 Andersonstown Road, Belfast.
Formerly known as Jigglers, the Temple Restaurant is a converted large semi-detached redbrick house – one of the few in the area that hasn’t been demolished to make way for apartments. Has dining areas downstairs and upstairs. The downstairs area feels slightly like having a dinner party in someone’s swish dining room. Range of seating options, from tables for two to seating for parties. Bright and airy with a couple of tables set outside for those wanting to enjoy a pre-meal smoke and drink.
Surprisingly busy for tea-time on a Tuesday, with a large party celebration, complete with champagne, at the next table, and couples making up most of the clientele on both dining levels. More 30-somethings upwards than young customers.
Between 5pm-7pm, Monday to Thursday, an early bird menu gives outstanding value at £9.95 for a two-course meal – three-course option also available for a couple of pound more – as well as an extensive a la carte menu.
Nothing hugely original, with preference for the tried and trusted delights of the Northern Ireland palate: soup, chicken wings, breaded mushrooms, chicken tempura and garlic bread for starters; chicken fillet, lasagne, spaghetti bolognese, roast leg of lamb, salmon and vegetarian Thai curry for mains.
Desserts also follow a traditional recipe with fudge cake, cheesecake, pavlova and ice cream. Certainly one of the most extensive menus of its kind.
Diners can bring their own wine (corkage charged), although a good basic list, including champagne, is available in-house along with other alcoholic options.
What did we have?
I chose the broccoli and celery soup followed by steak and Guinness pie with champ while my son-in-law, Mark, a dedicated carnivore, opted for the breaded mushrooms and roast sirloin of beef with vegetables and garlic potatoes.
The downstairs dining area is readily accessible, although with seating maximised, there could be something of a tight squeeze for those in a wheelchair.
Biggest problem was choosing from the extensive menu – the a la carte options are even greater.
The waitress was attentive, even if pretty busy, and the food did not disappoint.
The soup was full and creamy and very tasty and the pie was a bowl of chunky meat pieces topped with a light pastry lid. Much more filling than expected. Breaded mushrooms are breaded mushrooms but my son-in-law pronounced the roast beef right on the button — an accolade from him.
Two specials @ £9.95 each. Total bill: £19.90.
The last word?
As value for money, difficult to beat.