Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland restaurant Bull & Ram cleans up at Dublin awards

By Jonny Bell

One of Northern Ireland's newest eateries is celebrating taking three titles at a Dublin awards show.

The Bull & Ram in Ballynahinch - which only opened four months ago - took three awards at the Yes Chef Awards in Dublin on Tuesday night.

Head chef Kelan McMichael and his team won the award for best newcomer, best casual dining in Ulster and also the award for best casual dining for Ireland.

Kelan said: “Delighted and proud to win all three awards tonight considering we’ve only been open four months. 

"It's testament to my great team and to the amazing producers here in Northern Ireland whose plentiful produce inspires me and the team to prepare dishes which as Jay Rayner pointed out in his review this week are 'thoughtful innovations' which lead to these wins.

"I am taking this opportunity to thank all our customers, family and friends who have supported us."

Kelan’s passion for local, County Down ‘no frills’ food has inspired him to create an imaginative, modern yet informal menu that showcases the very best of local produce and ingredients all underpinned with incredible flavours. 

The restaurant is based in a beautiful Grade 1 listed Edwardian butchers shop in Ballynahinch which has been lovingly restored with the help of architect Sean Furey of Gradon Architecture.

Award winning 40 day succulent rib-eye beef or 28 day sirloin beef aged in Himalayan salt from Hannan Meats and local Portavogie fresh fish all grace an ever-changing seasonal menu. 

Kelan added: “I have been experimenting with my modern, bistro menu over the years and want to celebrate the true wealth of incredible seasonal, local produce that is on offer in abundance here in Co Down.

"Strangford Lobster, Kilkeel crab on toast, Hannan Meats dry-aged in a Himalayan salt chamber to a simple French Onion Soup all served with a glass of James Nicholson’s finest wines feature on the menu.”

At the weekend the restaurant was also reviewed by Jay Rayner for The Observer.

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