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Cayenne served up some fantastic memories

As a frequent visitor to Belfast, I was sad to read of the recent closure of Cayenne restaurant.

Paul Rankin's iconic establishment has been serving excellent food and a sublime atmosphere to diners for many years and he rightfully received the first Michelin Star to be awarded in Northern Ireland for his previous incarnation Roscoff (which I was privileged to eat in on one occasion).

Last week's announcement of Cayenne's demise prompted me to reflect on many great visits that I've made to this culinary oasis.

One that sprung to mind was when my wife and I were having an excellent meal and fell into conversation with a couple at the adjoining table (Cayenne was like that). We joined company which enhanced our night and as the husband was a chef who knew Rankin, I asked would he get the man himself to sign the menu to complete our dining experience.

Rankin's note was typical of Northern ironic humour – "Back in the kitchen again full time... and its killing me. Lawlers come back soooon!"

I guess we didn't come back enough! Thanks for many great nights Paul and hopefully you will soon be back with a new incarnation.

Mark Lawler

Dublin 8

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