Joris Minne has reviewed restaurants every Saturday for the Belfast Telegraph since 2008. Even so, he has not yet considered hanging up his knife and fork. He says his job is to name the good restaurants and shame the bad ones so you don’t waste your money.
Asked to name Northern Ireland's five best home grown restaurants, he recommends...
Possibly the most exclusively locally sourced menu of all restaurants in Belfast, on the menu is Mourne lamb stew, Kilkeel prawn cocktail and Glenarm pork ribs. Who would have thought Northern Ireland’s food portfolio would be extensive enough? It's as pure as it gets.
13 Lower Crescent, Belfast Tel: 028 9032 3349 www.crescenttownhouse.com
Loaves the size of small sofas, beef from the surrounding farms of Tyrone and beers brewed here. It's rural Ulster heaven and the service is a reminder that we are a naturally hospitable people. If ever you needed to find (or lose) yourself in the lap of home culture, the Brewer’s House will deliver.
Main Street, Donaghmore Tel: 028 8776 1932 www.thebrewershouse.com
When chef Joery Castell brings back samphire he's collected himself on the shores of Srangford Lough, you know you’re in for a treat. And at the end of summer when the samphire gets too stalky, you’ll find kale and other wonders accompanying shell fish and crustaceans plucked from the water just a few hundred yards form the restaurant.
1a Seacliff Road, Bangor, Co Down. Tel: 028 9146 9253 www.theboathouseni.co.uk
Chef Damien Tumilty could get away with anything in this vast palace but he creates beautiful dishes from local produce. Try the rump of Lough Erne lamb (competing for our attention with the other favourite from the Mournes) or small plates of mussels and homemade Guinness and treacle bread.
25-39 Arthur Street, Belfast. Tel ; 028 9043 9160 www.cafevaudeville.com
Little multi-starters featuring crab from Kilkeel, black pudding from Gracehill, and goat’s cheese fritters are a delight. The beef shin burger which will knock you out. It is made from ultra slow cooked beef from Hannan's. A culinary wonder. When you wake up, try the Armagh apple tarte tatin.
33-35 Malone Road, Belfast, Tel 028 9066 1885 www.facebook.com/thebarkingdogrestaurant
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