Off to Derry for a weekend. Looking at places for dinner.
So far on my possibles list we have
Artis - I seem to recall the chef Phelim O’Hagan doing quite badly on the GBM
Browns Bond Hill - seems to get a consistently decent write up on TA.
Cedar - Lebanese - also from TA
Mekong - Thai - also from TA.
Anyone got any ideas, experience or tips ?
Thanks in advance.
By co-incidence, it was only the other day Mrs H & I were saying we’ve never been to Norn Iron and should rectify that sometime.
We’ve booked Artis
We shall see…
So, off to Derry we went.
We had a function Saturday night so only two real meals out ( unless you count the Guinness as a meal in itself )
The first was at Artis - with Phelim O’Hagan at the helm. It is situated in a nice little courtyard with other eateries and touristy/craftsy shops. No bar so straight through to our table. Nice room, busy on a Friday night, but not oppressively so or too noisy.
We opted for the tasting menu and the rundown was
- Scallop with jersey royal , morel and salted lemon
-Mackerel - with spicy ‘mack’ sauce, fennel and blood orange
- Cod with lentils,kale ,wild garlic
- Chateubriand with Jerusalem artichoke, whiskey onion ( or chicken breast with savoy cabbage and artichoke )
- baked custard tart, rhubarb and pistachio
- hazelnut entremet with milk chocolate and blood orange
Overall impression was good without being spectacular. The simpler the dish the better it seemed to be.
The mackerel was a major disappointment as the spicy sauce overwhelmed everything ( quite an effort with mackerel on the plate. Chateaubriand was fine, but we had food envy of our friend who opted for the chicken which looked bob on.
Best course by ‘quite the distance’ was the entremet which we concluded with. ‘Its meant to taste like a Ferrero Rocher’ they told us. Now telling someone brought up in the 1970s that is what to expect is the food equivalent of offering them a posh Arctic Roll or reimagined Vienetta - you have to deliver if you are bigging yourself up in that way
…and they did.
It was light yet naughty and the ambassador would have felt truly spoilt.
I’m not drinking at the moment but the wine list was interesting and reasonably priced. The staff were lovely.
Would I go back, if ever back in Derry ? Yeah, I reckon I would. It was decent value too at 70 quid a head, excluding drinks.
On the Saturday afternoon we went to Browns in Town ( they also have a posher sister restaurant which would be the other ’ high end’ place to head for - if we hadn’t gone to Artis. )This was also a nice room - seemed a slick operation. Opted for the burger and it was an exemplary example of the craft - dirty but nice - with good fries on the side.
Recommended and again if ever back in Derry I would happily try out their posh gaff, if the food here is anything to go by.
Good to read it played out reasonably well.
a classic orange juice