Marco Pierre White’s steakhouse has come to Belfast and I was fortunate enough to get a sneak preview of what was in store for diners. The new restaurant has opened up in the Park Avenue Hotel and the dining space is incredibly elegant and sophisticated.
As many of you will know, Marco Pierre White (MPW) is a chef known for his hot headed personality and I loved the intense and humourous black and white photos of Marco through the ages hanging on the walls of the new restaurant. He has a number of restaurants dotted around the UK but this is the first of his steakhouse restaurants to open in Northern Ireland.
Cooking Marco’s signature steakhouse restaurant dishes is chef Eddie Patrick – the husband of Mandy Patrick who owns and runs the long-standing establishment. The 4* Park Avenue Hotel is located in East Belfast and was first opened by Mandy’s grandfather in 1959. It was great hearing how far the hotel has come over the years and during the dining preview night it was obvious how excited Mandy, Eddie and their staff are about this new venture with Marco Pierre White.
Now lets talk about the food!
For starters a selection of ‘land’ and ‘sea’ platters appeared on our tables. From boiled ham en gelée with parsley to smoked mackerel with horseradish and a beautifully cooked free-range scotch egg, these platters went down a treat.
For main course there was no other choice (in my eyes) – it had to be the 10oz ribeye steak cooked medium rare. This was served with triple cooked chips, crispy onion rings and beautifully sweet tomatoes on the vine. The steak was cooked to perfection and the chips were the best I’ve had in a long long time. It was heartening to hear all the meat is sourced locally.
Dessert was a trio of small desserts – knickerbocker glory, sticky toffee pudding and baked chessecake. The highlight for me was the mini knickerbocker glory but generally I’m not a fan of mini desserts. Just give me one big slice of cake please!
The MPW menu is full of classic French-inspired dishes really reasonably priced. Marco himself classifies his steakhouse eateries as “affordable glamour”. Don’t expect overly fancy presentations with small portions! East Belfast is considered by many to be the restaurant hub of Belfast and I can see this newest addition doing really well and attracting local people just as much as the hotel visitors.
I’ll definitely be back to enjoy another steak soon.