Last night saw me and my friends Heather and Jacinta hit a new restaurant in Belfast called Drennan’s. We’d hear good reviews and wanted to try it out for ourselves!
We were welcomed and quickly seated upon arrival. The decor is great- cool vintage French posters (is it Joan of Arc?- Nah, she’d never get her boobs out) and massive ceiling height which makes the place look bigger than it really is. The room itself is small- long and thin- they have a small keyboard/piano wedged in there too, and someone was sitting at it when we left at 10.30pm but hadn’t started playing yet (when does he get going???).
Toilets are high spec but, like everything else, not the most roomy, and the lighting is pretty poor if you’ve been out in the rain and are trying to ascertain whether your mascara has hit the deck. Looks very cool though. I was less than impressed to discover they were out of toilet roll on my second visit, though!
The restaurant seemed totally understaffed for the level of business they were doing- two waitresses covering all the tables, and while they kept smiling, the service was very slow as a result. Maybe that is a teething problem though.
The food- well- it was all lovely. The main problem we all had with it was that there was so little of it! Starters are served in absolutely tiny bowls. I ordered mussels and seriously, there must have been about seven in the bowl, though it was really lovely. Heather had a salad which was similarly small, and Jacinta had soup which was also small, but delicious.
Main courses don’t come with any sides, but they don’t actually tell you that on the menu, so it was a good thing we ordered some, as we’d have gone very hungry otherwise! My sea bass was excellent- the sauce on it was delicious and the fish perfectly cooked. Heather ordered a steak which was perfectly cooked and very generously sized (the only thing that was all evening!). Jacinta doesn’t eat meat, but hates mushrooms, so was disappointed that the only veggie main course they had on the menu heavily featured them! We asked and were offered an alternative of cous cous, before getting them to amend the original dish to omit the mushrooms. They were very willing to do this, which was good, but I have to say that the ratatouille with goats cheese which came out was absolutely miniscule, starter sized, and I felt bad for Jacinta, though she didn’t complain and said it was very tasty. The sides we’d ordered were potato wedges (really, really good!) a bog standard salad and some fried onions which were OK.
For dessert, Jacinta and Heather both opted for vanilla cheesecake, while I went for pavlova. The puds were delicious. I do think though that the cheesecake portions were, once again, very small. Mine was much larger, and very tasty.
So- on the whole, the food was good, but I won’t be rushing back. They advertise as doing a three course meal for £17, but it came out at £25 per head by the time we ordered the sides and a couple of bottled waters. I feel they need to look at their portion sizes because whilst they aren’t the most expensive restaurant in Belfast by any means, there are many others out there who do food just as well but for better value. Also their veggie options were pretty poor.
Oh, and for those of you who read my blog on a regular basis, I DID have the mussels and the steamed fish. But I didn’t manage to forgo pudding. So, I nearly stuck to yesterday’s promise!! I am back on the diet today!
Next time, we’ll be going right across the road to Beatrice Kennedy’s. It’s more expensive but we know we’ll get value for money!