Lunch at Balloo House, Killinchy

As a treat for our twelfth anniversary, which is coming up this weekend, Ian and I took a break from redecorating the house to enjoy a rare lunch together without the kids!

We decided to try Balloo House in Killinchy- it’s only four miles down the road from us and we’d read excellent things about it in the Bridgestone Guide last year.

Upon our arrival, it became immediately obvious that we should have booked- they were packed to the rafters even though it was lunchtime and Killinchy is pretty far out of the way! However they managed to find us a table very quickly indeed.

The decor is very oldy-worldy-pub. I love the old photos on the walls and the ancient advertising posters, including “Bovril- better than a blanket! Defends against colds and influenza!” 😀 It is painted a dark red colour which suits the room very well and makes it feel deceptively cosy- but if you look around it is actually quite a large place. There are roaring real fires and a number of interesting “relics” such as an old range oven in the middle of the restaurant!

We were presented with our menus and could not believe the variety and choice, each option sounding more appetising than the last! After massive deliberation, I went for crispy fried squid, followed by salmon with noodles and asian greens. Ian opted for leek and potato soup and steak and guinness pie (he’s a very traditional eater, lol!).

After our orders had been taken, we were served with a basket of delicious complimentary homemade breads served with butter and tapenade. The breads were so yummy that I could barely wait for the rest of my food!

We weren’t disappointed- my squid starter was absolutely incredible- the squid itself perfectly cooked. It was served with two side bowls, one of homemade mayonnaise and one with a chili jam (with tomatoes and heavily scented with cumin- gorgeous!). The sauces were so good that I made them leave them at the table so I could dip my salmon in them, lol! Ian’s soup was equally nice, very creamy and a good balance between potato and leek.

My salmon was perfectly cooked and served on a delicious teriyaki flavoured bed of noodles. My only slight criticism would be that I would have preferred a few more of the asian greens mentioned on the menu, but that’s nitpicking! Ian’s steak pie was so absolutely massive that it would have fed a small nation for a year, but was full of flavour, tender beef and served with yummy buttery roast carrots on the side. Ian had (somewhat bizarrely in my book) ordered a side of cabbage and bacon and this was also lovely.

We were both completely stuffed by this point but the puddings sounded so nice and we so seldom get out for a meal together that we threw caution to the wind and decided to go for it! Ian’s sticky toffee pudding was gorgeous, served in a satisfyingly big puddle of butterscotch sauce. I had a white chocolate cheesecake which was nothing short of perfection.

Service was good too- despite the fact they were so busy, nothing was too much trouble, and BOY do those guys shift!!

The meal was also excellent value. Three courses each and two soft drinks each- total came to only £41.

I can’t believe I haven’t checked this place out before! I will be galloping back at the earliest opportunity. I honestly can’t think of a bad thing to say about it, and highly recommend it!


11 Responses to “Lunch at Balloo House, Killinchy”

  1. April 11, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    Although the thought of eating squid makes my stomach do cartwheels, the rest of the meal makes me hungry. It is always nice to find gems so close to home.

  2. April 11, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    That sounds like a lot of fun. glad you enjoyed yourselves!

  3. April 11, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    okay…so it keeps telling me that I am posting comments too quickly and need to slow down. ???????????????

  4. April 11, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    so I lost three posts before it let me post that one above.

    I keep trying to ask…is pudding another word for dessert over there?

  5. 5 suzy2110
    April 11, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    Corey, yes! 😀

  6. 6 Jenny
    April 11, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    Mmm, sounds delicious. I’ve never heard of the place, but I wish now that I had found it before we moved somewhere so inconveniently located!

  7. 7 Sara
    April 11, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    You are making me want to come to Ireland to visit that restaurant! Happy Anniversary and I’m glad you had a great time, just you and Ian.

  8. 8 Lou
    April 13, 2008 at 6:32 am

    Happy Anniversary guys! Hope you had a great weekend, the meal certainly sounds lovely.

  9. 9 Kate
    May 31, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    I do not know you personally but hope it’s OK to comment, just let me know if not. Really glad you enjoyed it & your celebrations Suzi. I went there last Sunday, having booked, & had a difference experience unfortunately. Had spotted it in a sunday supplement’s guide to the best pub-restaurants in UK. Starter of prawn cocktail very nice but overdone monkfish for the main and what tasted & looked like (but may not have been) shop-bought mass produced ice-cream for pudding. Bit disappointing. But a beautiful area and nearby Killyleagh totally breathtaking

  10. 10 suzy2110
    June 1, 2008 at 10:54 am

    Kate, of course it’s OK for you to comment, because you’re writing something constructive and interesting (unlike some comments I have had on other reviews!!). Thanks very much for reading and taking time to give your own opinion! My Dad actually had a similar experience in Balloo- I don’t know if we got them on a good day or something, but the food was really lovely and not at all shop bought when we visited. It’s disappointing to hear that it isn’t as good 100% of the time. Once again thanks for your comment!

  11. 11 Alan
    November 29, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    I have been here 3 times(baloohouse) now last time I had guiness pie didn’t like it I’m thinking of going tomorrow
    Lovely surroundings;
    Glad you had an nice experience for you anniversary

    Thanks for your comment, Alan! I hope you had a nice meal on Sunday!

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