Dinner at 55 Degrees North, Portrush

My aunt invited me to stay with her in Coleraine last Friday night, and as ever, I jumped at the chance! She spoils me rotten and we always have a lot of fun.

She very kindly arranged for us to have dinner at a restaurant in Portrush called 55 Degrees North. She and my Dad had been there a week before and had really enjoyed themselves. Dad had told me that there was a great view, so I was really looking forward to going!

WOW- that’s all I can say about the view. I have never seen anything like it at all! The whole front of the restaurant (and it’s very tall) is made out of glass, giving you a mesmerising view of the beach and islands just off the coast, especially as it’s on an elevated site. It’s actually so wonderful that it was hard for me to even turn my head away to look at the menu! Luckily, the light faded not long after we arrived. This is probably a good thing, or my poor aunt might not have got any chat out of me at all! It’s the kind of place you could eat on your own, looking out at the waves crashing on the shore, and not ever get bored or feel lonely. Or maybe that’s just me!

Once you get over the incredible view, and take a look around you, it’s a really lovely place on the inside as well. Dark wood prevails, but due to the glass front, it feels far from dark and gives the place a lot of warmth which might have been lacking if they had chosen something more “industrial”. Tables are spacious and placed well apart from each other, giving good privacy. It’s a fairly large room, and the high ceiling makes it feel larger. A nice touch too is that there are two “levels”, so even if you’re further back in the room, you’re on a higher level, so you still get the amazing view (did I mention the view??).

Everything is well fitted and luxurious. I could only find one toilet cubicle though, marked disabled and with both boy and girl signs on it. I am thinking that I must have simply missed the main bathrooms, but my aunt couldn’t find them either! Must ask, next time…

The menus were interesting, although not all of the options sounded as if they would work. Wok fried vegetables were served with nachos and sweet chilli sauce, I think, was one of the options- which to me is mixing too many different influences. I did see someone take delivery of it though, and they seemed to be enjoying it.

For my starter, I chose the crab cake, as did my aunt. It came served with tobacco onions and some salad to garnish. I really liked my starter- it was full of crabmeat, well seasoned and tasted fabulous.

For mains, I chose a sirloin steak, to be cooked rare, whilst my aunt went for prawn and monkfish kebabs. The kebabs were rather bizarrely served with mashed potato- it seemed an odd combination, but she very much enjoyed it. My steak was very well cooked and enormous! I had read a number of reviews which complained that this place didn’t know how to cook a rare steak, but it was perfectly cooked from my point of view, juicy and tender.

Side orders are extra- my steak came with two small mushrooms underneath but that was it. We’d ordered garlic potatoes, mushrooms and a caesar salad. All of those were delicious, well cooked and seasoned, and generous in proportion. We couldn’t begin to finish it!

I was sad that we couldn’t find room for any pudding, because the food was really lovely from start to finish. Portion sizes were very generous, maybe a little too much so!

I also thought the meal was great value for money. The place looks so posh that you’d expect there to be few reasonably priced options on the menu, but main courses start from £9.95 which I really don’t think is excessive. My vast steak came in at £14.95, which was very fair.

I have to say as well, that the staff were attentive and pleasant throughout. This is always a huge bonus!

A really good dining experience- I already can’t wait to return! Thanks so much to my aunt for inviting me!

2 Responses to “Dinner at 55 Degrees North, Portrush”

  1. 1 Skry
    September 15, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    LOL Try as I might, I just can’t picture you eating steak!

    I’m glad you both enjoyed yourselves and I hope that Dr Pritchard is keeping well. She really knows how to treat people well – she took Brian and myself all round Colraine uni when we had applied there for computers and Japanese.

    Really generous of her and a big help at a time when you really need all the advice you can get to help you choose a university 😀

    I’d ask you to say HI from me next time you see her, but chances are she doesn’t remember me. Unless she’s still haunted by the “Is that a come-on?” memories!

    For God’s sake, Keith, she’s Prof. Pritchard now!!! Do you never learn!!!! 😀

  2. 2 lenfirewood
    December 6, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    Hi suzy – I was intrigued by the name of the resteraunt as I once had several extended stays in Portrush whilst i was working on IT contracts over there (the office was in Antrim town – but it was worth the 90 mile round trip commute because of the scenery etc). I was last over there in 1998 but I don’t remember 55 degrees north being there then so I presume this has been developed since.
    You are right about the location it is facing the old ‘Arcadia’ building and the views around there are quite special (I took many photos there and in many other areas of Portrush – photography being a hobby).
    When I was there THE place to eat was called the Ramore Resteraunt (it has a wine bar downstairs called the Ramore Wine Bar). It was situated right down overlooking the harbour and the food was legendary (in a good way!) and also very fairly priced. I have heard since from a local resident that it has all changed now and the Ramore has been ‘transformed’ or been taken over by a different outfit. I am sure if I ever went back there again – at least there would be another enticing restaurant to try out.
    I enjoyed your article – it has reminded me of Portrush and some very happy memories I had whilst staying there. 🙂
    If you are curious my photo weblog has a number of Portrush photos there as does my flickr account which is linked from my weblog @ http://lenfirewood.wordpress.com/

    Thanks so much for your comment! I will check out your blog, I have eaten at the Ramore too and it’s nice as well.

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