While we were in Belfast for the weekend, we had what was probably our best meal at James Street South. It was lunch on Friday. We drove from Dublin that morning, dropped our car and bags into The Merchant and hopped in a cab to James Street South for our 1.30pm lunch reservation.
A light filled space, lots of white, woods and neutral colours with pops of blue and clean lines throughout. It’s a sophisticated and elegant restaurant. The kitchen pass and bar runs the entire length of one side. Tables are spacious and seating comfortable. We were excited to try the food. There’s a set lunch menu with 2 courses £15.50 or 3 courses £18.50.
To start I had the Butternut Squash Veloute while he chose the Guinea Fowl, Guanciale & Date Salad. My soup was delicious, it was a rainy chilly afternoon in Belfast so it was a lovely and warming way to start (especially with the beautiful homemade breads they served).
My next course was the Fillet of Seabream, Romanesco & Sorrel Linguini. His main was the Flat Iron Steak, Cep Polenta & Walled Garden Salsa Verde. We had a side of chips to go with our dishes also. Both main courses were exceptional. The seabream, perfectly cooked with all the ingredients just working so well together and a little mound of linguini pasta, lightly flavoured so as not to overpower the fish. The Flat Iron steak is a cut of beef we both love, and served rare or medium rare it is as it’s best. Crunchy golden thick chips rounded out a great course.
For dessert, I went sweet (unusual for me!) and had the Bramley Apple, Yoghurt Sorbet & Blackcurrants. There’s a Selection of Irish & French Cheeses on the menu so this was a given for him. The cheese is served with large pieces of cracker and is a really decent size serving, particularly for a set lunch menu. There was a souffle on the dessert menu also which I’d normally have chosen but on the day we visited it was banana (just no… ).
My bramley apple desert was incredibly good, a small portion that was ideal for me – a slice of apple warm with the sorbet and blackcurrants on top. Not too sweet but just a perfect end, with an espresso macchiatto.
Lunch was washed down with a bottle of Albarino (£26) while he also had a glass of red wine with his steak. James Street South is a super spot, fine dining but modern, contemporary, simple. It is part of a family of restaurants in Belfast with Bar + Grill, Hadskis and a Cookery School also.
James Street South is classic food with local provenance and head chef David Gillmore is doing great things here. We will definitely return next time we are in Belfast.
James Street South | 21 James Street South, Belfast BT2 7GA | 028 90 434 310 | email@example.com