...or, Porcine Cheek!
I wondered what all the fuss and high praise was about regarding a new Belfast restaurant called Howard Street. It's located at 56 Howard Street, opposite Church House.
It has been receiving largely excellent reviews on Tripadvisor.
Hence, I decided to lunch there today.
First, I spent an hour or so at the wonderful Linenhall Library, where I updated my records on the Montgomerys of Grey Abbey and the Hart-Synnots of Ballymoyer.
I lunched early, which was prudent enough, because Howard Street was quiet at twelve-fifteen.
It's a spacious kind of warehouse, canteen sized place.
Like the ambiance, the staff are casually dressed in denims and tee-shirts, with aprons.
I was immediately shown to a banquette seat adjacent to the bar.
The main courses on the lunch menu range from £10 to £15. Puddings are all £6.
A pal of mine - who also follows the blog - recommended beef cheek once, and since the porcine version was on the menu at Howard Street, I asked the waitress a few questions and ordered.
Frankly, I'd never eaten pig cheek before, so I was full of anticipation.
When the meal arrived, it looked delicious on the plate.
The menu describes it thus:
Slow Cooked Glazed Pig Cheek, Black Pudding and Nut Crumble, Spiced Pumpkin Ravioli, Apple and Cider Puree.The meat was indeed beautifully lean, tender and succulent. The vegetables complemented it very well indeed.
I often find onion rings irresistible, so I had a side portion of them. They were served in a circular metal type of tubular bowl and there were six of them - £3.
By this stage of the proceedings, the restaurant was almost full. There were business suits, tourists and a veritable cross-section of the populace. Anybody could feel comfortable here.
THE PUDDING MENU had about five or six choices. I decided on the Lemon Tart with honey and mousse with tiny meringues and a rich drizzling of fruit puree sauce of some sort.
Needless to say, the old gnashers got stuck in instanter and it went like snow falling off an Ulster ditch.
Finally, I settled the bill, which came to £22.95.