Monday, 10 February 2014
I was at another reunion last weekend, this time on the Malone Road, Belfast.
I was joined by an old pal and we got a cab to Molly's Yard, that celebrated dining establishment which is also renowned for its micro-brewery and fine ales.
I had reserved a table for 6pm, which allowed us plenty of time to dine before the Reunion began at about seven-thirty.
Incidentally, I've written a bit about College Green House, the mews of which are now Molly's Yard.
I have to admit to a fondness for Molly's. It's quite an intimate restaurant, especially downstairs in the less formal dining-room, which has a bar for patrons.
On this occasion, we ate upstairs. We were the first to arrive, though the room filled up remarkably swiftly thereafter.
Although we were offered the wine-list, we decided to opt for a premium gin, viz. Monkey 47 blend, which I'd never sampled before.
It costs about £8 for a measure (35ml in Ulster).
The staff are very convivial, prompt, enthusiastic and eager to please.
The first starter to catch my beady eye was the Seared, hand dived, scallops with crispy Clonakilty black pudding and celeriac & almond purée, which I ordered.
My chum had the Confit duck leg with red cabbage and finished with a vanilla jus.
My scallops were simply divine, with a bite like a marshmallow. They were surrounded by a luxuriously silky sauce.
The black pudding complemented it impeccably. What a great culinary partnership.
We both ordered the Smoked sea bass with lemon roast baby potatoes, wilted spinach and a dill bacon and cockle velouté as the main course, with a side order of Buttery Mash.
This course comprised two fine fillets of fish surrounded by the vegetables and yet another exquisite sauce.
Sea bass truly is a noble fish.
We both decided that we were now gastronomically satisfied enough for coffee; not ordinary coffee, though.
Molly’s Cup ~ a blend of Amaretto and Cointreau with Jameson’s whiskey and coffee, topped with fresh cream.
It's sweet and sublime.
I relished it, as was the case the entire evening.
Our bill was somewhat inflated by the drinks bill, hence the balance of £102.
Molly's, however, is an extraordinary and special establishment, dare I say the best of its kind in the city of Belfast and beyond.
I look forward to my next visit which, I hope, shall be soon.