Saturday, 2 July 2011

The Ebullient Horatio

Horatio Todd's is an establishment which appeals to a variety of tastes; the reason, perhaps, why it is so popular (and the fact that there is not a great choice of decent bars in the vicinity).

For those living outside the Earldom, I should explain that Horatio Todd's is a popular bar-restaurant, part of a chain of bars run by a larger company, at Ballyhackamore in east Belfast.

You can go for a meal in the restaurant; or find a comfy sofa, provided they’re not all taken; or stand at the bar which, last night, was like a jungle. Frankly, I did not appreciate the Experience at all. It must be my age!

BP and self were shown to our seats in the restaurant at eight-thirty. BP ordered the "Prime 10oz Char-grilled Northern Irish [sic] Sirloin Steak", at £18.95;  while I had the "Crispy Confit of Silverhill Duck with Lyonnaise potato, apple, plum and ginger chutney and crispy leeks", costing £11.50.

We shared onion rings, at £2.95.

BP professed to enjoy the steak. I also enjoyed the duck, which was certainly tender, though the thick fatty skin was soggy and not crisp as stated on the menu. The portion of duck was small, to the extent that I had finished the meat on my plate long before the rest of the vegetables.

For pudding, I had the Rhubarb Crème Brûlée with a flamed crisp caramel top, £4.50; while BP had Classic Eton Mess: cream, summer berries and raspberry coulis, at £4.50. No complaints with the desserts.

After dinner we removed to the human jungle at the bar. I am afraid I was out of my comfort zone in Horatio’s on Friday evening and didn’t appreciate standing all night, with demi-drunk revellers bumping into me, very loud music later on, taking ages to buy a drink (not the fault of staff - just very busy).

Give me a cushy sofa, waiter service, with convivial company any day. Horatio did have plenty of sofas - they were simply occupied long before my arrival at seven forty-five.

I am convinced that one of the clientèle had taken some kind of tablet owing to his jerky movements and yelping noises; and he was no spring chicken, either. I did say it was a jungle! There was very loud music later in the evening. Many, including ourselves, stood outside with the smokers.

Despite my impressions, Horatio Todd's is undoubtedly very popular with a broad spectrum of humanity, young and even middle-aged. Many, I suggest, simply go for a meal and avoid the boisterous atmosphere at the bar.

I think I'd have been more content, had I been comfortably installed in a sofa tucked away from the madding crowd.

I cycled home at about one-thirty.

1 comment :

madpierre said...

A fine establishment and a fine selection of young ladies to talk to as well, alas im afraid such places in Belfast are usually pretty busy on a Friday and Saturday night