Businessman Lord Rana along with Northern Ireland chef Raymond McArdle have joined forces to bring an exciting new addition to Great Victoria Street – Malt Room Bar & Restaurant – in what is hoped to be the start of a new revival of the city’s Golden Mile.
Headed up by head chef David Mageean and general manager Liam Whiteway, the restaurant, which has opened just in time for Christmas, welcomed hoards of foodies who turned out in force for the launch event enjoying a taster of what the new restaurant has in store.
Raymond said the restaurant will provide a refined dining experience with a modern and local twist, “We are excited as a team at the opportunity that Lord Rana has given us in putting Great Victoria Street back on the map as the Golden Mile. We have added something to the city, a restaurant that was needed. I didn’t want to go down the road of another bistro or brassiere because the market is already saturated with great offers at that level. At the Malt Room you’re going to get Irish influenced food that’s still bespoke and littered with artisan producers.”
This chic and modern restaurant is sure to attract diners seeking to experience beautiful comfort and contemporary food at an affordable price. The 85-seater fine dining restaurant, which was designed by interior stylist Adrian Bailie, has a very avant-garde feel, with light grey colours throughout along with a cool and crisp twist.
Food on the menu is all sourced using Irish artisan producers, such as Leggygowan Farm goat’s cheese, Rockvale chicken, smoked Armagh bacon, Antrim Shorthorn beef, Mourne Blackface lamb, Hannon Meats and many more. The wine list is provided by two of the best wine merchants in Belfast – James Nicholson and Robert Neill.
Dishes on the menu include fillet of Antrim Shorthorn beef with soft braised brisket, roast onion purée, tomato & tarragon; or angel haddock goujonettes, served with thick cut chips, roast garlic & chive rouille as well as chocolate & malt tart, Guinness ice cream, plus coco soil for dessert.
On the unique name, Raymond said: “I wanted to marry food and drink and came up with ‘malt’, because there’s malt in both drink and food. I thought that was very important and it’s what the bar and restaurant is all about. I wanted to create a chic city dining room with linen, beautiful comfort and modern food; it’s turned out exactly how I envisaged.”
Another fascinating and unique element to this restaurant is that all profits will be given to charity. Lord Rana and Raymond feel very strongly about giving the proceeds to charity and to invest in young people locally and internationally.
An ambassador for Barnardo’s Northern Ireland, Raymond has been supporting young chefs from Dr B’s Kitchen for a number of years – offering trainee placements in his kitchens. At the Malt Room, he has already taken on three young chefs to work alongside head chef David.
Raymond said: “Barnardo’s approached me to see if I would train any of their budding young chefs. Between myself and David we have been working with three young individuals; training them properly, so that they can slot into the team. I thought it was a good idea, because I’m training people that have no experience and therefore no bad habits! It’s a good scheme for us and them. They are here to learn and gain great experience for the future.”
Raymond needs no introduction to the Irish food scene he has successfully represented Northern Ireland in the Great British menu 2012, 2013 and 2014, he runs his own critically acclaimed restaurant in Warrenpoint – Restaurant 23 at the Balmoral Hotel, and is in every international food guide.
Head chef at the Malt Room, David Mageean has been with Raymond for seven years and knows how to run the kitchen as Raymond would. He will be taking full control of the Malt Room kitchen under the guidance of Raymond.
Malt Room Bar & Restaurant will be opened Monday through to Saturday 12.30pm – 2.30pm for lunch, 5pm – 7pm early evening menu, and 7pm -10pm for the A La Carte menu, closed Sunday. To make a booking telephone Malt Room Bar & Restaurant on +44 (028) 9031 0008.
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