Prior to my visit I had heard great things about Primo Gusto’s lunch and breakfast dishes so naturally I was very excited to try their evening menu – and I was not disappointed.
The Restaurant has a chic modern feel about it and it would not have looked out of place in London or New York – surprising considering it has a relatively isolated location just outside of Hillsborough. Recently opened for dinner Head Chef James Chance and his associate Anthony Wylie have already accomplished a great bistro. The menu had a rustic charm about it yet a sophisticated edge offering dishes such as lamb shank and belly pork. The wine list is modest but extremely reasonably priced – around £13 for a nice bottle of Pinot Grigio.Due to its location, however we were driving so decided to stick with a soft beverage.
For starter we went for the Prawn and Chorizo risotto and the Goats Cheese and Beetroot Salad. Both of which were wonderfully flavoured. The Goats Cheese and beetroot complimented each other perfectly, the leaves were well dressed and the wheaten bread croutons added an earthy bite to the creamy goats cheese and sweet beetroot. As for the Prawn and Chorizo risotto I was sold before I even tried it! The dish had an element of Spain about it, nodding towards punchy paella yet the flavours were subtle and delicate giving it an Italian twist. The portion sizes were more than generous and one starter would have been ample between two of us.
For main I decided to go for the steak – and my oh my what a steak it was. I’m pretty sure it was larger than my face. It was cooked medium and the onion rings that accompanied it were the star of the plate – crisp, large and perfectly seasoned the were the nicest onion rings I’ve had to date. The pepper sauce was creamy and rich and together the accompaniments of the dish made for a gorgeous steak dinner. My partner chose the special of the day which was salmon fillet with a lime a chilli dressing and noodles – she was thoroughly impressed with the fresh flavours incorporated in the dish. Alas, with our bellies full we reluctantly conceded to seeing the desert menu believing there was little chance we could muster any more appetite. However when the menu arrived we just had to try them – opting for a poached pear with oatcakes and gingernut rolled ice cream and a bushmills chocolate and raspberry tart, curious as to how whisky would work in a tart. They were just incredible – so much so that we cleaned our plates. The poached pear was delicate and given an edge with the gingernut flavours coming from the ice-cream. And as for the raspberry tart – divine. The whisky flavour came through as a smokey undertone which offset the sharp sweetness of the raspberry and luxurious texture of the chocolate in a way I couldn’t believe. Seriously I would recommend those desserts to anyone – and they were only £3.95! An absolute steal. Finishing up I was lucky enough to get a chat with the chef and I was overjoyed to hear that the vast majority of their produce was locally sourced supporting independent farmers. So not only did we have a delicious meal but felt we were being ethical pioneers for the local community. Definitely worth a trip out – despite its unlikely location this is a little diamond in the rough!
Review by Anna Carling
To Book call 0289268 8574
5 Harrys Road