Deanes Seafood Bar, Howard Street, Belfast

Fancied a change of venue for a quick lunch on Friday so, being somewhat of a fan of Michael Deanes reinvented restaurant, thought we would try the seafood bar.  I should have known it was not the place for “quick”, this is not a complaint it’s just that you don’t rush things in Deanes! The service was efficient and the staff friendly and there were obviously a few regulars in and out. As is our wont we started with a glass Pinot Grigio which arrived in adequate quantity, none of your minimal unit measuring glasses here.  Josephine settled on the smoked haddock chowder and I went for the salt and chilli squid. I am something of a specialist on this variation of squid and had not found anything to beat the one served in Shu on the Lisburn Road. This recipe definitely has the edge.  There are no tentacles, which I happen to like, but it is cooked to perfection – not a hint of rubber – and has just the right amount of chilli bite.  The light bed of salad and accompanying herb oil sets the whole dish off perfectly. Josephine was somewhat sceptical on the chowder feeling that the seafood version in the Oyster Bar at Victoria Square was more substantial.  Midway through she had decided that it was as good as it gets and enthused on the flavour – I did get a sip and could not argue the point. Had we had more time we would most likely have tried the sweets as the ones on the next table were most enticing, still there is always another day.

We will add this to the list of excellent places for lunch at sensible prices and to this end I attach the link for the menu.  Sorry no illustrations available.

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