It was a quiet evening and the roaring fireplace set a lovely scenery (although maybe too hot to sit at that table). The TV above distracted a little by showing The Simpsons and then wacky YouTube video TV. But it's only minor. There's a Game of Thrones door in homage to the mother of dragons, and an Iron Throne to sit on in the next room also. An older couple from near Belfast engaged us in next-table conversation and were very friendly.
In true Irish pub meal style, the meal sizes were very large. I was disappointed they didn't have any local cider. They told me all were local, and the one I got was from Cork. Sorry, that's not local. The staff also weren't ones to give out smiles at all.
- Strangford mussels Jawbox (Jawbox Belfast gin, ginger, coconut cream) £8.95 for small - the mussels themselves weren't special. The flavour was ok but they were just too small in terms of meat. However the sauce was delectable almost curry-like and worked nicely with the surprisingly sweet wheaten bread it was served with (cooked with sugar or honey probably);
- Steak & stout casserole (puff pastry lid, french style peas) £10.95 - the puff pastry was ok, soft underneath and crisp on top, adequate without being great. But underneath the chunky steak pieces (with variable tenderness) soaked in a warming stew with the dark beer flavour coming through. Really excellent traditional cuisine I was looking for;
- Side of rocket & pine nut salad (free with the main casserole) - an excellent fresh large salad topped with generous amounts of goat's cheese.
I'd come back to try the Guiness pork belly ribs and the seafood chowder. They use a lot of local produce. They also gave me 20% off the food for no good reason - "just because we are nice" they said. Just wonderful overall.