A night at the theatre is always something to get excited about and especially if it’s the first date night in months. I decided to take my wife to the Ulster Hall to see an amateur performance of songs from the silver screen and Broadway. So, I needed to find somewhere with a pre-theatre menu.

There is a lot of competition in Belfast for this, but I struck upon Kitch on the Dublin Road. I had heard of Kitch before, indeed all I have heard is that their ‘Sliders’ are worth the visit alone. So, I made our reservations and set off.

Being on the Dublin Road means that there are plenty of options on how to get to Kitch. On street parking, multi-storey parking or if you can’t find the designated driver Kitch is within walking distance from the Great Victoria bus and train stations.

We were greeted by a warm and friendly staff who settled us into our seats. The restaurant is ‘urban quirky’, in fact it would be hard to place the style as it would fit into any cultural setting from most major cities across Europe. I think that is why I liked the atmosphere so much, it invited everyone. There where couples in casual wear as well as those dressed to impress and yet we all blended into a relaxed intimate atmosphere.

I have always thought that the success of a restaurant can be measured by the sounds you hear while waiting. Sipping my house merlot, which was great by the way, I could hear the click and scrape of cutlery on plates, punctuated by occasional murmurs and gasps of satisfaction as the food was consumed with delight. I couldn’t wait for my own food.

We had the privilege of picking from what will be their new ‘pre-theatre’ menu and everything looked amazing.

Act one; the starters, set the scene magnificently, from bruschetta or squid, to pork bonbons and tofu. Mains where a command performance of their own, slow roasted brisket or their infamous sliders, roast hake or stake with triple cooked fat chips. All sounded as opulent as a West End production of Chicago. Desserts where a mystery, appearing on another menu, but this insured that the final act would be kept in suspense, the great reveal as the curtains drew down.

We pondered long but chose wisely. I went for the salt and pepper battered squid with chilli and garlic oil, my wife began with pork bonbons.

The squid was crisp comforting and completely compelling – and while it was a healthy portion there just wasn’t enough. In fact, this starter for one soon turned into a sharing starter as soon as my leading lady tasted them.

The batter was light and seasoned by a genius. When finished my palette was left with a tingle from the chilli and garlic oil and my lips buzzed with the pepper from the batter.

The pork bonbons where generously filled with perfectly pulled pork, seasoned with shades of sage and coated in golden crumb. The bonbons delivered their lines beautifully yet left us like Oliver...

Beef brisket is an under-rated cut. Slow roasted for about six hours, Kitch has produced an epic. The flavour packed into this main was astonishing and the peppercorn crust was the perfect supporting actor. All this finished with a rosemary and red wine jus, wow. I know I should look for more than ‘wow’ but seriously this dish made me fluff my lines, I was lost for words, just wonderful.

My wife chose the Sliders. If I was to stop there those of you who have had these would need no further explanation. When ordering the Sliders, you get three mini burgers and you have the choice of three types. A 3oz Cheese burger with relish, the pulled pork with BBQ sauce and slaw and Piri Piri chicken with chipotle mayo. How can you decide? It would be like three of Pavarotti singing in the ‘Three Tenors’.

We took one of each. Of course we shared, need I remind you of the squid, please, we shared. I tell no lie when I say this, you have not eaten out in Belfast until you have had the Sliders from Kitch, perfection in a bun.

The host asked us if we wanted to choose a dessert. I had to. I needed to see how the story ended. As per usual my wife declined but asked for two spoons. I have learned to accept this and have long ago stopped complaining. Six to choose from. Sticky toffee pudding or lemon posset with raspberries to name two. The rest are for your discovery, I hate to spoil a good ending.

The lemon posset was dreamy creamy with just the right zing of lemon and the spark of raspberry simply satisfying, for us both!

Kitch set out to be different when they started. So many ‘samey samey’ restaurants in Belfast. They wanted to stand out from the rest and give something new. They have succeeded, for this kitchen is producing great food at fantastic prices, right in the heart of our town.

As the curtain came down I left Kitch with the feeling I could return here time after time.

Paul McMath

Kitch can be found on the Dublin Road in Belfast and is open from 12 - 22:00 every day. Find them online at and on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

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