REVIEW: The Tannery

Catching the sweet spot of a tennis racket, or the swoosh and click of a golf swing; Sometimes things just align in such a way that the only thing you can say is, ‘perfection’. This is how I felt about my last night out with my wife at a beautiful restaurant in Moira.

Just a hundred yards from the Moira train station, on the corner of Chestnut Hill Road, shaded in lofty oak trees, sits the Tannery.

The sun was resplendent that evening with just the wisp of a fresh summer breeze. We had arrived early so I got a few drinks and we sat in their gardens enjoying the sun and each other’s company.

The Tannery sits in the countryside far from the maddening crowd. No traffic or busy pavements. The ambience was relaxed, peaceful, and I could feel the stress of the working week flow away.
When the time came to go inside and eat, Michael came and collected us, taking us to our table.

The interior is as elegant and relaxed as the gardens. Wonderfully spacious the décor was modern yet hinted at the country setting out side. We were in fine tune and ready to eat.

The menu at the Tannery is an orchestra of locally sourced produce, with an ensemble of palate pleasing treats. But we left ourselves blind, in the hands of Derek our host, whose knowledge and understanding of food and wine made him a terrific guide around the menus.

We began by sharing a collection of their finest starters. A fabulous fresh cauliflower couscous with broad beans and chickpeas. Resting on this were portions of lightly golden battered white bait, prawns and squid. A full baked camembert with rosemary and salt garlic home baked bread.

These where accompanied with a thick rich garlic aioli. Using our fingers, we tore the bread and drew it through the creamy silken camembert. The couscous was sweet with summer sun and cleansed the palate leaving the taste of goodness.

The crisp batter snapped to reveal the perfectly cooked seafood. I have never tasted white bait before, the tastes were the ocean, salt and spray, why had I waited so long to try this.

Derek suggested a deep red wine to go with our mains. Arnaldo B from the Bodegas Etchart vineyard in Argentina. It drank beautifully well. Deep rich berry tones with a lingering after taste of liquorice root.
The main event was a selection of beef steak cuts. Medium rare cuts of Cote de Boeuf, Picanha an Argentinian cut and Herefordshire beef, all flanked by peppered sauce and English mustard.

Our sides were onion rings, flat cap mushrooms and roasted vine tomatoes. With Parmesan and truffle chips and a blue cheese salad.
This is what I meant at the start. The planets align in sheer harmony.

It is one thing to source these wonderful cuts of meat, it is a whole other thing to cook them. Derek and the Tannery had provided us the best steaks I have ever had. The Cote de Boeuf was a triumph. It melted on the palate, such savoury salty succulent sorcery. Just a dap of English mustard and a push of blue cheese salad. There is nothing better.

I must say that this evening was the best night out I have had with my wife in years, seriously. The food, the wine, the company. Derek and the staff at the Tannery deserve more recognition than I could ever give them. Before the summer ends go to the Tannery. By train or car, get there.

You will find the Tannery a relaxed venue with the best food I have had in years with the best hosts I have come across yet. You will never be disappointed at the Tannery.

Paul McMath

The Tannery can be found on the Chestnut Hill Road,
Moira, Craigavon. More information can be found at and @thetannerymoira on Facebook and @tannerymoira on Twitter and Instagram.

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