REVIEW: Knife & Fork Restaurant at Malone Lodge

On Friday evening my son and I were late out of Belfast and decided that we would get something to eat before heading on out home. We were travelling up the Malone Road when I remember the Malone lodge had a great restaurant, so we turned left into Eglantine Avenue and parked up.

If you’ve never been in the Malone Lodge its fabulous. The setting is luxurious and lavish. There is a spacious reception area with plenty of seating. It really is a great spot to meet a friend for coffee or have an informal business meeting. On the left on the way in is also an in-house bar, again with plenty of room.

The Malone Lodge can also cater for conferences or weddings with plenty of function rooms and a wonderful hospitality team who will make your event flow seamlessly. Talking of their team Susie and Fisel were wonderfully attentive and friendly, we both enjoyed the evening and they had a lot to do with that.

The menu looked tasty to say the least. They have a great offer on, two courses for under twenty pounds and three courses for under twenty-five. Considering the environment you are eating in and the standard of their food, it makes it a great choice, especially as it’s a fifteen-minute stroll into town which helps burn the calories off.

We started the dinner off with scallops and goat’s cheese. Benjamin had the seared scallops, black pudding, carrot puree and watercress. It was a few years back when he tasted scallops for the first time off my plate at another restaurant. They have become a firm favourite of his now and he says that they always remind him of me. And while I’m not entirely sure what to make of that, it was comforting to see how much he enjoyed them. I tasted one just to be nosey and see how they performed; textbook, great cooking and seasoning.

I have noticed the flooding of salad, beetroot, walnuts and goat’s cheese into the menus around Belfast in recent times. Don’t get me wrong I like this classic combination. But I also find it is the perfect barometer to see how good a kitchen is. With a dish this simple, if they get it wrong, I don’t think there is much hope for the rest of the menu. This version was full of surprises and set me up for the rest of the meal.

I decided to go for the salmon main. I think it was the inclusion of cockles that decided it for me. It has been ages since I have had them and was so looking forward to having them again. Crushed potatoes and a beautifully light persillade sauce accompanied the seafood duet. The salmon was ‘on fleek’ as my daughters would say. It is so refreshing to have in mind what a dish should be and have the chef produce the dish in a way that brings the anticipated to the plate. And those pickled cockles were the exclamation point on the dish.

Predictably Benjamin went for steak. A 10oz sirloin, chunky chips, green peppercorn sauce and a tomato compote. It looked spectacular. I stole a chip as they were set down. Wow. I do love my chips and these were regal. The steak was ordered medium and that’s what he got. It just looked wonderful. If mine wasn’t so good I would have been so jealous. The portion size on this was huge, the steak was probably more like 12-14oz. Great value for money.

The size of the steak did work in my favour as Benjamin was stuffed and didn’t want any dessert. But as for me, there is always room for dessert. So a sticky toffee pudding was sent for and delivered with all that and more. The orange toffee sauce was ‘stonking’, what a great idea. The sauce coated the pudding like a silk glove and the vanilla ice cream killed me. So opulent and rich in flavour, I immediately thought about booking a room for the night to sleep it off.

If you haven’t been here for a meal, then please make room for a night out here. It is a fantastic venue with great staff and food. As I have also stayed over here before, I also would recommend the rooms, luxury is the term that springs to mind. I’m so glad I remembered The Malone Lodge and so will you.

Paul McMath

The Knife & Fork Restaurant can be found at the Malone Lodge Hotel, on Eglantine Avenue on Belfast’s Malone Road. For more information, including menus and reservations, go to

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