Feeling Right at Home.
Home in Belfast is almost a cornerstone of the community. It has remained a leader on the restaurant scene since its inception in 2011 and has an impressive number of awards under its belt, including the Bib Gourmand from the Michelin Guide (which indicates a prestigious restaurant offering quality food at moderate prices), amongst others.
Home launched initially as a three-month temporary pop-up restaurant, only to become a long-term project once it became clear: Belfast loved Home. And, with no end in sight, we here at Ireland Before You Die had to do a taste test for ourselves.
Drawing inspiration from rustic New York diner, Home marries high, exposed industrial ceilings with an open-plan space and natural materials. Raw wood, a fireplace (unfortunately not lit), natural furniture and floods of light denote this space.
A (suitably) homely atmosphere is apparent on a first impression and this carries through for the entire dining experience. The restaurant space itself is divided into two dining areas separated by a partition, and although this privacy would be ideal for events the communal atmosphere could be potentially enhanced by allowing eye-lines to meet, from one end of the venue, to the other.
Home has a tremendous food offering depending on dietary requirements and time of day which you visit. With an impressive selection of lunch and dinner menus which are divided into “skinny”, “gluten-free” and “vegetarian” menus, amongst others, the choice is all yours. A classic lunch and dinner menu offer those with traditional diets a seamless food selection ranging from salads and curry to pasta and steak.
Home considers the menu “balanced” and there is no truer word. The offering is innovative and creative with an equal effort across the vegetarian and vegan offering as the well as the classic menu.
All food in Home is prepared fresh, each day, by the head chef: award-winning Ben Arnold, who has been with Home since day dot. Sourcing locally produced products and supporting other local business owners give Home that extra oomph we’re all looking for these days.
What We Had
We started with the goats cheese fritters served with beetroot, candied walnuts and mulled wine pear and the crispy polenta served with salsa verde and buttermilk dressing.
For mains, we chose the Home beef burger served with Dubliner cheddar, red onion marmalade, fries and salad and the sweet potato curry with lentils, chickpeas, grilled pita and mint tofu “yoghurt” (arguably, Home’s most famous dish).
For dessert, we shared the sticky toffee pudding with ice cream and had a double espresso coffee, as well as ordering the Mango Margarita and the Raspberry Fizz cocktails throughout the meal.
How Was It?
The goats cheese: golden crumbed goats cheese lightly fried and served on a bed of diced beetroot with festive mulled wine pear and candied walnuts – the perfect hint of Christmas without going OTT.
The polenta: large light and fluffy polenta cubes served over a bed of salsa verde; a wonderfully balanced relationship of flavours and textures.
The burger: the red onion marmalade stole the show as the flavours mingled perfectly with the Dubliner cheese.
The curry: a fragrant curry that is bursting with flavours. Served alongside a perfect mint tofu “yoghurt” which provides the ultimate contrast to the rich curry. The only downside to this dish was that it was a little light on the sweet potato; saying that the flavours shone through in each bite.
The dessert: this has got to be the prize-winner for us. This dessert was indulgent and rich, cooked to perfection and bursting moisture and flavour. Hot from the oven, this dish was only enhanced by the vanilla ice cream served alongside.
The coffee: perfection, simply put.
The mango margarita: served in a rocks glass, over ice with a lime wheel. Distinct citrus and fruity aromas make this the perfect brunch cocktail.
The raspberry fizz: served beautifully in a tall glass with the raspberry cordial lightly drizzled over the top, offering a stunning, visually impressive cocktail. The only negative to this otherwise delicious cocktail was the use of a plastic straw – something we believe every business in this day and age should eliminate, in order to reduce waste.
Home has consistently won the Bib Gourmand from the Michelin Guide, meaning guests should be prepared to pay moderate prices for their meals. Saying that the food is excellent, so you get what you pay for.
Service at Home is beyond impeccable. Wait staff are friendly and courteous with great people skills and a clear passion for their work. Top marks here.
In all, in all, it is pretty clear why Home has the reputation it does. It is an engaging environment with a fantastic team behind it, from front to back of house. The menu is as diverse as they come, and there is passion and creativity applied to every aspect of their food offering.
Address: Home, 22 Wellington Place, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Phone: +44 28 9023 4946