Inside Northern Ireland’s First-Ever Shipping Container Restaurant

A Review Of Freight, Belfast.

Freight is an exciting new restaurant located in a shipping container on C.S. Lewis Square in East Belfast.

Formerly Pot Kettle Black, this restaurant is the first ever Northern Irish restaurant to be located inside a shipping container.

The restaurant was launched by two brothers, Chris and Gerard McQuillan, and their friend Michael McKnight. All three are highly skilled in the kitchen and well known in the Belfast restaurant industry.

After tasting their food and loving it, the landlord asked the lads to run a restaurant in his premises. Since signing the lease on these containers, they have been cooking up all sorts of delicious brunches, lunches and dinners.

After hearing about this restaurant, we had to try it out.

So, last week we visited the restaurant, and it was one of the most unique dining experiences we’d ever had in Ireland!

The Menu

(Photo: GMG Photography)

Freight has three main menus: brunch, lunch and an early evening. The restaurant also has an extensive vegetarian menu with dishes to suit vegetarians and vegans.

To keep things exciting, Freight’s menus change regularly. They give a weekly social update highlighting menu changes.

Most dishes include local vegetables and herbs which are grown organically in the Community Garden opposite the restaurant.

The variety of Freight’s menus ensures that there’s something for everyone.

The staff were accommodating in highlighting the vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options but some abbreviations on the menu could make life a bit easier.

The Vibes

(Photo: GMG Photography)

Belfast was once the shipbuilding centre of the world. Men from East Belfast proudly built The Titanic, the biggest and most famous ship the world had ever seen.

With the Titanic visitor centre just around the corner and many murals closeby celebrating the city’s proud industrial heritage, Freight is fitting for this part of the city, a contemporary spin on Belfast’s industrial past.

Freight has a unique exterior. The restaurant itself is built from five converted freight containers to form one of the city’s most talked about eating spots.

(Photo: GMG Photography)

Inside, the restaurant is modern, fresh and botanical. You quickly forget that you are inside a former shipping container.

With Kings of Leon as the background music and some visible tattoos on the kitchen staff, the restaurant will appeal to a young and more hipster audience.

However, the fantastic food and friendly staff will appeal to a wide range of clientele.

What we had

The roasted wild mushrooms with truffle & spinach on toasted sourdough. (Photo: GMG Photography)

From the main early evening menu, we had the spicy crab slider starter. Then, from the vegetarian menu, we tried the Roasted wild mushrooms with truffle & Spinach on Toasted Sourdough.

The pork belly. (Photo: GMG Photography)

For mains, we had the pork belly from the early evening menu. Then, from the vegetarian menu, we had the BBQ Aubergine, Gochujang, Scallions and braised rice with tikka sauce.

On the side, we added some vegan parmesan fries.

How was it?

The crab slider. (Photo: GMG Photography)

The crab slider was delicious. It was served in a sweet and soft brioche roll with pickled cucumber. It was a reasonably light starter which was the perfect appetiser.

The Roasted Wild mushrooms & spinach on toasted sourdough was fantastic. It was slightly greasy but was juicy and full of flavour. The mushrooms were delightful and had a meaty texture which meant it was an excellent meat-free option. The delicious toppings worked great on crispy sourdough bread. The dish also had smokey flavours which were an excellent addition to the flavour.

For mains, the Pork belly was soft, tender and sweet. It was an Asian inspired dish with dark rice. Our waitress recommended this dish, and we were not disappointed.

BBQ Aubergine, Gochujang, Scallions and braised rice with tikka sauce. (Photo: GMG Photography)

Our vegetarian main, the Aubergine main with a tikka sauce, was beautiful. The rice was crispy which provided the dish with great texture against the softly baked aubergine and sauces.

The tikka sauce which came with the dish was smokey and mildly spiced. The aubergine was soft and juicy. Then the yoghurt of hot sauce complimented the dish so much!

The Vegan Parmesan Chips. (Photo: GMG Photography)

The Vegan Parmesan Chips were made from freshly cut potatoes and were delicious. However, we would have loved a bit more of that lovely vegan parmesan.

The Damage

From the early evening menu, two courses will cost you £14, and a three-course meal will cost you £16. We believe that this was very reasonable as the food was fantastic.

The Staff

Freight is a table serviced restaurant with friendly and attentive staff who are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about their food.

Lindsy was our waitress for the night, and she was extremely helpful in recommending us dishes based on our interests.

We also met Brendan who was another extremely friendly and passionate foodie.

All of the staff were great and deserve to succeed. They have a real passion and love for what they do.


(Photo: GMG Photography)

Freight is a fantastic restaurant driven by passionate foodies who cook up delicious dishes. The standard of service and the food was exceptional. We would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone visiting Belfast!

This article was made in collaboration with the excellent food photographer at GMG Photography.

More Info about Freight

AddressCS Lewis Square, 402 Newtownards Rd, Belfast BT4 1HU
Phone028 9046 3828

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