Set in the subterranean recesses of the Crumlin Road Gaol in Belfast city is Cuffs Bar & Grill.
The experiential restaurant is a favourite of locals and tourists who footfall from the gaol – a leading site of interest – into the bistro that is housed in what was once the inmate’s canteen.
Steeped in history, bursting with character and said to be killing it with its food offering, we here at Ireland Before You Die had to see what all of the fuss is about.
Cuffs Bar & Grill is set in the grounds of Crumlin Road Gaol in Belfast. Its discreet entrance is the neighbour to the start and end point of the gaol’s guided tours, making it an ideal place for a pre- or post-tour bite to eat.
The vaulted brick ceiling and walls are steeped in history and although the restaurant is void of natural light, it is airy and spacious, with back-lit lighting fixtures creating the illusion of windows.
The restaurant itself is intimate and small in size with tables following the curve of its semi-circle layout.
Cuffs is a fantastic place for the family. It is wheelchair and pram accessible and the staff are more than agreeable, making it the perfect place to dine at any ages.
Many guests from the Crumlin Road Gaol tour are bound to end up here, too so you can expect an eclectic crowd of locals and tourists.
The menu at Cuffs is of a European bistro and has been devised by head chef, Damian Blaney, whose motto is “keeping it local”.
All ingredients are sourced locally and much of the menu is made fresh in house, from the sauces and right down to the sourdough bread – which is divine, we might add.
As the restaurant is open from 11-9pm, seven days a week, Cuffs Bar & Grill focuses on fresh and wholesome lunch and dinner dishes.
Ranging from steaks to seafood, pasta, salads and sandwiches, customers are bound to find something to their liking. Vegetarians, vegans, coeliacs and children are well catered for.
A selection of beers, wines and three house cocktails are available at Cuffs. Although the bar is not the central focus of this restaurant, trained bartenders are on hand to whip up a classic drink, to your liking. Coffee, as well as soft drinks, are available, also.
What We Had
A starter not be missed would have to be the “Breaded Brie Wedges”. Served alongside a delicious homemade red onion marmalade, these golden-fried balls of gooey goodness will have you coming back to Cuffs for more – you have our word!
The “Bruschetta” comes as more of an open-sandwich. It comprises of chunky home-baked bread layered with mozzarella and drizzled with sweet basil pesto and comes sitting on a medley of spring vegetables and crushed, roasted hazelnuts.
Although this dish wouldn’t reflect a “traditional” bruschetta, it was delectable nonetheless.
The “Grilled Stead Belfast Bap” comes in a floury bap with pepper sauce and salad on the side. And, it also comes with one additional side making it a hearty meal with an affordable price tag.
Whatever you do, don’t forget to order the “Sweet Potato Fries”. These hand-cut chips are going to be one of the most unforgettable culinary delights you are bound to have ever had. You can mark our words!
One of Cuff’s undeniable selling points is its staff. Friendly, knowledgeable about the menu and engaging, the service here is bound to elevate your experience, without a doubt.
For the standard of the food at Cuffs Bar & Grill, the menu is thoroughly affordable. Lunch dish range between £4- £15 (€4.60-€17.50) which allows Cuff’s to accommodate those with all types of budget.
Dinner mains at Cuffs range between £9.95- £22.50 (€11.60-€26.25), with the most expensive meal being the whopping 10-ounce prime Ulster sirloin steak.
It is plain to see why there is such talk of Cuffs Bar & Grill located in Crumlin Road Gaol.
Its food speaks volumes, no doubt, but the service and style of the restaurant offers a uniquely charming appeal that fuses traditional hospitality with experiential dining.
Whether you’re touring the Gaol, merely looking for a fantastic meal or looking to try a new style of dining, Cuffs Bar & Grill is highly recommended by us here at Ireland Before You Die.
Address: 53-55 Crumlin Rd, Belfast BT14 6ST
Menu & Reservations : cuffsgrillbar.com