Review: Cabaret Supper Club – Belfast
May 11, 2012 Chris Caldwell 1 Comment
People like going out for something to eat, and people like being entertained, so it comes as no surprise that in the last year – the year in which Belfast has most flourished – we see a growing trend towards dinner theatre type venues. We’ve seen Burt’s Jazz at the Merchant and Cabaret Teatro at Botanic, both of which serve delicious food and sumptuous entertainment. The latest addition to this is AM:PM’s offering “Cabaret Supper Club”.
PastieBap recently went to Cabaret on a Living Social Voucher. In case you’re not familiar with the concept, Living Social is a deal based website (like the ever popular Groupon) where they team up with local businesses to offer you a great deal every day. In this case it was £24 for 2 people to attend the Sunday brunch at Cabaret and have a main meal each. You just buy the deal online, print out the voucher, book your place and then show up. This is a great way to drum up business especially during opening weeks and to spread the word of mouth from (hopefully) satisfied customers.
The Cabaret Supper Club
Situated near the Corn Market area of Belfast and next door to City Hall, The Cabaret Supper Club is directly in the centre of town, just an easy walk from Victoria Square also (as seems to be oh so important these days). It is also fairly close to the new Titanic Belfast building and Titanic Quarter too. If anyone has seen the old film Cabaret with Liza Minnelli or the more recent Burlesque you will know the sort of look they are going for. A kind of Parisian, decadent, slightly gaudy look. Mirrors everywhere, red velvet on the walls giving it a fairly plush look.
So the first thing you see when you go in is a giant mirror, a poster for Cabaret and red velvet everywhere. As you walk up the stairs to the first floor you are greeted by a concierge who then takes your reservation and seats you for the performance. When you are seated in your booth, you will notice there is a small bell which looks like a gold door bell just behind you.
This bell is a great novelty and is used to call the staff should you need them. We attended a Sunday Brunch where we were treated to a main course and a show. Our party was six people strong and they were able to seat us all together in front of the decadent stage.
So we sat down and we were presented with the menu. From the menu I selected roast beef, others in my group had the chicken and the lamb and it was all described beautifully in a delightful looking menu. The roast beef turned out to be more like a thin cut of steak served on mash with a slightly sweet gravy like jus. This was delicious and cooked to perfection. One wouldn’t expect to get such a nice piece of meat being described as roast beef. We then ordered some drinks. We did order tap water and were presented with a kind of self-bottled water which they charged us £2.50 for. This was a bit of a niggle as when you ask for tap water, you expect to get water from the tap which is free, so we were a little bit disappointed when we got the bill for that.
We had some wine, deserts and coffees all of which were delicious. The coffee came out warm, not piping hot which wasn’t to everyone’s liking, but suited me just fine. The staff were fairly attentive and well decked out, in matching black and white uniforms and when we rung the bell they came quickly enough.
The entertainment afforded to us on the Sunday was a Magician, followed by a man playing the grand piano. He played all the rat pack favourites and then a few contemporary tunes done in a swing style.
The first of the entertainment was a magician/comedian. I would say that he was more suited to nighttime entertainment than perhaps Sunday mid-day, but he did the best with what he had and his tricks were good, and he was entertaining. He tried to get audience participation which people weren’t really having, perhaps they were hungover or perhaps they didn’t want to be taken up on the stage while eating, but he then said he couldn’t find enough volunteers and had to strip a bit off his show. The bits he did perform were really good though and as somebody who really enjoys magic I thought his tricks were traditional, yet well done, which made for an entertaining act. After that a tuxedoed gentleman came out and tinkled the ivories on a grand piano which sat in front of the stage. The grand piano was an impressive sight to see and to heart being played over Sunday lunch was great. The volume was pretty good too, loud enough to hear but low enough to talk over should you want.
A pet peeve of mine is that a lot of places put great effort into the decor of the main room and neglect the toilet areas. It kind of ruins everything they’re working towards, especially with a themed restaurant. But the toilets here were done out in the same style as the restaurant. The mirrors were framed ornately and lacquered in black which gave them a slightly gothic look. They were clean and well kitted out.
The Round Up
Looking around the restaurant, it’s quite a large place, it looked like it could seat about 200 at at time. Every table looked individual, some of them had high backed booths, some of them had individual seats, some stools etc. There were chandeliers around and all in all the place looked fantastic. The waiting staff were quick to serve and my only gripe would be about the tap water. I think it said re-filtered water and it was presented in a glass re-usable bottle. We asked for the bill and received it promptly and paid the remainder of what we owed, the rest had already been covered by our purchase of the Living Social voucher, and all in all everyone in the group agreed that it was a great way to spend Sunday lunchtime.
We would all love to go back on a weekend night, when they have the full bill of entertainment, like the burlesque dancers, singers, magicians, and fire breathers, so it is definitely a place we will be re-visiting and a welcome addition to Belfast’s dinner theatre scene.