Christmas Comes Early to Belfast at Knife and Fork Grill and Deli
August 25, 2017 Amy Pollock 0 Comments
Although many of us aren’t ready to start thinking about Christmas – you can never be too early when it comes to booking your work’s Christmas night out or organising your family’s Boxing Day dinner.
It may be August, but this week Christmas came early to Belfast, as the well-reputed Knife and Fork Grill and Deli – which is housed inside the luxurious Malone Lodge Hotel – pre-emptively showcased a festive tasting event for their upcoming winter menu.
Kitted out with fluffy Santa hats; a fully decorated Christmas tree (even equipped with presents underneath); glittering fairy lights and a carol singer who dare I say could give Michael Bublé a run for his money – Knife and Fork looked every inch the definition of Christmas. So much so that it made you desperately want it to be that time of the year again once you got a taste of it.
Speaking of taste – the celebration was focused on the newly-launched Christmas menu led by Nick Clough, who has just been appointed as Head Chef. Clough impressively holds over 20 years’ experience in cooking, including the kitchen of London’s Le Meridien Hotel, assuring that the restaurant is in more than safe, capable hands.
As it was a #SantaSupper event, there were plenty of mini plates to peruse. Out of the starters, the heritage beetroot salad with beetroot mayo and goat’s cheese bonbon was the perfect blend of contradicting flavours that worked so delightfully together. With a sweet yet sharp flavour of the beetroot, creamy indulgence of the goat’s cheese yet light crispiness of the salad – this starter is ideal for satisfying any ‘hangry’ moods whilst still leaving room for the richer main courses.
Despite there (strangely) being no standard turkey or ham in sight, it was the alternative-yet-traditional dishes that stole the show. The main that was an absolute all-round winner for both me and my +1 was the sticky beef with honey parsnip puree, red wine jus and parsnip crisps. Served in a bowl, we initially tackled the beef and jus, yet the real surprise was the melt-in-the-mouth honey parsnip puree. Hidden at the bottom underneath the beef and jus, the puree was so plump and velvety that the jus hadn’t even penetrated or soaked through it, making it its entirely own unique experience.
Another firm favourite was the beautifully tender venison, rabbit and pheasant pie. Submerged in a rich, almost tangy ale-like sauce, this dish was a comforting, warming and homely option, appropriate to introduce for the colder months ahead.
Dessert-wise, the warm white chocolate, almond and blueberry tart was a real sweet treat. It was almost cookie dough-like in texture and cheesecake-like in flavour, and the bite-size sample we tasted was definitely not enough!
There were also little shot glass-size desserts, one filled with banoffee and chocolate and another with cranberry and blackberry trifle topped with a zingy lemon curd. The best thing about the desserts on offer is that they are all tantalisingly diverse, meaning there will undoubtedly be some tough decision making to do towards the end of the meal.
All in all, from the décor to the supper, the Knife and Fork team honestly outdid themselves. A restaurant that I had never been to before is now at the top of my list to return to for the full experience, and I’m now especially excited for the festive period with thanks to their delicious menu.
And if that’s not enough to tempt you – local deals and discount app OhhSocial has teamed up with Knife and Fork to offer a free glass of prosecco with every Christmas dinner – so take my advice and get booking!