Deane’s at Queen’s
Belfast! I feel like I’ve been hopping around a lot of late and I suspect this may well continue. For now the travels are mainly motivated by work with this latest trip to speak at a conference at the stylish Riddel Hall.
The night before the event there was the small matter of the conference dinner which was to be held in a place called Deane’s at Queen’s.
It had been an age since I’d been in Belfast so was unaware of Mr Deane’s work but he seems to have quite the empire of places with eight sites across the city. He has held a Michelin star at two of the places with Eipic currently holding one star.
The branch at Queen’s, named for its proximity to the university of that name, features a long glass-covered terrace which forms the main dining area.
However we were shown to a private dining area where two round tables accommodated our party of around 16.
We chose from a set list for £30 per head for three courses. This was a very well balanced selection with a variety of tempting dishes.
I started with the goat’s cheese and beetroot salad, whilst others opted for the likes of chicken liver parfait, leek and potato soup, and a smoked haddock fishcake.
There were strong reports for all the dishes round the table. I was very pleased with my choice. Topped with an elegant seed wafer, a profusion of mixed salad leaves sat atop some whipped cheese, with further cheese chunks, seeds and beetroot pieces. It was a simple but quite elegant dish.
Main courses at our table focussed on the steak, risotto and chicken of which I sampled a bit of each. My main was the chicken which featured a nicely charred piece of local poultry served with silky mash and onions. I added a side of champ because potatoes and Ireland.
I rounded things out with some good local blue cheese served a lightly sweet chilli jam and crackers. Again, this was simple, well-considered elegance to the fore. Others enjoyed the chocolate truffle while the wild honey pannacotta was warmly received at the other table.
Throughout, service was largely managed by one waitress who did a sterling job. I’ve rarely seen two tables of this size managed with such assured competence and minimal fuss.
So overall, Deane’s at Queen’s suited our needs very well. It offered appealing dishes at a very reasonable price with everything we sampled delivered to an extremely pleasing standard. I’d be happy to recommend it to you and would be interested in trying another of Mr Deane’s venues next time I’m in the city.
Blythe scores Deane’s at Queen’s
4/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 16/20
Today’s questers were: the organisers, speakers and invited guests of the Health Literacy UK Conference
We ate: parfait, soup, goat’s cheese, fishcake, steak, risotto, chicken, chocolate truffle, cheese
We drank: wine, beer, water, coffees
We wore: representative national and international health literacy tabards
Total bill: picked up by the conference but the food was £30 per head
Address: 1 College Gardens, Belfast BT9 6BQ