Oliver’s Restaurant in Ballyhackamore has launched a new casual lunch menu, encouraging us to start the new year as we mean to go on, and making time to enjoy lunch.
At the end of 2017, it was reported that fewer UK workers are leaving their desks for lunch, and instead opting for a miserable sandwich or leftovers while working through their designated hour.
In Northern Ireland, Mintel found that only 18% of those who responded to a recent survey* looking at the use of coffee and sandwich shops, visited a restaurant or coffee shop for lunch to get out of the office.
It is reported, by TotalJobs.com* that workers feel too overwhelmed with tasks to take a break in the middle of the day, with 68% of those justifying skipping lunch because of having too much on their to-do list, or an unexpected task to manage.
Peter McCloskey, owner of Oliver’s café and deli in Belmont, and the Knock restaurant in east Belfast, has worked with his experienced team of chefs, front of house and bar staff to create a relaxed dining atmosphere, with only top quality, local products used to create the menu.
Peter explains; “We opened in May 2016, and since then, we have had positive feedback, a healthy evening trade and are welcoming in our locals for a hot cup of coffee on a cold day.
“Now, we’re hoping to see more visitors come through the door for that lunch experience that they may think only exists in the city centre. We’re dedicated to serving delicious dishes, which come out of the kitchen quick enough to enjoy during the lunch hour, but without that feeling of being rushed.”
Fruit and vegetables from Evergreen, Abernethy Butter, fresh seafood from Ewings, Oliver’s own and Yellow Door fresh baked bread, Carnbrooke meat and Young Buck cheese from Newtownards all appear on the menu, creating snacks and starters such as Irish mussel and crab claw hot pot, Thai chilli beef, and mains such as 66-day salt aged Co. Down Hereford ribeye, and Carnbrooke Butcher’s cut sausage with pork, apple, black pudding and mash.
On the side, diners will find truffle and parmesan fries, seasonal veg and the local favourite, champ. Starters begin at £5, and a main can be enjoyed from £11.50.
Peter continued; “Our food is down to earth and hearty, but made with finesse by Chef Thomas Wightman (trained by Michael Dean), and his team of experienced cooks in our open kitchen. Ballyhackamore is a thriving village which experiences spectacular evening trade throughout the weekend, so we’re hoping more foodies will welcome a visit to the area during the week and sample our new lunch menu while they’re here!”
The outlet also has a range of signature cocktails, created by some of the best in the business, including head bar man, Christopher McQuillan, whose experience ranges from some of the best bars in the city.
Visitors looking for something different can also be taught by Christopher and the Front of House team, including Alex Huston (formerly Muddler’s Club) and Michael Hinds (formerly James Street South) through Oliver’s Cocktail School, which can be added as part of the lunch or dinner experience. In each class, guests will have the chance to make – and enjoy – three cocktails each.
All sample lunch, dinner and cocktail menus are available to view at www.oliversknock.com and the restaurant is also running promotions and competitions via its Facebook and Instagram platforms.