Just two minutes walk up from Bangor marina, this is a bustling, long-established bistro and restaurant with a menu board outside and freshly painted cream and black facade.
Set over two floors, it’s a friendly place with modest yet comfortable traditional décor and plenty of atmosphere.
The upper floor restaurant, which is open in the evenings, is a popular place to eat and drink (white tablecloths with black runners and nice stemware) while the downstairs bistro, with its busy bar, is a hub of activity both day and night (comfortable banquettes and bucket chairs; paper napkins and cutlery brought to the table).
Food is quite traditional with a choice of 8-10 starters and a similar number of main dishes consisting of well sourced and often organic ingredients, skilfully prepared and efficiently served - surprisingly, there is no mention of local suppliers through the menu, but a statement at the end assures diners “that we always try to use fresh, local produce as much as possible when creating our dishes” and the quality of ingredients is evident.
A good balance of fish, meat and chicken is offered in a variety of styles ranging from upbeat traditional (eg seared scallops, with apple purée, Guinness glaze, Clonakilty black pudding parfait and parsnip crisps or the popular slow braised ox cheek in red wine, with mash, wilted spinach and bourguignon garnish) to international (eg Moroccan lamb stew with dried fruit and bulgar wheat, preserved lemon and toasted almonds) and vegetarians are catered for too.
Rapeseed oil is used for cooking and low fat dishes are highlighted on the menu (eg corn fed chicken fillet with spiced corn kofta wilted little gem, lemon rice, sugar snap peas, tamarind and mango).
Expect generous portion sizes, but desserts include lighter options such as a range of homemade sorbets along with more filling temptations like delicious baked coconut tart with mascarpone panacotta with passion fruit and mango salsa.
Service is friendly and reasonable prices extend to the wine list, which offers an appropriate choice of old and new world wines to complement the reliably good and well balanced food.