Handily situated in the heart of Lisburn city, Anton Campbell’s recently opened restaurant has already proved very popular for both lunch and evening meals, attracting a real mix of young and not so young who appreciate the basic good food, friendly service and relaxed ambience.
The name (Spanish for 'of the bull'), together with a drawing of a bull on the front facade, should give a hint that this is steakhouse and grill bar – and, once inside the bright and spacious two-storey restaurant, the décor leaves no doubt as the theme continues in contemporary dining areas adorned with artwork paying homage to the bull.
Even the backs of the leather chairs are covered with various types of cow hide.
Polished square or rectangular wooden tables are laid with black plastic mats and simple cutlery – an appropriate setting for straightforward food, and a fresh flower in a simple vase on each table sets a welcoming tone.
Candles in containers on stairs and strategically placed throughout the restaurant make for an atmospheric setting at night. Arriving guests are greeted promptly, brought to straight to their table, and given menus and bottled water.
Specialities include tapas style starters and a selection of tender juicy steaks in varying sizes (28 day aged steak, naturally raised in Northern Ireland), all served with fresh local market vegetables - although sauces, if required, cost extra.
Excellent burgers and succulent “fall off the bone” ribs are also popular, while those who prefer fish can choose from a variety of basic dishes.
Desserts tend towards trusted favourites (crumbles, mousses), portions are generous and the well-cooked food – simply but stylishly presented on white plates - has a homemade flavour.
Wholesome food is backed up by friendly and well-informed staff who provide casually efficient service, allowing meals to be enjoyed in a relaxed atmosphere.
The comprehensive range of reasonably priced (£14 to £30) international wines offered suits the style of the menu, and both half bottles and wine by the glass are available.
With most lunch dishes in the £6-9 range, evening main courses around £12-15 (steaks £16 - £18 approx) and no extra side orders needed, the value offered is good.
A midweek ‘Meal Deal Mayhem’ offer is very keenly priced – a 2 course meal with wine costs £22.50 (Mon-Thu, 5-7pm).
All round, a welcome addition to the Lisburn dining scene.