A sister restaurant to Sam Spain and chef Tony O’Neill’s highly successful restaurants The Barking Dog, Il Pirata and Coppi, Happy Angel is the third restaurant to occupy this site without any change of ownership - beginning as the popular Gourmet Burger Bank (GBB), which many fans still miss, it then became ACE for a short time and, since spring 2013, has now taken the South East Asian route as Happy Angel.
The décor has been tweaked while remaining trademark quirky and staff offer the same good service, but the multi-purpose menu now offers a brief lunch menu of half a dozen popular Asian dishes including Pad Thai and Banh mi (Vietnamese filled baguettes) plus a more extensive evening selection of mainly Thai favourites, ie noodles dishes, stir fries and curries.
On the face of it the menu is similar to a lot of other Asian restaurants, but the difference lies in the team that’s in place and the quality of ingredients. Although, surprisingly, there’s no mention of provenance this restaurant group does not take short cuts - and, at the end of the short but interesting drinks list, it’s nice to see Whitewater Brewery’s Belfast Lager on draught.
Happy Angel offers great value, especially at lunchtime when every dish is just £5, and that in itself adds to the buzz.