Stunningly located close to the arts theatre in the heart of Armagh City, this well established favourite moved down to the busy area at the bottom of marketplace hill in 2015 - and now enjoys the reverse view up the steep market ‘square’ to the handsome modern theatre and the Church of Ireland Cathedral that is set protectively above the 'square'.
The impressive two-storey premises is a big change from their quirky little spot up the hill, but the fundamentals of good food and service remain the same. Australian chef Dean Coppard is famous for having introduced some antipodean style to Armagh, with menus that are squarely based on the best of local produce while offering an 'Australian twist' and a some unusual dishes - charred kangaroo, for example, and perhaps braised medallions of ostrich.
The much larger modern space - a buzzy ground floor restaurant and a bar on the first floor - has brought a change of tone, but aboriginal artwork and carvings still feature.
Uluru lays claim to being Northern Ireland’s only Australian restaurant and Dean – who is originally from Queensland - creates adventurous menus which, with the exception of exotics, is based mainly on local produce. Named suppliers include Moyallen for meats,and the excellent Crossgar poultry, while fish comes from Kilkeel and they grow vegetables and herbs in their own polytunnel.
While there are Australian influences in the house specialities, local meat and seafood take pride of place - and separate vegetarian menus are also offered at both lunch and dinner. Children are welcome and have proper little menu of their own, which includes smaller versions of some of the main menu dishes, including the kangaroo... A Josper Charcoal Grill gives many dishes their unique flavour, notably 28-day steaks (dry-aged in a Himalayan salt lined room to maximise tenderness and flavour) and a range of burgers, and there are also stone baked pizzas and some Asian-influenced dishes.
Uluru which, incidentally, takes its name from the aboriginal name for the world-famous Ayer’s Rock (which, like the restaurant, changes through the day), has a well earned reputation for good, thoughtfully sourced food, customer focused service and a relaxed ambience.
The service style is casual and very friendly, as befits an Australian restaurant, and ably managed by Dean’s partner Sarah. Well trained staff have good knowledge of the menu as well as a comprehensive drinks list which features an outstanding selection of Australian wines and beers and also includes local craft beers and ciders. This a popular and busy spot and reservations are recommended, especially in the evenings.