I’ve been to Stix and Stones in Belfast City Centre numerous times since it first opened just over 3 years ago and always loved the “steak on a stone” experience. What better way to get your steak just how you like it by cooking it yourself!
At the start of August I visited the Balmoral Hotel for the Belfast Masterchef Challenge where we told the exclusive news that Stix and Stones Part 2 was opening…in the very place we were sitting! Yes, Balmoral Hotel!
I thought it was a fantastic idea. There are loads of people who want to experience Stix and Stones who don’t necessarily want to go into Belfast city centre, who prefer to eat locally, who want ample parking or who want to have dinner and a few drinks and be able to stay over too!
So, when I was asked if I would like to try the new restaurant last week, of course I couldn’t say no!
We arrived at 6pm so were able to avail of the Pre-theatre menu which is available Monday to Friday from 5pm to 6.30pm. You can get 2 courses for £15.95 or three for £18.95.
The starters include Minestrone Soup with warm bread, or Goats cheese with pickled pears, pear gel and filo pastry.
I went for the Stix and Stones Chicken wings which are served with a creme fraiche salsa, while Barry choose the miso glazed salmon with fennel, blood orange, quinoa and rocket.
I loved the starter- the chicken wings had a slight sweetness to the glaze which worked very well with the tangy sourness of the creme fraiche. Barry said his salmon was beautifully cooked and coated with the simple and delicate miso dressing. He said the hints of fennel were mild but enough to come through on the palette.
Then it was time for the main course. You can choose from the “On the Stone” selection and the “Off the Stone” selection. The “On the stone” menu includes the rump steak and the rump of Lamb, while the “Off the Stone” includes pan roast supreme of chicken, chorizo and three bean stew, or Gnocchi served with wild mushroom ragu, smoked garlic and pea shoots.
We both went for the ‘cook-your-own’ experience and I selected the 7oz matured rump steak which comes with a flat cap mushroom, slow cooked tomato, balsamic glazed beetroot and sauce.
Barry selected the 6oz Yellowfin Tuna steak which was served with roast butternut squash, chilli, soya beans and quinoa.
Soon we heard the loud sizzle of the meat as our waitress brought the hot stone down to our table and explained the best way to cook the meat, from the size of the strips to the time we should each strip for.
I just love doing this- I think it is novel and fun and a different dining experience! My steak was gorgeous- a big juicy bit of meat which I cooked medium-well and devoured every bit. Barry thought his Tuna steak was fresh and delicious, and cooking it quickly over the high heat meant it didn’t dry out. Great!
Finally, we both went for dessert to round off a lovely meal. The desserts include Strawberry semi-freddo, Vanilla rice pudding or Lemon posset.
We went for our firm favourites- cheesecake, which was White chocoloate and Passionfruit- and anything with chocoloate in it, picking the Chocolate Tart served with a salted caramel macaroon and ice cream.
The tart is not the way to finish if you are looking for something light!! It was rich, dark and oh so chocolatey! Right up my street. The cheesecake was much lighter and more to Barry’s taste!
Overall, we had a great night out at Stix and Stones in Balmoral. It has only been open for a few weeks but I am already hearing that it has been very popular with both locals and people traveling from further away.
The atmosphere was lovely and the food was great so perhaps we might hear about Stix and Stones Part 3 in the future!
Disclaimer: I was invited along to the Balmoral Hotel so the food was complimentary. I paid for all the drinks. All views expressed are my own.