For the next month, we will be treating you to a Sughafix foodie take over from Hungry Girl Belfast! First up, she tells us of her love for COCO.
The Belfast restaurant scene is booming. Cafes, restaurants, cocktail bars, shops dedicated to donuts (DONUTS!? Who knew Belfast could be so cosmopolitan?) have shot up all over the city. Godspeed to these new venues. I hope they prosper, but the reality is the F&B industry is a ruthless industry, that takes no prisoners. If you aren’t on top of your game, by keeping things interesting with revamped menus etc, then you will loose your customers to the newest kid on the block.
One restaurant that has stood the test of time is Coco, located a stones throw from the City Hall on the corner of Linen Hall Street. Coco offers a beautifully balanced approach to fine dining that ensures it’s loyal customers continue to have their expectations exceeded, whilst continuing to attract the city’s gastronauts, who flock for the promise of great food.
The facade of the restaurant is simple, classic… exactly what you would expect from a modern European eatery. The interior proves a glorious assault on the senses, with colourful walls housing a myriad of weird and wonderful art. I love how the restaurant is decorated and respect the venue for taking such a daring approach.
As a result, I did, however, spend more time staring at the art, than into the eyes of my beloved dining partner. I was also on a one-woman mission to take photos of every painting in the restaurant. As you can imagine, he was overjoyed with my approach to date night.
Whilst I loitered around the restaurant like a food blogging creep, he found great companionship in the cocktail menu. He is a self-confessed Espresso Martini snob and he heralded Coco’s as the best he’s tried in Belfast. Needless to say, I joined him in guzzling many of these delicious, coffee concoctions, being a keen supporter of my other half’s pursuits.
As blown away as I was with the venue and the beautifully curated cocktails the food is the axiomatic element that will ensure my repeat custom, or not, which is often the case with restaurants who nail the aesthetics but serve below par food. All fur coat and no knickers, I think that’s called.
Thankfully the food at Coco is well executed and a joy to eat. The chef clearly takes a fine dining approach whilst ensuring the food is unpretentious, approachable, affordable and importantly for me (as a girl with a colossal appetite) generously portioned.
Upon the recommendation of a friend, we both ordered the slow-cooked duck egg. I did so begrudgingly. This isn’t something I would ever order and a duck egg seemed like a waste of a starter. Well, I was wrong. So very wrong. This was not just a regular duck egg but a surprising, crispy & flavoursome medley.
For mains, I had the tempura haddock with pepperonata, tartare and frites. Essentially this a jazzed up version of fish & chips, which was lovely. The fish was flaky and the batter perfectly textured. Pier ordered the roast duck breast with potato gnocchi, asparagus, mushrooms and peppercorn cream. This was perfectly pink and proved a worthy accompaniment to our bottle of delicious, full-bodied Malbec.
We used the Ohh Social app that recently partnered with Coco, which meant we could avail of a 2-4-1 offer on our main courses, saving us £18 (Mon-Thurs). Alternatively, you could use this app to receive 2-4-1 on a cocktail or buy two lunch mains throughout the week (Mon-Fri) and receive two complimentary house beverages. This is an app that I highly recommend you download. It will take minutes to do so and is filled with hundreds of 2-4-1 offers across restaurants, bars, cafes, health, beauty and tourist attractions. The 2018 subscription, when purchased through the website is £7.50.
Our overall experience at Coco was superb. This stylish eatery offers consistently good food enjoyed in a quirky setting that will quell the cravings of Belfast’s most discerning diners.