Sunday, 11 May 2014

The Salty Dog, Bangor









It's been all quiet on our front recently - Summer deadlines are fast approaching and we're both scrambling to get as much work done as possible, but there's no reason to bore anyone with the details of that. On a more positive note though, we celebrated Shauneen's birthday this week! Officially as auld as the rest of us, we tried to soften the blow with a smack-up meal at The Salty Dog in Bangor. We've wanted to check this place out for a while now and this was the perfect opportunity so we braved any potential Giro traffic and made our merry little way!

First of all, let me say that I really underestimated how a nice a wee town Bangor is. I've only ever driven through quickly but it really is lovely, especially when you get down to the Marina, which The Salty Dog looks out on. While we waited for our friend Claire to get there, we had a dander about and enjoyed the nice view!


I hope the couple who were out walking their dog on the pier enjoyed Stephanie's vocal rendition of the Titanic soundtrack - I like to think they were laughing with us, not at us. After figuring that the sea air was getting to us, we headed inside for dinner.


As you can probably tell, we were pretty excited to finally be sticking something in our bellies (and there was no question about whether or not we were going the full hog with three courses, let's not kid). The whole menu sounded amazing - I know I had a tough time picking what to eat but, sure, that's an excuse to go back and find out what I missed! One thing that no-one needed to think twice about was the drink, though.
With the exception of our two drivers, (bless 'em), we all had MacIvor's Cider (dry) which is brewed in Portadown and easily the best in the North.


One thing that was great to see in the menu was the list of suppliers that the restaurant use to bring fresh, local food to the table every day. It's thanks to them that The Salty Dog is able to produce the quality food that they do so they deserve a shout-out. The gorgeous Abernethy butter is from Beechtree Farm; the Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil comes from Broglasco Farm; beautiful goat's cheese is supplied by Leggygowan Farm; the fresh seafood is caught locally by Ewing's; the lovely produce is from Helen's Bay Organic Gardens; and the duck (which we didn't get to taste but look forward to trying) is reared by Skeaghanore!

So, for starters we had: Boneless chicken wings in a buttermilk batter with garlic mayonnaise; Grubeen - ham hock with small chunks of apple and apple sauce; A Fivemiletown mature cheddar and leek tart with a walnut and rocket salad; and a courgette and roasted red pepper linguine!




And for our mains: A risotto primavera with sweetcorn pakora; A flame grilled sirloin sandwich with caramelised onion and basil mayonnaise, served with triple cooked chips and salad; An angus beef burger with homemade tomato and pepper relish, served with battered and lightly pickled onion rings, and a side of triple cooked organic chips; New England seafood chowder; and Irish ale battered haddock with creamed mushy peas, malt vinegar mayo and triple cooked organic chips.

The food was absolutely delicious. Stephanie said as much and that there was plenty of it for the price, although not so much that you feel bloated afterwards and want to vomit into the Irish Sea. Maybe I should phrase that a little differently but, the point is, it was the portions were bang on. According to Karen it was "so good, I mauled it something shocking", and if that's not a top review than I think we're pushed to find one. Has to be said that the risotto was a little underwhelming but with the standard of the rest of the food and the amount of other options to make up for it (bonus points for the full vegetarian menu) - we weren't put off in the slightest. If you like fish then Claire and I are both pushing you towards the chowder because it was pure beaut.



These weren't on the desserts menu (they were on the Specials board behind us) but we kept seeing them fly past our table throughout the evening and I think we decided pretty quickly what was for afters. So smooth. So rich. So creamy. I love me some desserts in general but the chocolate pot in the Salty Dog is definitely a contender for my favourite now. Should also be said that the staff were absolutely lovely and attentive the whole night, was a great dinner altogether thanks to them!

So there ya have it, another spot to add to the list (assuming you're all list fiends like we are - follow The Salty Dog on Twitter for updates.  And of course: Happy Birthday, Shauneen!


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