It almost seems a pity that Ginger is tucked away off the thoroughfare of Great Victoria St and passing trade will be drawn to the showier, and inferior eateries that line the main drag. Maybe that's a blessing as the bistro has managed to keep up its high standard of food and excellent service over the years and I've nary got a bad word to say about it.
Last time I visited we had quite a large group out on a birthday treat and we really did have the perfect evening. As we rolled in after a few in the Crown, I felt the staff thought they might have their hands full that evening. Regardless the service was excellent as usual, good humoured and we were all well catered for. I had the steak which was as sublime as ever and the appreciative noises from the others showed they'd chosen wisely too.
Simon the chef knew one of our party and popped out to say hello with a bottle of complimentary champagne which was a really nice and appreciative touch. Definitely an excellent evening in excellent surroundings.
Pros: Great food, laidback vibe.
Cons: Not that easy to find.
We had an absolutely delicious meal here last night recommended by a colleague, we weren't sure what to expect but it was fantastic. The belly pork oh my god I'm actually salivating thinking about it a day later
Great atmosphere, lovely staff, heavenly creme brulee what more could you want?
Ginger is a lovely little restaurant tucked away in a side street off Great Victoria Street.
At the risk of sounding repetitive, it is expensive, but to be honest, I don't mind paying for good quality food, and neither should you in this instance! Plus, it's BYO, so you can save on the alcohol and it evens out.
It's relatively small on the inside, but this just makes it intimate. The menu is limited, but I often take this as a sign of a good restaurant. It means to me that the chef is actually cooking fresh produce, rather than defrosting and heating up!
Ginger is a great place to go if you're off to see something in the Opera House, as they have a pre-theatre menu (like most of the restaurants on Great Victoria Street do), but it's also lovely for your evening meal.
At £20 for the steak you wouldn't do it every day, but every once in a while? Oh, go on, then!
I paid my first visit to Ginger last weekend and the verdict is that I will be back. I have to admit that I didn't even know it was there until we were invited out by friends who took the initiative and booked the restaurant. Good for them.
I would describe the interior as funky, not grand particularly but not scruffy either. The lighting is nicely dim, not dark and background music at just the right volume to create a buzz but not loud enough to make you shout to each other.
So what about the food? I actually find it hard to nail down the style of cuisine as the menu seems to career around the globe. In some restaurants, such eclectic menus can mean that individual dishes can be weak. Happily that's not the case with Ginger.
You'll find Asian style dishes like asparagus tempura with ginger pickles, a brief stop in Italy with pasta and pesto, a jaunt to blighty with roast pork and black pudding and a trip to the US of A for Cajun chicken salad. Phew. A huge range of flavours and the Indian spiced chicken I had with dhal was great. The husband had the sea bream and we shared a side of parsnip chips which were delish.
Service was friendly and efficient and we paid just under £30 head for a main course and half a bottle of wine each. Not the cheapest in town but you could tell that the ingredients were fresh and good quality and the food prices were offset by a wine list which starts at £14.
Fantastic atmosphere for a small, quaint bistro. The decor is fresh and welcoming with cushions for extra comfort and fresh flowers for that something special.
Staff were all very attentful and not overly so. All extremely polite, warm and engaging.
Lots of choice on the menu which proved difficult in me making my mind up.
Food itself was flavoursom, not a lot of talking from me which meant I enjoyed it!
Only downside was the price, a little too pricey for what you get, but an excellent place to visit :)
Ginger is a hidden treasure.
Have never had a bad meal and compared to its competition I feel it is great value.
Quite small but not lacking atmosphere.
Staff are friendly and helpful.
Tucked away in Hope Street (just off Great Victoria) is this little gem. Opened by former Nick's Warehouse chef Simon Mc Cance several years ago, this slick laid back bohemian affair offers locals a mix of tastes and intriguing offerings.
It's a relaxed environment, warm with muted well balanced wooden décor. Fish is the focus of the menu here and generally between the three menus on offer (lunch, pre-theatre and dinner) it rears its head at least three times.
The lunch/pre-theatre menu offers a variety of locally sourced morsels all under £12. The dinner menu starts at £11 rising to £18 or so for meat dishes, reasonable for the area and quality of food on offer.
The restaurant follows strong seasonality and changes frequently to allow the freshest, local ingredients to shine through.
On this occasion I opted for the pork loin with chorizo risotto. A sizeable piece of slow cooked meat atop rich and unctuous al dente rice. Perfectly balanced and seasoned I paired it will a bottle of a local brown ale from the Whitewater Brewery based in Kilkeel. The other half went for their classic rib-eye steak, simply served on a bed of spinach but superbly cooked well-aged beef. The provenance is clear with the meat and fish on offer throughout the ever changing menu.
The night came to a reluctant close with a rather generous and perfectly mastered crème brulee, served with a tart, acerbic berry compote. Superbly delivered with a crisp, crunchy layer of burnt sugar on top of a smooth vanilla cream.
This place has established itself in recent years as an essential addition to Belfast's growing list of top-end restaurants. It's not striving for that coveted Michelin star, often traditionally handed to restaurants adhering to a French inspired theme. The food is always fresh, vibrant and served by staff that have a genuine interest in the food they serve. Do not miss this one out
Ginger Bistro is flipping expensive! I didn't know this until I had sat down. In my ever thrifty student days I said to a girl I was dating that we should call in for a bite. I ate super noodles for lunch and dinner for a week afterwards. However, despite the price, the food was amazing. Everything was cooked perfectly. I begun to think that maybe they charge so much because they know they can afford to with food of this quality. On top of this, the décor was very cool, the atmosphere relaxed and the staff were just brilliant. The high priced food made me look a little bit showy and got me in the good books with the girl, so maybe they can use that an excuse as well!
I was recommended this place by another restaurant I called in at on a Monday afternoon, who weren't open that night, and I was so glad I did! Beautiful food, well cooked and served, in a lovely calm environment. I had tempura asparagus with mooli and ginger in a soy sauce for starters, which was stunning. The main course was smoked haddock on a cheesy mash with asparagus (again) and scallops with a chive and garlic cream sauce. Dreamy. Good access for wheelchairs, but I didn't see the bathroom.
phone messed up when almost completed review and lost it. Hence this short review. Basically, great staff, fantastic food. will definitely be back.
Have now been back (21/05/13). just as good. excellent food, very friendly and helpful staff
I went in a group with a large number of colleagues here, and had a good meal but it didn't quite live up to the hype surrounding it.
I'd heard from others that it was a well-respected restaurant and did good modern european (with a hint of fish) dishes.
Service was good but not very punctual. We had pre-ordered and some of our party had to wait as there had been a mis-calculation by the restaurant. However when it arrived the food was of good quality.
For the price, the food was good. Like many others, I tried the smoked haddock, with cheesy mash, asparagus and black pudding, which was freshly prepared but I felt the haddock was slightly dry and had been cooked too long. The black pudding, in comparison, was a little watery and something about the dish tasted a little wrong. The next day my stomach definitely did not agree with the meal of the night before!
Other colleagues who had this main course concurred the same. However the desserts were lovely.
I'd possibly not want to eat the same thing again if I get to go back - having said that, the other options on the menu looked and sounded good, and other members of the party did enjoy them without the upset stomach the next day!
Went to my office's Christmas dinner here last December. Thanks to our eternal procrastination we only agreed a date and venue in December, and amazingly were lucky enough to get a table in Ginger. They were good enough to send us through their menu in advance, which was a set menu for the season.
By and large set menus annoy me as I very often find the choices limited and have difficulty getting something to suit my tastes. But Ginger's was reasonably large and I found a couple of things on it to suit my slightly unadventurous tastes.
The restaurant wasn't actually that busy when we were there, although it wasn't quite empty either. It was tastefully decorated.
Service was fine. I felt the staff were efficient, and whilst though they weren't the most friendly bunch I've come across, they were still polite and helpful (which sometimes seems like a difficult thing to find on the Belfast restaurant scene!).
We placed our order on arrival and I had a glass of Shiraz with which to wash it all down. Gorgeous wine! Wish I had taken the name of it now as it was very nice indeed.
The food, though, was not quite so brilliant. Don't get me wrong. There was nothing wrong with it. It just wasn't outstanding in the way that some people report this establishment's dishes are. My soup starter was fine, but little more - not a great deal of taste to it. The steak and potatoes for my main meal were of a similar calibre; not bad, but certainly not the best I have tasted. The dessert was, to be fair, pretty nice, but as with both previous dishes, the quantity was less than adequate. After a three course meal, I left the place feeling really quite unsatisfied in terms of fullness - almost bordering on hungry.
Given the current trendiness of Ginger, the price was fair, especially for the time of year. Given that, I can't fault the portions of the food too much. Would I go back? Yes, probably; maybe the slightly lacklustre taste of the food was attributable to the time of year and the set menu in operation. Having said that, I haven't been back yet and as you can see I'm writing this review seven months later, so I haven't been in a rush! Overall - for me, the place is fine, okay, grand, not bad - just nothing exceptional. Many others I know love it though
A visit from a large group is a special test for restaurant but Ginger Bistro, tucked away in Hope Street beside the reptiles shop had no trouble rising to the challenge. The waiters were friendly and relaxed as they greeted the 14 of us for lunch - pre booked of course. We enjoyed a decent Chilean white wine as we mulled over the menu, in which the emphasis is on fish - sea bream, fish pie, salmon, haddock, mackerel and squid, thought non-fish alternatives include Toulouse sausage, mushroom risotto, steak, pork belly, chicken Caesar salads among others. I chose fried squid with chilli sauce and mayonnaise to start with which was fresh, tasty and plentiful. For me, it didn't really leave much room for the sea bream with potato, green bean and lemon salad with olive dressing which followed. The sea bream was a little tasteless but the salad helped matters. Others in the party found the smoked salmon with green, bean, rocket and horseradish a bit heavy on horseradish though the Toulouse sausage, fish pie and the special of Turbot were happily consumed. Ginger Bistro has an informal, individualistic atmosphere with a slight Latin American feel, perhaps due to the strong yellow walls, bold paintings and the odd quirky mirror. It creates a little world away from the exhaust ridden throughfare of Great Victoria Street just yards round the corner and delivers what you expect from bistro food - substantial, tasty and reasonably priced with main course averaging mostly at £8 or £9 each.
Great restaurant in Belfast City centre. Lovely fresh food served in very relaxing surroundings, by very attentive and friendly staff. Great early bird menu.
Ginger is one of Belfast's best restaurants - fish is definitely the speciality, although there is always something on the menu to please non-fish eaters. Great value.
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