Monday, October 02, 2006

The Advocate Bar

It was Mum's birthday this weekend and I had booked a table at The Advocate for Saturday evening. It used to be called Rumpole's but I had never been there before so I cannot confirm how much it has changed. As you may be able to confirm from their website they are shooting for that dark background candlelit ambiance. I have to say that I could have done with a few more candles to brighten up our table but it was a warm retreat from outside as it was blowing a gale and the rain was pounding the streets. A feature of the room is the backlit faux-bookcase which I found initially garish although I have to say it grew on my a little as the time passed but it's no substitute for real books. Cafe Vaudeville suffers a similar but worse affliction as it offers realistic looking books which are actually fake as opposed to a photograph of books which is obviously not real. The difference being that people in a bar may get drunk and steal books in a bar which would or should not occur in a restaurant setting.

An outstanding feature of the Advocate is certainly the waiting service. From the moment we sat down until the bill was paid for we were treated extremely well by our waitress who was outgoing, friendly, smiling and polite and the service was the best I can remember in some time.

A downside to the Advocate amongst our group seemed to be the limited menu options although I must say I was happy with what was on offer and forced to choose between two dishes. Besides those listed on their website there was an additional page menu of specials of which I choose the spiced sea bass with parsnip chips and an apricot compote which I must say was divine.

This was all washed down by a delcious rioja and as we were all filled up by our main course, half of us including myself opted for a Baileys coffee.


Menu ***1/2

Value ****1/2

Service *****

Decor ***1/2

Disabled ****

Parking **


Anonymous Lou said...

I agree the service was excellent, but the menu was incredibly poor. It lacked imagination and diversity. There was only one chicken dish on the menu and that was part of a pie. The two beef options were a burger or steak and the fish on offer was battered fish and chips or the seabass. I found it very boring and expected more from a restaurant than standard pub grub. The seabass really was the exception not the norm, forming part of a very small specials menu. I would definately not eat there again unless they change the menu and come up with something a little less predictable.

8:04 pm  
Anonymous Skry said...

I didn't think the menu was too bad - in fact it had a lot of local fish options that you would be hard pressed to find in another Belfast restaurant. Possibly this is because of their location near to St Georges Market, but all in all I think relegating boring and plain chicken to a pie is for the best.

I had plenty of vegie options (several in fact) and my main course of deep fried goats cheese with sundried tomato & basil fritters and toasted pitta on a tossed salad was very nice. They also did great chips which I absolutely packed away!

It was obvious they don't get a lot of customers in at the moment, possibly because they are still quite new and possibly because the weather that night was terrible. Either way you can't blame them for not having a massive menu as much of their food would have went to waste, so keeping it small yet interesting is a good thing.

Judge for yourself I guess - the Evening Menu was the one we went for.

10:29 pm  

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