Meaty goodness at Molly’s Yard

We headed to Molly’s Yard for lunch today, thinking to avoid the city centre in case of traffic disruptions due to the Belfast Marathon. I’ve been tantalised by their appetising tweets for a while now, and upon recently hearing another recommendation of Molly’s Yard decided that it’s time I checked it out for myself.

The entrance to the restaurant is, quite literally, a closed door at the end of its front yard. At close to 1pm, we appeared to be their first customers for lunch as the restaurant was completely empty. Despite being tempted to order a seafood chowder to start, we went straight for the mains to save some space for dessert.

E loved the look of his Molly’s burger (£9.95, bistro menu) with homemade ketchup and smoked Oakwood cheddar. The sweetly caramelised onion jam meant that even a non-onion fan like E ate up every morsel, while the chunky chips had the right amount of coarse salt sprinkled over to make it extra delectable. It was nice seeing homemade ketchup on the menu, although I found it a bit too sour and chose to forgo dipping my chips in it.

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E was equally impressed by my ribeye steak on pesto toast with garlic butter (£11.95, special menu), as we half expected to be served strips of meat instead of a slab. The steak was about half the thickness of a regular steak and perfect as a lunch portion. It was done just right (medium rare in my case) too, and the garlic butter added to its juciness. The steak would have been even better if it were more charred on the surface – but that’s just being finickity as I surely had no complaints back when I was digging into it at a faster than usual pace!

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We ordered our desserts as the staff came round to clear our plates that were completely clean of leftovers (I kid you not). E’s warm Belgian chocolate brownie (£5.50) with chocolate sauce and chocolate stout ice cream was good but nothing special. It was slightly crunchy on the outside and had enough chocolate in it, but lacked the moist, fudgey texture that I prefer in brownies.

Meanwhile, at first sight, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of my rhubarb tiramisu sundae (£5.50) with white chocolate and custard cookie. It was nicely presented – but only if you ignore the green blobs of rhubarb that were exactly that shade in the picture below. A taste-test confirmed that looks aren’t deceiving in this case either – the rhubarb was tart and strong, and overpowered the subtle tiramisu flavour that was great on its own.

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In addition, what are meant to be sponge fingers were rock hard instead, and it was difficult to enjoy the dessert that was a combination of sour rhubarb, mild tiramisu, bitter expresso-flavoured crunchy biscuit and too little sweet chocolate sauce. And yes, there was so much going on there that I wrapped up the cookie to be saved as a post-dinner treat.

It was a pity that the desserts we had were unimpressive, as the mains were delicious and Mollly’s Yard is a restaurant that I want to like. With 8 choices of mains on the bistro menu and 4 dishes on their specials menu, Molly’s Yard has a far more varied and interesting menu than a number of other places in Belfast (some of the uninspiring menus around really are a bugbear). I’ll be happy to visit Molly’s Yard again, although it will have to be on an equally chill day as our meal took nearly 2 hours. Perhaps I’ll try some of their pork dishes the next time – yum.

Molly’s Yard
College Green Mews
Belfast BT7 1LJ
028 9032 2600

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