Given the buzz around the establishments at St Anne’s Square, I’d expected a larger restaurant but 4th Wall is surprisingly cosy. Its elegant, grey-hued interior is brightened up by lime-green napkins folded in a simple, geometric pattern – small touches that sets it apart from any other restaurant I’ve been to so far.
Our starters were served about half an hour after we arrived – no complaints there for our relaxed Sunday evening meal. E ordered the grilled mackerel, which was served with chilli jam and caramelised lime that was described as being “very nice” (that’s high praise, by the way). I wasn’t too keen on the spiced cous cous that was served cold, although E didn’t seem to mind.
I didn’t taste much of the mackerel as I was far too interested in my steamed mussels in white wine, garlic and chilli butter. The lovely spice from the chilli made this the perfect starter as it was very appetising, unlike many starters elsewhere that tend to fill me up before the main event. While the crumbly, sweet bread wasn’t quite the best accompaniment to soak up the sharp, savoury both, it was delicious on its own and I enjoyed its moist, treacly flavour.
Due to my starter, I was starving when the mains arrived and couldn’t help but admire E’s crisp pork belly with tomato, chorizo, basil and butterbean ragu. While crisp pork belly is pretty much a mainstay on Belfast’s menus, this was the first time that the dish actually arrived as promised. The crackling was perfect and so strongly resembled Chinese roast pork that I suddenly wanted to go home to Singapore. The butterbeans had a slight crunch, and their slight nutty taste melded well with the robust chorizo ragu.
The distraction of the pork belly dealt with, I devoted my full attention to my rack of lamb with fondant potato, ratatouille and basil pesto. I love lamb, but not enough places in Belfast serve this meat, which was perfectly cooked at 4th Wall. While the lamb on its own did not have much flavour, it was sheer delight with a mouthful of ratatouille or fondant potato (or both). The potato fondant was also the best I’ve ever had in all its buttery, melt-in-your-mouth goodness. While the saltiness of food here has become an all too frequent complaint, it’s one that I won’t be repeating for this meal.
Kudos goes to 4th Wall for their portion sizes, which left us satisfied but not stuffed – and meant that we had more than enough room to sample their desserts. Unfortunately, another table had robbed me of the last serving of sticky toffee pudding, so we settled for the honeycomb ice cream sundae with wafers and chocolate sauce. The sundae was exactly as one would expect – comforting in its simplicity, never sweet enough to be cloying and with a gratifying crunch in every mouthful.
I couldn’t have asked for a more lovely gastronomical experience for our first meal out in a while (see here), and would be keen to return to 4th Wall to sample their other dishes. Moreover, with the price of cocktails in Belfast experiencing a steady inflation, 4th Wall’s delectable-sounding range of cocktails seems like a steal at 2 for £10. We’ll definitely be trying some of the cocktails on our next visit to this scrumptious restaurant in the Cathedral Quarter.
St Anne’s Square
T: 028 9027 8707
Sundays, 1-8pm: 2 courses £14.95/ 3 courses £17.95