03 Aug Review | Lunch at Cafe Thirty Six, Belfast
Don’t let the completely average name and equally dull signage put you off this impressive little cafe. With no one else I know aware of its very existence, I feel as though I’m bestowing a great gift to the readers of this review.
Nestled on the Belmont road, a rapidly growing, burgeoning beacon for foodie delights, you have a lot of choice to contend with.
Thirty Six doesn’t immediately strike you when you take a stroll up the Belmont road wide eyed at all the potential lunch choices. In fact, after working my way through a few different cafes on the on the road, I thought that Thirty Six was a hairdressers until a second glance.
I’ll admit, I didn’t go in with high hopes letting my mistakening it for a hairdressers put me off ever so slightly.
Yet, I was immediately perked by the sheer amount of choice on the menu, and my excitement was heightened by taking a glance at the impressive looking meals on surrounding tables.
I’ll get one thing straight: you will not be able to decide what you want off the menu. The amount of choice left me breathless as it got closer and closer to the crunch.
In the end I chose the Irish Open Breakfast (they serve breakfast all day!) – which consisted of a double helping of potato bread, black pudding Ballymaloe tomato relish, poached eggs and watercress to garnish.
I don’t know about you, but I personally had never tried this sort of ensemble before and I was both excited and apprehensive about my choice, worried I should have just gone for a simple bacon, eggs and toast. Mostly though, I was hungry.
When the plate arrived, my Irish Open Breakfast was artfully presented, potato bread on the bottom, smothered in tomato relish, the biggest double helping of black pudding I’ve ever seen next, and poached eggs and watercress to garnish. It was the type of lunch that’s just crying out to be Instagrammed.
I felt bad at first cutting into my perfectly poached eggs but that quickly faded as the yolk joined the party on my plate. The first bite was momentous. This particular ensemble of foods might not at first strike you as working together but man oh man, they definitely did.
What I really, really liked about Thirty Six – alongside making amazing food of course – is that they have a few wild cards such as the Irish Open Breakfast on the menu alongside old favourites and for me this really makes the place stick out from your average cafe.
With a focus on local produce, Thirty Six have a real art for putting together a good lunch. I advise you get there early though because the cafe is quite small and tends to pack out quickly. And it’s easy to see why.