6 1/2 things we love about: Bull & Ram
Let’s get the negatives out of the way before I start gushing. Bull & Ram is the new kid on the block for our great NI food scene…but it’s in Ballynahinch! Now that the distance issue that some might have is out of the way, let’s learn a little more about this ex butchers in middle of County Down.
In no particular order here’s our 6 1/2 things we love about Bull & Ram
The building has had a previous life as a butchers!
Set in a listed building in the heart of Ballynahinch, Bull and Ram embrace their past by retaining the meat racks hanging from the ceiling, original wall and floor tiles. And by surprise, when renovating the site, they removed the suspended ceiling to discover the beautiful original high wooden ceiling. It’s quirky, historic and beautiful.
After the beautiful building, the food unfairly takes second place, but that’s only for the purposes of this list, because in reality, it’s the star of the show.
In keeping with it’s butchers past, Bull & Ram have embraced the beef with an extensive steak menu from local producer Hannan Meats. Dry aged in a Himalayan salt chamber, the 28-40 day aged meats come in a variety of cuts. The 400g 40 day aged rump came recommended, and it didn’t disappoint. At £18.95 served with a side and sauce it’s the cheapest of the steaks on the menu.
The rest includes the Big Bull burger, Herb fried chicken, Mourne lamb, Vegan Shepherds Pie and much more, including the specials menu. Being the traditional burger boy, of course I had to try it and any burger that comes with a gerkhin balancing on top is off to a good start. I have to say it’s not at the top of my best Belfast burger list, but it’s up there with the best. The French Onion soup for starters was perfect, and John Lynch’s Irish mozzarella with heirloom tomatoes and a personal favourite, raspberry vinaigrette, was an equally delicious starter.
The Cocktails and mocktails
Thanks to being introduced to the world of mocktails at Bull & Ram in June, I’ve discovered a love of this alcohol free option and been trying them everywhere! So Bull & Ram have taken the lead and changed my drinking options from water or that dark fizzy drink, to something altogether more treat like. Maybe it was because it was my first, but it will forever hold a special place in my mocktail world!
On trend with the rest of NI, gin is in. And along with the classic Bombay Sapphire, it’s great to see Shortcross on the menu.
The bar area and drink selection is due to be moved and extended bringing even more choice.
Another great NI trend, and of course largely celebrated by this Year of Food and Drink, is the provenance of food. These guys don’t disappoint and use a lot of local suppliers. It’s always great to know your food hasn’t been flown around the world just to satisfy your tastebuds, but rather it’s been driven just down the road from your local farm. They roll out the Comber spuds, Strangford Lobster, Kilkeel Crab, Mourne Lamb and more. And let’s not forget the freshly grown herbs, fruit and veg happening in their own walled garden out the back. Love it.
With an award winning manager, a celebrated chef and a foodie passionate owner, the service was second to none.
The opening hours
7 days a week food from lunch through to dinner. The choice is entirely yours on when to go and enjoy this country treat.
We’ll be back (it’s already booked), hopefully we’ll see you there as well!
tel: 028 97560908