Avoca Belfast has some new menu offerings and Eating Ideas was invited to try them out. I had been at a tourism and hospitality event in Avoca recently where I got the opportunity to chat with Lee, the Northern Ireland contact for food in Avoca. I was very impressed by her passion for the company and the food that it serves. To my delight, she invited me and a guest to join her for lunch to try the new menu and find out more about the Avoca team. This was an invitation I couldn’t refuse. Truth be told, I was mad keen to see what was on the menu. I took my mum with me as she is great for the chat and loves trying new food. She is also one of the very few people that will let me try stuff off her plate so that was the decider!
If you visit Avoca in Belfast, you have two dining options. The first is the food hall, where you can eat in or takeaway. This offers a wide range of soup, salads, hot dishes and sandwiches. The second is the café with a sit down, waiter service more high-end offering. You can take a wild guess which one we opted for- oh yes, the café it was. Nothing but the best for us!
Faced with an extensive menu, we both chose the items that are new to the menu. I chose the Halloumi, pea and courgette fritters (£11.95) these came served with cauliflower + broccoli tabbouleh, preserved lemon yoghurt, romesco, caramalised onion hummus and grilled flat breads- right up my street! Mum opted for the Soy & Ginger marinated Chicken Skewers with romanesco, caramelized onion hummus, beetroot yoghurt, baby kale salad and grilled flatbreads (£12.50). The chicken was tender and beautifully flavoured too.
Lee ordered the power bowl, a healthy and sumptuous selection of broccoli, cauliflower, tabbouleh, black quinoa, kale, grilled sweet potato, pomegranate, heirloom carrots, labneh yoghurt and dukkah (£11.50). She also very thoughtfully ordered a portion of the vegetable chilli just for us to try as it is one of the most popular items on the menu. I’m glad she did, as it was well worth a taste with soft tortillas, salsa, guacamole, coriander, sour cream and crispy shallots. Im a huge fan of chilli and this didn’t disappoint. For pudding we opted to share a trio of desserts, chocolate mousse, strawberry pannacotta and raspberry & lemon posset- delicious! Overall, this is exactly the type of food that floats my boat. Fresh, quality ingredients with beautiful flavours, attractively presented and delicious too. I can honestly say, I was extremely impressed at both the food and the level of service. Kathy, who manages the cafe, seems to run a very tight ship.
If you haven’t been to Avoca yet, you are missing a treat. It’s chock-a-block full of gifts, homeware, clothes and foodie delights. It would be very easy to lose a few hours just browsing and discovering the fabulous merchandise and food on offer.
Avoca currently has 12 stores in Ireland but some good news for readers in England, plans are afoot for at least one store in the greater London area so keep your ears to the ground for more information.
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