Belfast's Malt Room Provides Welcome Retreat From Wicked Irish Weather

The Malt Room on Belfast's downtown Great Victoria Street may look inconspicuous from the outside, but once you walk in you are overtaken by the series of interconnecting rooms. The two-floor restaurant features stucco ceilings, ornate wall paneling with a lion face motif, chandeliers, curved balconies, metal railings and a broad staircase — all reflecting a predominantly ash-gray color scheme with contrasting touches of vivid red.

The ground floor is a combination of candle-lit open seating (on various levels) and a line of semi-private cubicles along one inside wall, while upstairs features a mix of soft sofas, chairs, and a long sturdy dining table for large groups. Our waitress was a chirpy young lady from Omagh who kept us amused with light-hearted banter throughout the tasting menu. Much to our delight, since it was wet and windy outside, she immediately brought us a touch of comfort food in the guise of warm, brioche-like bread in a delicate mahogany box.