If you’ve lived in Belfast for long enough, you’ll probably remember that 1 Bankmore Square was always home to The Stiff Kitten – which at a time, was probably considered one of Belfast’s best nightclubs.
After a generation mourned its closing, a bar called The Foundry took up residence in the venue with not much fuss to follow it. Its latest inhabitant is The Marcus Ward that has nostalgia on the agenda, as the first ever proprietor of 1 Bankmore Square was in fact Marcus Ward & Co, a British publishing company. Taking inspiration from their predecessors, or somewhat ancestors – authenticity is on the menu for their first food offering.
Featuring lots of local produce: Ispini Charcuterie, Young Buck Blue, Toonsbridge Mozzarella, Broughgammon Sausage and Vittle Bakehouse butter, they’re off to a good start. Probing further about how far seriously they take supporting local, I’m told that their sourdough pizza bases are made from 100% naturally leavened dough, from Limavady. Not the first place you’d expect it to come from – but there is more unexpected items on the menu.
The invite said ‘Artisan sourdough pizzas’, but the sample menu had that and so much more. Kimchi, jackfruit and mezcal get multiple mentions and vegetarians and vegans will rejoice as there is huge choice for both parties, meaning more than just your typical tofu.
From mezze (Grilled Halloumi Lollypop with Pumpkin Seeds £3) to Mexican (Yucátan Nachos, £5) there’s a lot going on here besides pizza and burgers. With booths to boot throughout the restaurant / bar, it’s the ideal choice for anyone with lots of fussy friends who may be hard to cater for.
Menu items such as ‘Belfast Black and Blue’ and ‘Cheese and Onion Potayto Croquettes’ warrant a smile and intrigue when reading through the menu, whilst tasting said items make you mildly proud that food this good has somehow managed to come out of the former Stiff Kitten’s kitchen.
The Stiff Kitten is long gone, and it would be improper to lust after it any longer. But bubbling away in 1 Bankmore Square is a brilliant menu that might just restore it to its former glory.
Author: Anna Louise Crockard