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New Belfast restaurant, The Malt Room, gives all profits to charity

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The Malt Room, in Belfast
The Malt Room, in Belfast


Belfast businessman Lord Diljit Rana and chef/restaurateur Raymond McArdle have joined up to open The Malt Room Bar & Restaurant on Great Victoria Street in what they hope will be the start of a new revival of Belfast's Golden Mile. The fascinating and unique element to this restaurant is that all profits will be given to charity!

The new restaurant, led by head chef David Mageean and general manager Liam Whiteway, welcomed a large crowd of Belfast food-lovers who turned out for it's launch event and enjoyed a taster of what's to come.

The Malt Room plans to provide a refined dining experience with a modern and local twist. “We are excited at the opportunity that Lord Rana has given us in putting Great Victoria Street back on the map as the Golden Mile," said Raymond. "I didn't want to go down the road of being another bistro or brassiere because the market is already saturated with great offers at that level. At the Malt Room you’re going to get Irish-influenced food that’s still bespoke and littered with artisan producers.”

The restaurant's aim is "beautiful comfort and contemporary food at an affordable price." Food on the menu is all sourced using local artisan producers, such as Leggygowan Farm goat’s cheese, Rockvale chicken, smoked Armagh bacon, Antrim Shorthorn beef, Mourne Blackface lamb, Award-winning Hannon Meats and many more. The wine list is provided by two of the best wine merchants in Belfast - James Nicholson and Robert Neill. {Click here for The Malt Room menus.}

Mr Rana and Raymond feel very strongly about giving the proceeds to charity and investing in young people locally and internationally. Raymond is an ambassador for Barnardo’s Northern Ireland and has been supporting young chefs from Barnardo's Dr B's Kitchen for a number of years, offering trainee placements in his kitchens. At the Malt Room they have already taken on three young chefs through the scheme.

Raymond said: “Barnardo’s approached me to see if I would train any of their budding young chefs. Between myself and David we have been working with three young individuals; training them properly, so that they can slot into the team. I thought it was a good idea, because I’m training people that have no experience and therefore no bad habits! It’s a good scheme for us and them. They are here to learn and gain great experience for the future.”

Diljit Rana was awarded an MBE in 1996 for his contribution to the economic regeneration of the city of Belfast through the development of hotels, restaurants, fashion shops and modern office accommodation. He came to Belfast in 1966 in search of business opportunities. His first enterprise was a restaurant in Belfast city center. By the start of 1971 he had three restaurants in the city. The business has grown to be one of Northern Ireland's biggest hotel chains. Andras House, which now employs over 350 people, also has extensive commercial property in Belfast.

Raymond McArdle is well known in Ireland's food scene and he has successfully represented Northern Ireland in the Great British menu 2012, 2013 and 2014. He also runs his own critically acclaimed restaurant, Restaurant 23 at the Balmoral Hotel, in Warrenpoint, County Down.

Head chef at the Malt Room, David Mageean has been with Raymond for seven years and will be taking full control of the Malt Room kitchen under the guidance of Raymond.

The Malt Room Bar & Restaurant is open Monday to Saturday for lunch, early evening menu and A La Carte menu, but closed Sunday. See their website at www.maltroom.co.uk.

For more from Zack see www.IrishFoodGuide.ie.

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