Havana Bank Square is the hidden gem tucked away behind the recently developed Bank Square Area in the city centre.
Boasting an intimate setting in the heart of Belfast, serving high quality, lovingly prepared food, you can certainly tell that Havana’s Head Chef Aodhan Lawell is truly passionate about his menu.
Exciting New Menu
We spoke to Manager Stephanie Watson, who explained: “Aodhan constantly researches food trends & dishes both locally & globally. He trials ideas as daily specials and then chooses from a list of many of those specials when it comes to a menu change.”
Indeed, Havana Bank Square recently celebrated the launch of an amazing new menu.
And having recently frequented the delightful restaurant for ourselves, we’re pleased to see that our favourite dish survived the cut!
Stephanie assured us: “The Crispy Chilli Beef has escaped the cut as it is a firm favourite – including Head Chef’s!”
The dish includes luscious strips of Silverside Beef tenderised & marinated, then coated and fried until perfectly crisp. It is available as a starter or main with skinny fries on both the Lunch & Dinner menu with a spicy Srirscha Dipping Mayo.
More Gorgeous Dishes
Further new dishes include a succulent Crispy Pork Belly with Cannelloni Bean and Shallot Cassoulet, Clonakilty Black Pudding and Roast Apple. Another of our favourites has also remained – the Belfast Ale Battered Haddock (GF) with Chips, Mushy Peas, and Chunky Tartar Sauce.
Stephanie told us a bit about her own favourites: “Obviously I love all the dishes, but mostly I prefer The Satay Prawn & Noodles. Tiger Prawns served with Asian Veg & Thick Noodles in a satay coconut cream.
“I also love how the Sirloin is served with green beans, onion marmalade, pink peppercorn butter & red wine jus with the chunky chips separately as it really highlights the quality of the meat. You need to order it to understand!”
“The Half Roast Peri Peri Chicken is definitely a popular choice for dinner, helped along by the fact that it’s served with sweet potato fries. Perfect for all those couples whose partners are crying to be taken somewhere other than Nandos.”
And in further good news for anyone with food intolerances, Havana ensures there’s loads of Gluten Free options on the menu – as well as Vegetarian.
The cocktail menu is equally exciting, with regular updates and changes made to reflect the seasonal trends and keep up to date with the new spirit trends on the market.
Stephanie explained: “We are currently working on a loose leaf tea cocktail range alongside ‘FreeBird Artisan Teas’.
“Customers are definitely beginning to appreciate tea leaves now and not only are Diageo promoting a Tanqueray Tea serve but there is also Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin distilled with gunpowder tea in Co Leitrim which we are excited to use.
“On the current menu favourites include The Monkey Jam Sour – Monkey Shoulder Whiskey, Strawberry Jam, Fresh Lemon & Ginger Ale.”
Masterclasses – with bubbly!
Meanwhile, Havana also boast terrific Cocktail Masterclasses, which are seriously good value for money. We reckon they’d be a great idea for Hen Do’s, as well as birthday parties and work nights out. But you’ll need to book early to avoid disappointment!
“The cocktail masterclass have been a great success to date with up to four taking place each weekend. The groups arrive to a champagne cocktail & then get to mix and drink a further three cocktails during the class, learning techniques to balance flavours & layer colours.
“The packages include the masterclass alone £30pp, the masterclass & light bites £36pp & the masterclass & 2 course meal £45pp. As we all know the summer months are hen party season so we’re quite heavily booked for masterclasses at the weekends until September!”
As recently featured in our 5 Truly Tempting Treats To Try The Next Time You’re Craving Sugar Rush In Belfast, Havana’s desserts are seriously mouth-watering too. And they definitely haven’t been forgotten about in the recent menu revamp:
“The new desserts have us all very excited. Nostalgia runs deep in dessert desires which is why Aodhan has found inspiration in classic candies such as the Nutella filling in the profiteroles & Oreo crumble in the upside down cheesecake. I personally don’t have a sweet tooth and would usually opt for a coffee rather than a dessert but the Affagatto (Vanilla ice cream, Amaretti Biscuits, Cool Espresso) is the perfect little bit of sweetness to end the meal.”
So as Havana enters its fourth year of business, Stephanie explained it is ‘continuing down a path of organic growth.’
” We hope to be around for a long time along with the other big names in the area Kelly Cellars & Mourne Seafood rather than a flavour of the month. Although not so much now as when we first opened we are still described as a ‘hidden gem’ due to our location. People just don’t expect what they are going to experience when they first hear about us.
“There really is something for everyone at Havana. A great craft beer & ale range for the gents, Kids eat free on a Sunday, but the interior really screams out for couples.
“We are housed in a fabulous period property and boast a cool dining room of exposed brick walls and soaring ceilings decked out with mosaic detail. Chandelier lights drip down from above whilst elegant red leather & velvet seats provide a real splash of colour.
More To Come! (Watch This Space…)
“We hope to be around for a long time and will continue to strive for improvement. We are currently working on another premises, details of which will be revealed in the upcoming months so keep an eye on social media!”
Check out Havana Bank Square on Facebook and online at havanabanksq.com for more info, including how to book!