The family and I recently took a trip to Aether & Echo to try out their recent Groupon offer (just under £60 for a starter, steak meal with sides and 2 bottles of wine for 4 people FYI).
I had never been in the venue before so wasn’t too sure about what to expect. When I arrived I was pleasantly surprised with the size of the pub and it’s traditional ‘Belfast Bar’ look.
We were quickly seated at the back of the bar in the restaurant area by the friendly staff. As we had purchased the Groupon, ordering was simple – all we had to do was pick our starter and choose white or red wine.
The starter menu was a good size with around 6 options to choose from. I opted for a classic chicken ceasar salad, while the others went for the soup of the day and chicken wings. The salad was a generous size for a starter. The chicken was good quality and the dressing was perfect. No complaints from me. I was told that the soup was enjoyable and the chicken wings were good but very spicy. Be warned.
For the main event, I asked for my sirloin to be medium-rare. The steaks come with mushrooms, onions, pepper sauce and chips. The steaks are a decent size but if i’m 100% honest, not the greatest quality meat. Mine came out beyond medium, but I didn’t point it out. I found the meat to be a bit tough, but wasn’t totally sure if that was down to over-cooking or the quality. That being said, it was certainly edible and I have had worse in self-proclaimed ‘steak restaurants’. The pepper sauce is very creamy and had a real kick to it. The chips were perfectly crunchy and the veg was veg – not much to say on that front.
The Italian white wine which we opted for was good but was never going to be a Cloudy Bay Sauvignon or the likes. Very drinkable and my dad and I didn’t have any issues sinking the two bottles between us.
After the meal we stayed on for a few hours enjoying the acoustic live act (who took my dad’s requests for Oasis very well) and appreciating some of the bar’s impressive cocktails (which honestly was the highlight for me).
The staff were very friendly and were up for a bit of craic which I always look for. The bar and restaurant area were clean, however, the toilets weren’t the most pleasant to visit – the men’s didn’t even have soap!
In all, we had a pleasant evening and meal and for the rock bottom price with the Groupon deal you can’t really complain. If i had been paying full price for the same elements, I would have said something about the little niggles, but I do think you get what you pay for and can’t expect fine dining on a shoestring budget. I’d encourage you to try it for yourselves, just bring hand sanitiser and don’t expect your steak to be the best you’ve ever had!
Have any of you guys been before? What did you think?