Some people age gracefully, ripen and ripen like fine wine – I’m more milky, sour and a bit lumpy.
One thing that makes me smile — aside from last week when my seven-year-old drew one with a marker while I slept — is randomly finding a hidden gem in a restaurant.
I’m talking about the type of place that really blows your mind, a place that you can’t wait to tell your friends about.
At The Corner by Sally McNally on Markethill Road, Portadown, is one such restaurant. Over the years Sally’s has grown from a two room country pub popular with locals to a much larger pub/restaurant with a great reputation throughout Northern Ireland.
It’s a rural place – and it looks like someone’s home from the outside – but it has a lot of charm and a really relaxed atmosphere.
Before I get to the food, I want to start by praising the staff. From the moment my family and I arrived until we left and walked past the open kitchen, they were absolutely stunning.
This level of service and friendly banter would put many other more expensive restaurants to shame.
We chose two chicken dishes to start – the hot and sticky chicken wings with celery and blue cheese mayonnaise were perfectly cooked and full of flavor, while the salty chili chicken was absolutely delicious.
I opted for the slow-braised short rib as the main course which came with celeriac fondant, mashed cauliflower, pearl onions, kale and a red wine jus. It was exceptional. . . an incredible blend of flavors and textures with these baby onions proving a spectacular addition to the plate.
My wife was thrilled with her prawn and chorizo tagliatelle and for good reason. This pasta dish was first class and had a real kick that many chefs would avoid.
I’ll be honest, a Thai monkfish curry with cilantro lime rice and naan bread was not something I expected to see on the menu. But it was also an absolute delight – the fresh fish and curry pairing perfectly and earning high praise from my mother-in-law.
Even my son’s kids meal of chicken goujons, fries and beans was impressive. It certainly made it go away pretty quickly and made a huge dent in the very tasty onion rings and garlic and chili lattice fries.
With such generous portions you may find, like us, that there is no room for desserts but if they are half as good as the rest of the food you will not be disappointed.
It takes something special for me to want to go back to a restaurant these days, but Sally McNallys is seriously awesome. I will definitely be back.
- Chicken wings €7.50
- Sweet chilli chicken £7.50
- Kid’s meal £5.95
- Short rib 20€
- Shrimp tagliatelle 16€
- Monkfish curry 22€
- Three sides £12