REVIEW: Kua ‘Aina Restaurant, Belfast

When it comes to eating out, as a family I wouldn’t say we’re a fussy bunch, but we know what we like…and that’s great food in nice surroundings with good service.

That’s exactly what was on offer at Belfast’s Hawaiian themed restaurant Kua ‘Aina in Victoria Square.

However, despite being Hawaiian themed, what we really loved about Kua ‘Aina was their passion for using local Northern Ireland ingredients to create some of their dishes.

Owners Paul Di Francisci and Patrick Gray

Owners Paul Di Francisci and Patrick Gray

 

The Restaurant & Ambience

Kua ‘Aina is a colourful, bright and airy restaurant with plenty of space. We felt it had almost a “holiday” atmosphere with a real beach hut feel.

Having fun times with Logan before our meal

Having fun times with Logan before our meal

Service

What we loved about the service here wasn’t just that the staff were friendly and helpful but that they treated our 3-year-old Logan as a customer. They spoke directly to him, asked him questions and responded to his needs as well as ours.

The service was quick despite being very busy, all in all we were very happy with the service provided.

Location

Being non-drivers, the restaurant being based in Victoria Square means we can very easily grab a taxi or bus from where we live so we’ve no complaints about the location.

IMG_3888Starter

Unfortunately, we didn’t really give the starters a chance on the night we were there, so it would be unfair to judge them on a plate of sharing nachos.

Main

My partner Ciaran commented: “This is one of the nicest burgers I’ve had in town” and I tell you, if he’s impressed you can be 100% sure it’s excellent.

IMG_3890The other thing that Ciaran particularly noted was the fact that choosing a burger without the bun was a standard option on the menu. As someone who always asks for “no bread” he said it was refreshing to not feel guilty about asking, he explained that sometimes asking for no bun on a burger is met with a little disdain.

I personally found the main to be beautiful. We both ordered burgers and they were second to none. I later found out why. Kua ‘Aina’s burgers are a special recipe developed with Dromara butcher Carnbrooke Meats. The burgers are then prepared on the restaurant’s unique lava grill, which offers a quick sear on the burger and locks in all the moisture, delivering a juicy burger on the inside and a char-grilled flavour on the outside.

IMG_3891For those keen on the bun, Kua ‘Aina’s baps are made locally by Belfast’s French Village bakery to ensure freshness. The bap is a slightly sweet brioche-esque recipe which is unique to Kua ‘Aina and has been carefully developed with the bakery to ensure it is consistent with Kua ‘Aina’s London restaurant offerings but still locally sourced.

Logan had the fish bites with chips and they were the meatiest looking (and tasting) fish fingers I’ve ever encountered in a restaurant. He absolutely loved them telling us they were “yummy” when we asked.

We all tried the Kua ‘Aina’s special condiment as well instead of salt & pepper and it’s definitely worth giving it a go on your meal, it brings a really nice extra punch to the meal.

Logan enjoying his fish and chips

Logan enjoying his fish and chips

Dessert

Both myself and Logan opted for ice cream for dessert and I’m glad we did. With several flavours to choose from it was absolutely delicious.

Drinks

There was a nice, fresh selection of craft beers and something for every taste. I went for a beautiful smoothie whilst Logan had one of their locally sourced milk-shakes. The milkshakes are made from Northern Ireland’s own Morelli’s ice cream and average 3 – 4 scoops per pint of milkshake.

More Information

To find out more about Kua ‘Aina log onto www.kua-aina.co.uk/belfast or check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

IMG_3885

Logan getting ready for his meal

£9.95 Meal Deal - classic beef burger, skin-on fries & soda

£9.95 Meal Deal – classic beef burger, skin-on fries & soda

The delicious milkshakes gets the thumbs up from the expert !

The delicious milkshakes gets the thumbs up from the expert !

Mahi mahi fish fingers and fries

Mahi mahi fish fingers and fries

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About the Author

Tina Calder
Journalist, commentator, author and content creator specialising in showbiz, entertainment, business, trade, human interest and lifestyle.