Back in 2005 much travelled Kent girl Emma Bricknell put her names of several cities into a hat. Whichever one she pulled out would be her next place of residence. It could have been Barcelona, Sydney, Manchester or Cornwall but the name on the paper was Belfast. And that, in a sense, was the origin of one of Belfast’s most popular and idiosyncratic restaurants, Made In Belfast, which opened in April 2008.
The Company ethos is that the money goes into the food so the design concept they wanted was suited to scouring skips and second hand shops with a little bit of Ikea here and there. It’s constantly changing too, they have sheds full of antiques like old saucepans and pottery jars. In fact the anarchic but very beguiling decor of Made In Belfast’s original Wellington Street outlet has become part of its attraction, giving it a real stand out identity.
The Company’s main priority has been and always will be the food, which had to be high quality, locally sourced where possible and ethically and environmentally sourced. We were inspired by restaurants like Hawksmoor, Medcalf and St John’s where the standards of animal husbandry are very high. We are looking primarily for producers who we can be sure really look after their animals.
The approach to food reflects the owners own preferences. “it’s back to basic, rustic peasant food but with influences from all over the world, Aussie burgers, Russian salads and Scandi Smushis - anything goes.
Following the success of the original Made In Belfast, we opened Hooligans in the Cathedral Quarter’s Talbot Street in summer 2010. Envisage as a pop-up restaurant it re-emerged as Made In Belfast Cathedral Quarter on April 1, 2011.