Bow Street Mall, Belfast, United Kingdom
028 9267 2236
Harry Ramsdens Belfast Reviews
Feb 11, 2007
We visited the take-away. It was around 18.30 on a Saturday evening therefore quite busy. We entered to a queue of approximately 6 other people in front of us. Our order was taken immediately – 2 standard cod meals, with mushy peas please, one with coke and one with fanta lemon! We moved up the queue rapidly, - the queue was lengthening behind us though – lots of people must have been having a lazy weekend too! Service was quick and efficient, l would not say with a smile but hey these poor people were stuck behind a chippy counter on a Saturday night so l do not expect miracles!
THE TAKE AWAY LAYOUT
The take away in Belfast is attached to a 200-seater restaurant. The take out is not overly large. There is a brass railing walkway to guide your way up the queue – ld hate to have to polish it – think of all the fingerprints! As you reach the till someone takes your order, takes payment, gives you a till receipt and you move up the queue. It’s a good system – it puts an end to queue jumpers and keeps customers in an orderly fashion.
The kitchen, which is visible to the customers, caters for both the restaurant and the take out customers. The staff are all impeccably dressed – in either blue or white overalls – dependent on their seniority level. They all have their hair tied back and hairnets and hats on. They seem to wear what looks like wellies on their feet – again ever healthy, safety and hygiene conscious.
The staff were efficient as l said before, but l really did not notice that personal touch. There were no smiles as l handed over the cash (for 2 standard cod meals it came to £9.10), or as we were handed our food. The nearest to personal was ‘Do you want salt and vinegar love?’ Perhaps l expect too much – l don’t know.
From the take away counter l could see the waiting staff – dressed in the traditional maids outfits for the females – black dresses, white frilly lace apron, sensible shoes and a white thing in their hairs. The men are in black trousers, white shirts and black bow ties – some wear waistcoats.
I love the food – it is a tradition fish and chip restaraurnt/take away – so don’t expect anything too exotic. You will get in the takeaway – fish (haddock, cod, plaice etc), sausages, steak and ale pie, fish bites and so on. Everything l have sampled is well cooked and of high quality – no complaints in this respect. I would note that since our last visit – which was approximately 4 months ago – prices have definitely gone up. I would say by at least 10 pence each. That’s really my only gripe!
We did not eat in the 200-seater restaurant this time, but l have done in the past. It is definitely olde worldie. All white table clothes, napkins, tiffany lamps and chandeliers. The word used to describe it is ostentatious to say the least. You enter you are met by a maitre’d who will take your numbers, and show you to your table. There is a bar area and also a shop selling memorabilia – brown sauce harry style! You are served by a waiter/ress who will look after a certain area. What l do like is that with your main course you will get bread and butter – lovely – chip butties! The food is of the same standard as the take away – excellent. Service on my past visits has been fine and l have no complaints whatsoever.
There is quite an extensive menu, and in the restaurant look out for special offers, which will be on the tables. The following prices are samples of what the menu has to offer – note these are restaurant prices.
* Tomato Soup £2.05
* Crispy Coated Mushrooms £2.25
* Lobster Tails £2.85
Fish n’ chips - inclusive of chips, bread and butter
* Cod Fillet £5.90
* Haddock Fillet £6.40
* Plaice Fillet £6.70
* Fish Bites £4.99
* Harry’s Challenge £11.35 - this is a giant cod or haddock including peas or
beans – finish it and receive a certificate and free desert!
* Sausage n Mash £5.10
* Vegetarian Dish of the Day £5.70
* Steak & Ale Pudding £5.85
* Pickled Onions £0.55
* Onion Rings £0.95
* Gherkin £0.80
* Young Kids £2.99
* 8-12 year olds £3.99
- All are £2.70
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Lemon & Lime Mousse
There’s also a full range of soft drinks, beers, spirits and wines available.
HARRY RAMSDEN’S HISTORY
On the 20th December 1928, Harry Ramsden with a borrowed £150 opened a fish and chip shop in Guiseley, Leeds.
He began with modest beginnings – a green and white painted hut of 10 feet by 6 feet.
Knowing he had a potential ‘gold mine’ on his hands he borrowed £2000 from his various suppliers to embark on an ambitious plan to build the largest fish and chip emporium in the country.
On the 21st anniversary of the Guiseley site – on the 7th July 1952 he sold fish and chips at the old 1912 prices – 1 ½ d a portion! The doors opened at 7pm and closed at around 2am – with around 100 stone of fish and 200 stone of potatoes consumed!!
Harry died on the 7th January 1963 aged 74 years old
Eddie Stokes took the realm
In 1965 Associated Fisheries acquired the business with Mr Stokes staying on as MD
In 1999 Granada bought Harry Ramsden’s
The chain now comes in the following formats:
Full service restaurants – these are huge in size seating 200 people plus. They have traditional waiting staff, table cloth’s and crystal chandeliers.
Quick Service Kiosks – to be found ad service stations around the UK. The first opened at Cherwell Valley Services on the M40
Take Aways – Many of the larger restaurants have a take away attached.
Drive Thru’s – a variation of the take away – the first was opened in Gateshead.
Harry’s also offer entertainment including opera, jazz tributes, comedy evenings, sing-a-longs or mystery evenings. Each branch offers something different and it is recommended you telephone for a brochure and information.
I visited the Belfast branch – which is found at York Street, Belfast. It opens Sunday to Thursday 11.30 until 22.30 and on Friday and Saturday it opens until 23.00 hours. It only ever closes on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
There are other branches UK wide and beyond including:
AMAZING HARRY FACTS
The longest single order came from the Gas Board during a gas leak – they had to supply 180 portions of fish and chips on the hour every 5 hours!
Keith Allen an 80-year-old from Essex has travelled over 30 000 miles visiting all the UK branches!
Harry Corbett – of Sooty fame was Harry Ramsden’s nephew!
In his first 10 years in business – Harry did not have a holiday working from 9 am until midnight – all except Christmas Day!
There l have exhausted all my knowledge of Harry Ramsden’s fish and chip shop. It is an enjoyable experience when there’s nothing but fish and chips that will satisfy your hunger!
I found a lot of research information on the website: http://www.harryramsdens.co.uk. Should you now be dying to visit a branch there’s a store locator on the web site to help you on your way!
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