Soda & Starch Bistro set to open in Londonderry’s Craft Village this summer

Ray Moran’s Soda & Starch Bistro is part of a significant investment that will offer visitors relaxed dining in the city’s cultural hot spot

Lisa Sheerin and Ray Moran
Lisa Sheerin and Ray Moran

Business owner Ray Moran has added a new element to his restaurant offering in Londonderry’s Craft Village with anticipation building for the launch of Soda & Starch Bistro on June 30.

Mr Moran, who already runs the popular Soda & Starch Under the Canopy and Artis Restaurant, in collaboration with chef Phelim O’Hagan, will offer diners a more relaxed and casual offering that celebrates quality local produce with a focus on ‘from farm to plate’ at the new Soda & Starch Bistro.

Mr Moran is working closely with his family run suppliers to produce creative dishes packed with flavour but importantly also offer value for money.

Lisa Sheerin and Ray Moran

Dishes on the launch menu include seafood from Moore on the Quay, and steaks and seasonal vegetarian options, with the majority of dishes using the Kopa Grill, a vented sealed oven that produces juicer meats and primal heat flavours. The grill will give the new Bistro menu a street food accent that will further complement the quality produce.

Mr Moran, who has worked for more than 30 years in the food business, said: “Our existing two venues in the Craft Village have received phenomenal feedback since they began operating. Soda and Starch Under the Canopy is a fully licenced street food venue delivering a relaxed summer vibe. Available for private hire, firm favourites include the Hog Roast and Summer Barbecue. Meanwhile, Artis Restaurant offers a more formal culinary experience and was created by myself and Great British Menu chef Phelim O’Hagan.

“And today we are proud to launch something of a hybrid between the two that will allow guests to enjoy the best seasonal produce in what is a beautiful part of the city.”

Mr Moran has attracted a host of accolades for his first venue, Soda & Starch, including featuring in the Top 100 Restaurants in Ireland rankings for the years 2019 and 2020. It has also featured in the McKenna’s Guide four years running and has taken the award for North West Restaurant of the Year, among others.

Mr Moran added: “The Craft Village has come alive over the last 12 months, providing an eclectic mix of artisan craft shops, cafes and restaurants. It is fast becoming a food destination in its own right and we know our Bistro will further strengthen that offering. We look forward to opening the doors to this new and exciting venture.”