Chef Jean-Christophe gives a flavour of Belfast restaurant

Chef Jean-Christophe Novelli outside the hotel site with Belfast Harbour's property director Graeme Johnston
Chef Jean-Christophe Novelli outside the hotel site with Belfast Harbour's property director Graeme Johnston

Chef Jean-Christophe Novelli checked in to Belfast yesterday to give the city a taste of what it can expect when his restaurant in the city opens next year.

Just yards from where the four-star Marriott hotel development is rising from the ground, the Michelin starred Frenchman created a three course treat for guests of the Belfast Harbour Commissioners in their historical home.

“Jean-Christophe Novelli at City Quays”, is the name of the restaurant which be part of the £25 million hotel at the harbour estate which reflects the growing international feel of the city .

The four-star AC Hotel by Marriott Belfast is Belfast’s newest waterfront hotel development which will feature the landmark 104-seat restaurant, as well as bar, lounge, gym, meeting rooms and almost 190 luxury bedrooms.

Featuring a double height glazed façade with waterfront views across Belfast Lough, the exclusive restaurant will offer a brasserie menu with all the French flair associated with the respected chef.

Speaking as he launched the new restaurant plans, Jean-Christophe said Belfast and City Quays were perfect for his Ireland debut.

“I’m delighted to be the first chef with plans to open a restaurant at City Quays and really looking forward to welcoming guests to Belfast’s newest landmark development at the Marriott Hotel.

“The City has a well-deserved reputation as a must-visit food destination, and I can’t wait to add my expertise to what is an already successful and thriving hospitality industry here. “

Graeme Johnston, Property Director of Belfast Harbour, said:

“Recognised across the UK, Ireland, Europe and beyond, Jean-Christophe Novelli is a true champion of high quality, down-to-earth and innovative menu combinations and his decision to choose City Quays, and Belfast, is a testament to the success of our development plans for this key city centre site and the strong demand for great hospitality and the vibrancy of our visitor economy.

“This exciting new restaurant is great news for the local economy and will provide a welcome addition to Belfast and Northern Ireland’s strong hospitality, leisure and tourism offer.”

A European Chef of the Year finalist representing Great Britain, recipient of the prestigious Egon Ronay Dessert of the Year award and voted Chef’s Chef of the Year by his peers, his Novelli Academy has been voted one of the Top 25 Cooking Academies in the World, which he still owns and performs his own demonstrations.

City Quays is Belfast’s newest and most modern mixed-use regeneration project, providing Grade A office space, a hotel, retail, cafés and restaurants, in addition to new residential accommodation on the key city centre waterfront site.

More than £250 million has been earmarked for investment across the 20-acre site.