Ask most people what they think of Belfast cuisine and you are likely to hear about Paul Rankin, Michael Deane or pasties and chips. But ask any Belfast foodie - especially those in PR - and they might just tell you about Alden's in East Belfast.
Like all good restaurants it doesn't need to shout about itself or have a big name behind it. It prefers to let the food do the talking - and boy does it talk.
I started off with a frissee salad of gruyere cheese and hot bacon with a mustard dressing. The bacon was smoky and flavoursome and the dressing, while having a kick, didn't overpower the other flavours, it merely complemented them.
Lamb can be very hit and miss. In other restaurants the meat can be sinewy and overcooked with the texture of an ice hockey puck. But Alden's roast rump with oven chips and rosemary jus has an intense flavour and the meat is nicely pink in the middle.
For pudding I had creme brulee, again perfectly executed with a crisp, darkly caramelised top giving way to a dense, rich vanilla creme.
If you want to pay big bucks for a big name stay in the city centre.
But if you want to impress your client and eat well then travel the extra mile and a half to Alden's. You won't be disappointed.
Where: 229 Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast, BT4 3JF
Contact: (028) 9065 0079
How much: Three courses from £25