You can see a small bit of Rogan’s influence in her food, but she definitely has found her own style. Her cooking is elegant, refined, with excellent seasoning which is right on that level to enhance the natural flavour of the ingredient without adding any saltiness. This was evident in the opening dish of our six course tasting menu; a moreish, but light Jeresulum artichoke purée, adorned with an artichoke crisp.
Barry does not clutter her dishes, instead they are restrained and allow just a couple of ingredients to shine through - a perfect example was an extremely good dish with a perfectly cooked langoustine, simply served with kohlrabi. Perhaps the best dish of the meal, although it would be hard to pick one, was a flakingly soft and superbly prepared cod, served with an intense and delicious bone reduction. The food in Eipic was seasonal, but also captured the region and the autumnal weather perfectly. This was typified with a serving of partridge, lightly glazed with cider and accompanied by cabbage and some excellent black padding.
Whilst her food is elegant and refined it has a homeliness and a nourishing wholesomeness to it. Glazed beef with boulangere potatoes and rainbow chard was a comforting and well executed end to the savoury part of our tasting menu, a dish not easily forgotten. The dessert on first appearance looked like a tart appearing in front of us to round off an excellent meal, but was a bit of a let down when we delved into it to find the pastry was just a thin ribbon circling some spiced pear and fruit. It was tasty dish, with excellent pasty work, but it was one of those that got a bit boring the more we ate.
The dining room is spacious, smart and comfortable and service is professional, friendly, but lacking a little bit of engagement at times. £60 (around €85), felt like good value for the standard of food and there are some nice snacks to start and the bread was some of the best we have had in Ireland this year.
Deane and Barry have combined to create a very nice restaurant in Eipic, serving well executed seasonal food using the best regional produce. If in Belfast, which hopefully we will be again soon, it is certainly worth a stop.
See Eipic on our list of world restaurant ratings.