Restaurant Profile October 2018: Top Blade Belfast
Zara Peden, managing director, talks to HRNI
WHEN DOES YOUR RESTAURANT OPEN?
Top Blade will be opening at the end of September/early October. Most of my inspiration has come from a restaurant in London called Flat Iron. I’m bringing the new concept to Belfast and I think the simplicity of the menu, yet quality good food, will work very well.
TELL US ABOUT THE SPACE YOU HAVE
Saint Anne’s Square is a really great location, which is continually growing along with the Cathedral Quarter. I wanted to be part of this exciting and bustling area of the city. Renovations on the premises are now complete; my theme is blacks and greys with metal feature work. It focuses on an industrial yet chic vibe.
WHAT FEEL ARE YOU AIMING FOR?
The restaurant will be upmarket and aesthetically pleasing. However, the price for food and drinks will be competitive for the city.
WHAT’S ON YOUR MENU?
The menu will be based around one cut of steak, Top Blade (also known as flat iron) but there will also be weekly specials such as your usual sirloin or fillet. You will then have a choice of sides, sauces and drinks to accompany. I will also be offering a vegan option.
WILL YOUR MENU CHANGE OFTEN?
The main menu, which will be the Top Blade steak and a vegan option, will stay the same. However, weekly specials will be displayed throughout the premises. We will also be offering a traditional Christmas dinner for the month of December.
WHAT ELSE WILL YOU DO TO IMPROVE AND DRIVE YOUR MENU?
I will be continually changing the weekly specials’ board, which will keep the menu fresh and appealing to our customers.
WHAT IS YOUR FOOD SOURCING POLICY?
Most, if not all, food will be sourced locally in Northern Ireland. I have tried and tested several meat suppliers and have decided to go with Carnbrooke Meats in Dromara.
WHO ARE YOU TARGETING AS CUSTOMERS?
My customers will range from students to couples and families. As my price range is affordable for all, I hope to see a range of people. I also aim to capture city centre workers who might head out for dinner after finishing their shift.
HAVE YOU FACED ANY PARTICULAR CHALLENGES TO DATE?
Staffing is always going to be a challenge in hospitality. However, I am in the progress of recruiting a great team and I can’t wait to work alongside some amazing people.
HOW DO YOU MAKE YOUR RESTAURANT STAND OUT FROM COMPETITORS?
Having a simple menu which only offers steak, yet for a reasonable price, is our USP at Top Blade. There are limited steak restaurants in the city centre, so I look forward to meeting the needs of steak-hungry customers. We want customers to know they are getting the same standard of food each and every time they visit us. The majority of our menu is also sourced locally, which is something we want to push and draw attention to for our customers.
HOW DO YOU SEE YOUR RESTAURANT DEVELOPING THIS YEAR?
I am hoping Top Blade will develop into a well-known restaurant within the city and I really want to focus on building a reputation for great food. I’m also hoping for a range of events to be hosted in the restaurant, from business events to private parties.
Saint Anne’s Square, Belfast
Tel: 028 90 33 33 11
Social media: Top Blade Belfast
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