Tucked away in the historic back streets of Belfast's Cathedral Quarter, The Muddlers Club takes its name from a secret society that used to meet in this very spot over 200 years ago. This Muddlers Club isn't quite as secret as the original - in fact, it's safe to say that the secret is well and truly out thanks to a litany of awards, including a coveted Michelin star, received in 2020.
The interiors stay true to the secret society inspiration, with masonic street art painted over exposed brick, and an all-seeing eye that watches over the restaurant from a far wall. The post-industrial dining room is designed by Oscar & Oscar - a well-regarded Belfast outfit that have designed many of the city's most appealing restaurants and bars, including Ox, Edo, Haptic Coffee and Ora.
Diners have a choice between a regular tasting menu and a vegetarian or vegan tasting menu, with chef Gareth McCaughey and team picking the best seasonal produce each day to ensure that ingredients are at their peak. Muddlers Club has been designed with an open kitchen, so guests get a sense of theatre as they dine.
The menus aren't short of bold flavours, with dishes like scallop, Iberico pork and white beans, venison, hazelnut and salt-baked celeriac. There's also a fully vegetarian menu, featuring the likes of mushroom gnocchi with Jerusalem artichoke, courgette with pistachio and basil or a plum and onion tartlet. For dessert, meanwhile, you'll find similarly punchy flavours at play, such as chocolate with espresso and orange or elderberry with creme fraiche and pear.
A drinks flight is available with either menu for an extra charge, and there's an innovative cocktail list on offer too. Other dietary requirements can be catered for too, as long as the restaurant is given sufficient notice ahead of time.