In recent years a number of new cafes and restaurants have set up shop on the Ormeau Road and Greens Pizza is the latest to open its doors in this popular area of South Belfast.
I have been living in the Ormeau area for several years now – before house prices started to rocket and the café culture took hold – and with close proximity to the city centre, a beautiful park and plenty of amenities I can see why it has been described as the new Ballyhackamore.
For those of you not familiar with Belfast geography, Ballyhackamore was a rundown area of the city that has been transformed into one of the best places to live in Northern Ireland. Credited with having some of the city’s best restaurants, it comes as no surprise well-established Ballyhackamore names like General Merchants and Greens have expanded to the Ormeau Road.
Over the years Greens Pizza has gained a reputation for serving quality food and while I have received frequent recommendations, pure laziness kept me from venturing to the Lisburn Road or Ballyhackamore restaurants.
Now they are practically on my doorstep and a couple of weeks back, the husband and I decided the time was right to visit their newest pizzeria.
Greens claim to use the same dough recipe they began with back in 1995 and this forms the backbone of their extensive menu with six different varieties of garlic bread, dough balls and at least 15 or more pizzas to choose from. There are also salads, wedges and a range of pasta dishes, with gluten free, vegan and vegetarian options available.
I was quite hungry during our visit and decided to go for a small plate of pasta priced at £5.95 which the menu suggested was a suitable starter. I can confirm the generous portion of Penne Italienne was not tiny in stature, but that did not stop me devouring pasta, chorizo, red onion and roasted tomato coated with a delicious sweet and spicy white wine sauce.
With an exceptional line up of pizzas on offer such as fresh fig and balsamic or hoi sin duck it was difficult to make my choice so I went for the Ferris wheel – an original ‘half and half’ creation with salami, pepperoni, red onion and green pepper on one side and chicken, mushrooms, red onion and bacon with BBQ sauce on the other.
I do enjoy an odd slice of BBQ pizza but too much and it becomes sickly sweet for me, so the Ferris wheel was a perfect compromise.
Husband decided on the Louisiana – paprika chicken, peppers, tobacco onions and a smoky BBQ base. I wouldn’t have paired tobacco onions with pizza, yet surprisingly it really worked, adding crunch and another layer of smokiness to the flavour.
At the end of our meal, two clean plates proved Greens pizza does warrant the hype and our bill which came to roughly £40 for two starters, two pizzas and a corkage fee was good value.
While the décor is industrial chic – hanging steel lamps, exposed brick work, semi bare walls and an open kitchen – the restaurant has a real homely and family friendly feel.
I did however have one small gripe with the service. You see, Greens don’t do reservations and while we managed to get the last available table before the evening rush, it took at least 20 minutes for our starters to arrive and during this time, a couple who came in after us, were seated and had their food long before we did.
It seemed there was a mix up with our order although the delay was never explained and everything just felt slightly erratic – perhaps this was simply teething problems given the restaurant had only been opened a few weeks.
All in all with a BYO policy and an interesting and varied menu, this lively restaurant is a great addition to the Ormeau Road restaurant scene and there is no doubt we’ll return to Greens Pizza very soon.
For more information visit – http://www.greenspizza.com/.