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Review: Hadski’s, Belfast

I had a plan for this morning.  Drop my car off for a good super awesome valet, find somewhere to have coffee and a sneaky breakfast, and get writing the old blog here.
I put the call out to Instagram for recommendations on where to go near to where I dropped the car off, and I got some wonderful suggestions.  I went to a few of them, but, they were all packed to the rafters.  I resolved that I’d just have to go find a chain coffee place and settle in, but I walked past Hadski’s and saw it was open.  Not somewhere I’d particularly associate with any kind of breakfast/brunch, more of a nice late lunch or dinner spot.  So in I ventured, and yay, there was indeed  brunch menu.

My plan was still to write while I ate, and I had a specific post that I was going to write about.

My plan changed, and now, I’m writing about the absolute unexpected joy that was brunch at Hadski’s.

Now, I kind of tumbled my way through the door, looking a little windswept (seriously, I thought the hat was going to take flight several times), backpack on, old denim jacket, wearing trainers, not looking my most dressy self, but, I was welcomed just as much as the very nicely dressed up people who were already in.  I have been to places in the past where this particular get-up, or indeed just my wee self with a back-pack would have gotten a few snooty looks and nearly turned away…but to my delight, not so here!!!!

Anyway, I grabbed a table, and yer man arrived down with the menu.  The menu was short, but I don’t think brunch is their main target, and I quite appreciated that.  I can be so indecisive when it comes to ordering food that too many options just melts my head.  So ordered myself some salmon.  There was some very lovely description of it all, but basically salmon and bread with a wee bit of a side salad.
Point of note about the menu, not a single avocado in sight!  A refreshing change.

The coffee came out, and possibly the only criticism I’d have is that it was really a very small coffee.  Not really what I love with breakfast, but a very nice coffee it was, so can only complain that there wasn’t enough of it! (Yes, I got a second coffee, which I’m drinking now as I write this)

Yer man came down a couple of minutes later and said that the bread I was supposed to be getting needed to ‘settle’ – any bakers among you might understand that – and chef had said there’d just be a wee wait, or I could have some Guinness and Treacle wheaten bread instead if I wanted.  I really appreciated this.  Most places would just tell you that it was going to take a few minutes longer and you’d have to put up with it, but I got a choice.  And, as much as too many items on the menu melts my head a bit, I do like being given a choice.  Yes, I went for the Guinness and Treacle wheaten because I’m an impatient starve that just wants the food! lol

Now, when my wee plate of food came out to me, I did think it was a bit small for the price of it.  That was my genuine first reaction “Seriously mate, you’re charging that price for that wee plate of food, if I sneeze it’ll be all blown off the plate!”
Once I started eating, it was a whole other world.
Laptop stayed in the bag.  Phone was put on silent and left tucked away.  I just had to sit and enjoy it.
The loveliest salmon, a great wee side salad (and not a lettuce leaf in sight), and the bread.  Yes, the bread.  I did have a moment to look at it, clearly an ice-cream scoop was used to put the dough on the baking sheet.  Inventive, and little different.  And it was WARM! Yes, it was so lovely and warm and just out of the oven.  A nice change from the usual slice or two of bread that would come on the side of the plate, cold, and crumbly.
Not too heavy, and just delicious.
I lamented a little on the inside that I only had the one, but then, yer man came down and asked if I’d like more bread! YES, YES, sweet mother of all that’s good, YES!


The food was fab.  I closed off my world to all things electronic and planned for the morning so that I could sit and enjoy the experience.  Not often that that happens these days! But you can get great food in so many places in Belfast these days.  Here’s what really made the impression on me apart from the food:

  • I’ve come in here on  my own and didn’t feel at all weird or strange or out of place.
    I do go out for food on my own most of the time, I’m single in my thirties, most of my friends and married/coupled-up/have children so going out for a late breakfast is not so straight forward, and I’ve just gotten used to feeling a little out of place when I go somewhere on my own.  But, I didn’t feel that here.  So thumbs up for being a good spot for a girl on her own.
  • There was a lovely mix of people in – a family of parents and their later-teen children; a young couple with a toddler; and of course my good self.
    The staff were so lovely and friendly, yer man was as chipper as can be without being weird (you know what I mean)
  • Background music was a fantastic playlist at just the right volume, not oppressive, not too quite.  The atmosphere was just spot on.
  • And, the thing that really truly struck me…one of the waiting staff was singing away to herself as she cleared up the tables.  Now, I’ve been employed as waiting staff in nice restaurants and hotels.  Never, in a million years, would anyone have ever felt comfortable and relaxed enough (or happy enough at work) to hum and sing along to the radio as they cleared tables – maybe a bit of banter between ourselves after all the doors were closed – but certainly never if there were customers in.  So hats off to you Hadski’s for having a work environment where your staff are so happy and comfortable, for having work environment that is relaxed and friendly enough that your staff do this!
    We spend enough hours of our life at work, having a happy work place is soooooo important.  And you know what, when it comes to customer service, staff that are happy, relaxed and comfortable, comes through in the service they provide and it wildly impacts the experience of the customer.  Your staff set the tone.  Well done you!!!! Your staff are setting a wonderful tone!

When my empty plates were being cleared, I was asked if I wanted to see the desert menu.  I’m a greedy starvo with a second stomach just for desert, but, I said no.  That itty bitty plate of food, well, I had more bread with it, and I was just so content, I actually said no to desert.  Possibly a first for me.
So it sit here, finishing off that second coffee, having just written a food/restaurant review, which was not my plan.  But I geniuinely felt compelled to write about it.

They have a lovely brunch menu for St.Patrick’s weekend, so if you’re looking for somewhere to go for a wee spot of food, give it a go.  If you’re looking for a place to go that’s quiet and relaxed in the morning/early afternoon, but doesn’t feel weirdly empty, where you’re not made to feel like you’re taking up space by sitting writing your blog, give it a go.

My score, 8/10 – bit higher on the price scale that I’d normally go for for a brunch, but actually you get what you pay for and it was certainly worth every penny; portion size was just a bit on the small side, if I hadn’t had extra bread I’d have definitely been a bit disappointed.

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