34-38 Victoria Street,
(028) 9022 0200
The ViewBelfast Review
Sleek and sedate, the darkly mysterious Mal Bar attracts an upmarket crowd.
The only Malmaison in Ireland, this Belfast branch of perhaps the coolest boutique hotel chain, is set in an impressive old stone building which is a converted seed warehouse. They’ve managed to keep some of the original features like the iron pillars and beams but elsewhere it’s done out in a contemporary style and is furnished with high backed silver and black velvet covered chairs.
The busy A2 outside may not bode well for a quiet time but once inside Mal Bar the stresses of daily life melt away into the dark recesses. Yes, like the other branches, Mal Bar is dark and demure with the group’s trademark red and black colour scheme. There are small round shiny black cocktail tables and some lovely stylish red crushed velvet slipper chairs to plop yourself down on as well as tall striped sofas with black and white diamond patterned cushions. Very chic.
There are big, bold, black and white chequerboard panels above the bar, while the unit itself is silver and black and has a shiny black counter which is lined by tall, elegant stools. Sit here and chat to the very bubbly and talkative bar staff. Hey, this is Belfast and there’s a reputation to keep up.
As well as hotel residents you get business people coming in here for casual meetings or just to relax after a hard day’s slog. It’s generally a pretty upmarket crowd with a bit of serious cash to splash.
The Food and Drink
There's Tiger, Beck’s and Caffrey’s on draught and in bottles you’ve got Coors, Budvar, Budweiser, Heineken, Grolsch, Tsingtao, Corona, Magners and Kopparberg. There’s a wide ranging cocktail list which covers all the classics plus many more including blends such as Indian Summer, which is Wyborova Apple Vodka, Xante, raspberries and ginger ale, for £7.95. Cocktails with fizz are more expensive such as Champagne Days, which is Champagne, Chartreuse, grenadine and lime, for £11.95.
A small glass of white wine (house Sancerre) is £4.25 and it’s £8.60 for a large one. Food wise Mal Bar is a good deal pricier than your local sandwich shop. A BLT costs £5.95 and a club classic is £6.50. Or you can get a burger for £7.95 and a plate of fish and chips for the same price. A more healthy and cheaper option is the Caesar salad which is just £3.95.
The Last Word
Get away from it all, wallow in the seductive darkness and sip a cocktail at one of Belfast’s hippest hotels.
Mal Bar has been reviewed by 1 users