16th Aug 2022 in Food & Drink

Opening in 2021 on Royal Avenue, this cafe-restaurant provides a unique experience for any foodie looking to broaden their horizons and try something new.

Set in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter, Deerah offers a diverse menu of traditional Lebanese foods which are available from both sit in or takeout. The restaurant’s owner Saeb Shaath wants his business to provide an authentic Lebanese experience.

He said: “We are proud to say nobody in the Island of Ireland can make authentic Lebanese food as we do. It’s fresh cooked the same day on the spot, nothing in the restaurant comes from outside, everything is fresh.

“freshness, healthy food, vegan and vegetarian diversities are available” he added.

It was by no mistake that Saeb chose the Cathedral Quarter for the home of his restaurant business. 

When asked why he chose the area Saeb explained that he remembered the area from his time as a student as one of the busiest locations, saying: “Cathedral Quarter is close to my heart.

“I hope by bringing my business here it will add to reviving it and moving it forward.” 

The Lebanese restaurant has been a hit with locals and tourists alike who have embraced Middle Eastern cuisine with open arms. Saeb found himself surprised by how many people in Belfast knew some kind of Arabic, had travelled around the Middle East and had tasted the food. He said: 

“You’d be surprised, so many people in Belfast are attached to Lebanese food and they like it and they keep coming.

“So they are attuned to the culture of Lebanon and Arabic Culture as well and to healthy food.”

Saeb sees his restaurant fitting into the trend of middle eastern food becoming more popular in the UK, Ireland and Europe catering to an audience of food appreciators who are already familiar with dishes such as Baba Ghanouj

His restaurant joins other Middle Eastern restaurants which are already popular in Belfast like Nora’s Palace and Umi Falafel.

Saeb has ambitions for the future of the restaurant and the surrounding area. 

He explained: “I really try to diversify the menu to suit different tastes while preserving the authenticity of the food by working with Lebanese chefs.”

He hopes to be able to serve new students as they come to the area via the new Belfast Campus for Ulster University, introducing them to the cusinese. 

Saeb said that his restaurant is: “in a location that is close enough to the University of Ulster with its international students and to serve local communities and mixed parts of the community as well.”

Deerah hopes to be able to obtain a drinks licence in the future to widen the restaurant’s potential and bring in new clientele. 

Make sure to add Deerah to your must-try list so you don’t miss out on the action and taste Belfast’s own Lebanese restaurant for yourself.

For more information on new Cathedral Quarter businesses >> cathedralquarterbelfast.com/12-new-businesses-in-belfasts-cathedral-quarter/ 

Or for more news and things to do go to >> cathedralquarterbelfast.com/news 


Article by Abby Davdison of Excalibur Press on behalf of the Cathedral Quarter BID.

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