Review: We tried this very Derry restaurant and we'll be back for sure

Louisianna chicken, from Timber Quay in Derry
-Credit: (Image: Niall Deeney / Belfast Live)

There's a particular style of food in Derry restaurants that you might not find elsewhere - certain menu items that crop up again and again, the expectation that your main meal comes with a choice of side, and a commitment to quantity alongside quality.

People from Derry will know what I'm getting at - we love our tobacco onions.

For those not in the know, tobacco onions are deep fried, thin onion slices, coated in a spiced flour mixture and they appear to be a mandatory item on Derry restaurant menus. It's something I am sure you can find elsewhere but in Derry it's something, for some reason, that you'll find everywhere.

Read more: We tried NI food spot which has people queued outside in the rain

Read more: Great places to eat and drink by the sea in Northern Ireland

A long time ago, before my Friday nights were filled more with nappy changes and bedtime stories than nights out and meals in restaurants, I found myself going to one stereotypically Derry restaurant more often than the others - Timber Quay.

It's right on the riverfront with a picturesque view of the marina right outside, and it's deceptively spacious inside.

The airy and generous interior always meant it was never all that difficult for me to get a table.

The location allows for a nice walk along the quay afterwards if you're heading further into the town for drinks, or maybe going to catch a film at the Strand Road cinema.

The view of the marina from Timber Quay in Derry
The view of the marina from Timber Quay in Derry -Credit:Niall Deeney/ Belfast Live

And most importantly of all, over the years I'd never had a bad experience. Consistency is an underrated quality in a restaurant. It's a guarantee you won't be disappointed.

And so I recently found myself back in Timber Quay for the first time in a long time.

The menu hadn't changed radically over the years and the decor was still familiar.

I hadn't called in with the intention of writing a review, so I ordered what I know I like.

Chowder for my starter, followed by Louisiana chicken for my main course.

The starter was delicious - chunky with vegetables alongside the seafood and subtle with the flavours.

Seafood chowder, from Timber Quay in Derry
Seafood chowder, from Timber Quay in Derry -Credit:Niall Deeney / Belfast Live

I was looking forward to the main course - I hadn't had a proper Derry dinner with tobacco onions in a long time.

The chicken was cooked to perfection with a heavy cajun style, smoky seasoning with the deep fried, crispy, seasoned onion slices on top and the whole ensemble almost swimming in a creamy 'Louisianna' style chorizo sauce.

Timber Quay has been doing this sort of fare for years, and it appears to be as consistent now as it ever was.

I'm a big eater and when I'm handing over my hard-earned money I want to walk away with a full belly. Timber Quay didn't let me down. I was served up quality and quantity in perfect harmony.

I had a night out in Belfast not long ago, at a well-rated restaurant that I won't name, and I left very slightly disappointed. My mild sense of disappointment wasn't a result of the standard of the food, which was excellent. I was disappointed because I think I could have eaten two or maybe even three of those dinners in a single sitting.

I had no such problems in Timber Quay, and I never have.

Timber Quay has been around a while and it's as good now as it ever was.

It's strangely under-rated in Derry and I've never known why. You simply can't go wrong. I know I'll be back.

For all the latest news, visit the Belfast Live homepage here and sign up to our daily newsletter here.