MICHELIN-starred chef Jean-Christophe Novelli is to open a restaurant at the North Belfast docks next year.

The restaurant will be located in the new £25 million Marriott Hotel currently under construction at the City Quays development beside Clarendon Dock.

It will be the famous chef’s first ever restaurant on the island of Ireland and will open in 2018.

Belfast Harbour says the restaurant will “a double height glazed façade with waterfront views across the river, the exclusive restaurant will offer a brasserie menu with all the French flair associated with the UK and Ireland’s favourite French chef.”

Novelli is expected to visit Belfast later this month.

Graeme Johnston from Belfast Harbour said it was another good news story for the Docks development.

"Recognised across the UK, Ireland, Europe and beyond, Jean-Christophe Novelli is a true champion of high quality, and innovative menu combinations and his decision to choose City Quays, and Belfast, is a testament to the success of our development plans for this key waterfont city location, the strong demand for great hospitality and the vibrancy of our visitor economy,” he said.

Strategically located, this exciting new restaurant is great news for the local economy and will provide a welcome addition to Belfast and Northern Ireland’s strong hospitality, leisure and tourism offer.

“It’s a real coup for Belfast and I look forward to an outstanding first year when our hotel opens its doors in 2018,” added Graeme.