Guests at the Titanic-themed hotel said they were eating in the rooftop Carpathia Restaurant when they were told to leave but not told why.
One customer told the ECHO: “We were sitting having a drink when a man in a white coat went into the kitchen then staff asked us to finish our drinks.
“They said the bar and kitchen were closing but didn’t tell us why.”
A council spokesman told The ECHO: “We can confirm that we carried out a routine food hygiene inspection at 30 James Street and recommended that the venue closed while certain issues identified are resolved.”
The council is expected to re-inspect the premises at some point in the near future.
The former headquarters of the White Star Line shipping company was transformed into a boutique hotel by Signature Living in 2014 and is just one of many hotels run by the company in the city.
A spokesman for Signature Living said: “We are currently investigating an issue in the kitchen. The kitchen is closed at this point in time and we will release a further statement in due course.”