The last and first time when I went to Belgo was a few years ago, and it was a friend who took me to try mussels in the heart of London. Now this time was me taking my brother to try out Belgo. For those who is not familiar with Belgo it is a restaurant that specialise in mussels and beers (including fruit beers). Yes, it serves Belgium food in UK! There are different branch that you can choose to go, but I like to go to Belgo Centraal which is located in London Covent Garden.
At the Belgo Centraal branch you will find that the waiters are dressed in Medieval style clothes. The decoration has some medieval time touch but it has this warehouse feel which is all very unique. Even the toilet itself are very unique with a shared basin that took me some time to work out how to get water out of it.
Since Belgo’s house speciality are mussels then that is exactly what I had to go for. The mussels can come in pots, platters or bowls. We choice one of the mussel pots (£12.95) which we had the choice of Mariniere, Green Thai, Provencale or Traditionnelle. We all went for the Mariniere which was mussels steamed with cream, white wine, garlic, celery and onion. I prefer this one then the traditionnells which is similar except it exclude the cream. When I tried the traditionnells a few years ago on my first visit I found it did not have much flavour and more on the watery side.
With the mussels pots you get them served with frites but on the evening, we were told that they had run out of frites. This was a surprise to us since it was still quite early in the evening and already they had run out of frites. However, we were offered salads or other sides to have instead. But it just was not the same!
We went for either the Stoemp mash or gingered carrots. The Stoemp mash is mashed potatoes with vegetables, which for me is better than having frites. It is nice to have with the cream sauce from the Mariniere mussels pots.
Although a mussels pot look big for one person to have, even a lady like me with a small stomach can finish it all. I had none left to share apart from a big pile of mussels shells!
Belgo, does not just offer mussels, so if you or with anyone who are not a fan of mussels then there are other dishes that can be order. I do find that the menu for these will change from time to time. At the time we were there in autumn 2010 we saw roasted chicken, haddock, lamb and beef. A friend had the roast duck breast served with a light spring onion mash and plum beer jus (£13.25).
We did not bother with starters but after our main we finished it off with a dessert each.
Brussels style waffle with vanilla ice cream, chantilly cream with warm chocolate sauce (£5.50).
Dame Blanche, which is vanilla ice cream with a dark chocolate sauce and chantilly sauce (£4.95)
Pistachio ice cream served with dark chocolate sauce and chantilly cream (£4.95).
Apart from no frites that evening the food overall was OK. It might not be the best mussles when you compare it to Belgium but Belgo Centraal does has a uniqueness about it in London. The service could have been better, as we found it slow and at time we had to search for some attention.
It is a place that I would not recommend to go if you want to have a quiet meal, because if I could describe it then it would be like a canteen and fairly noisy. But it is a nice place to go with a group of friends.
(Prices are correct at the time we were dining at the time)
50 Earlham Street,