I first paid a visit to Belgo around this time last year, when I visited their Holborn branch. And I was definitely a fan. So when I got wind of news that they’d opened up a new branch in King’s Cross? Bring on those moules.
The first of Belgo’s restaurants opened in the Chalk Farm area way back in 1992, bringing Belgian food and beverages to the streets of London. There are now six branches across the city, along with one in Nottingham. The King’s Cross branch opened on January 26th this year – so still pretty new. It’s actually directly underneath the Holiday Inn on King’s Cross Road, and attached to the also newly-opened Bloom Kitchen and Bar. So a great place to eat if you’re staying in the hotel!
When we arrived at the restaurant, we were taken to our table and brought over a welcome cocktail. So down with that. Especially when the cocktail in question is a sweet, rum-soaked Fruli Mojito. It definitely went down my throat a lot faster than it probably should have done…
FOOD TIME. A trio of starters made their way to our table, and we dug in straightaway.
The Cheesy Beer Croquettes (£6) were an instant hit – super crisp on the outside, giving way to an oozy, slightly smoky deliciousness on the inside. I could eat these for days. Definitely get a portion to yourself – they’re way too good to share.
Next up? Head-on King Prawns in Garlic Butter (£8). I’m actually not a huge fan of shell-on prawns, as I find them a bit messy and fiddly. If anyone has a good technique for de-shelling, please tell me know. Personal preference aside though, the actual prawn meat was really well cooked, and the garlic butter was a great alternative to the more common chilli dressings when it comes to prawn dishes.
Finally – the Belgo Potted Pate (£6.50). This girl loves pate, and Belgo’s offering was no exception – smooth and meaty, my only complaint would be that we didn’t have enough bread for the amount of pate on offer. I ended up eating it from the pot with a fork, like the wonderfully civilised dinner guest I am. HA.
The beer of choice to go with our starters, and my favourite of the night, was the Lindemans Faro (£6.85). A lambic beer, it has a sharp yet sweet taste unlike any other beer I’ve tasted. Conor’s description was that it ‘kinda tastes like sharp Coke’, and I get his point – it definitely had an acidity to it (in a really good way). But as weird as that sounds, the tart-sweet taste of the Faro was amazing, and I could probably drink this all night. Definitely one to try if you like unusual brews!
Ever since I first tried Belgo’s Moules (mussels), I’ve been planning to go back for more. Before my original visit, I’d never actually tried them. Which was pretty foolish, because if Belgo’s are anything to go by, I’m a big fan. We had two bowls to try – Traditional (Garlic, celery, onion, butter and white wine sauce) and Thai (Green chilli, ginger, garlic, Kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass with coriander).
I already knew I was a fan of the Traditional, and the rich yet still light sauce was a perfect accompaniment. The Thai really impressed me though – it definitely had a strong kick, and went well with the clean-tasting moules. Usually, they come in a ‘mega pot’, with a side of double cooked fries, bread or mixed salad. The pots are £13.50 each, and although I don’t have much experience in standard moule pricing, I’d say it’s pretty good for the amount you get. And did I mention they’re delicious?
We also tried a plateful of the steak, which was unfortunately quite disappointing. Quite bland tasting, nothing to write home about – especially in a city where there are some fantastic steak restaurants on offer. I’d say stick to the moules on this one…
What would a visit to a Belgian restaurant be without waffles for dessert? Belgo’s Homemade Waffles (£5.50) are an absolute delight. A good-sized portion, topped with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce and a sprinkling of raspberries. Wonderfully sweet and very filling, it’s the perfect dessert. The waffles were paired with a bit of a classic when it comes to fruit-based beers. Hello Fruli (£5.35). Sweet, easy to drink and full of flavour, I’ve been loving the stuff since I discovered it on tap in a pub during my University days.
After finishing our desserts, we ordered up a cocktail to take through to Bloom. We picked out the Book Kriek Iced Tea (£8), and it took me a long time to realise that the name came from Long Island Iced Tea. Blame eating too much for that one. The concoction of vodka, gin, Bacardi rum, tequila, Cointreau and cherry beer is a potent one – but still delicious thanks to the sweetness of the beer. Making our way into the bar, the sounds of a jazz duo met our ears, and we took a seat in the cosy, intimate space to enjoy our cocktails. Which were definitely very strong, and resulted in a wobbly walk to the station afterwards…
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Belgo King’s Cross is definitely worth a visit for their famous mussels, and the beer selection is fantastic. I loved the space – it was slightly quieter than the Holborn branch tends to be too. Plus, the music has a rock-y edge to it, and I loved hearing some 90s and 00s indie classics while we tucked in. The cocktails are sweet and tasty, and the dessert was pretty much perfection. Belgo’s somewhere I really enjoy eating…and drinking…
PLUS – If you fancy some 2-4-1 cocktail action, until the 31st May you can use this voucher to get a buy one, get one free deal on their gin cocktails at Bloom. So you can pay half price with a friend. Or, y’know. Just get two for yourself.
Belgo Bar and Restaurant
1 King’s Cross Rd, WC1X 9HX
*Our meals and drinks were complimentary, in exchange for an honest review.
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