Belgian Bites at Belgo Soho, London

Belgian food is not quite Belgian food if it doesn't involve mussels, chips and beer right? Belgo* is one of the more famed Belgian Restaurants in London and it has been around for years, with a newly opened restaurant in Soho.

My first visit to Belgo at their Centraal branch in Covent Garden was nearly 13 years ago and I remember the mussel pots with fondness!

The Soho Belgo's is quite different in vibe to the Centraal branch; less rowdy and it feels like a nice casual hangout, perfect for hanging out with girlfriends on a Friday evening.

To start, we grab the calamari and shredded duck croquettes.

The calamari was cooked just right with a lovely crunch and the lime added a much needed tang to the creme fraiche - I'd take mayo over creme fraiche any day. The shredded duck croquettes were great, crispy on the outside with softly shredded duck in a creamy sauce on the inside. However, I wasn't a fan of the sweet beer chutney and felt that spicy mayo would have been a better pairing.

Our mains arrived in good time, and I couldn't wait to dig into the mussel pots. Unfortunately, the Provencale mussels with tomato sauce was not tomatoey at all and we had to send it back to the kitchen. Turns out the kitchen had changed the recipe as customers found the old recipe too tomatoey?!

This sounds super strange to me, but at least they staff were more than happy to re-cook us a new pot and this time with plenty of tomatoes. Now they tasted just like how I remembered them to be and there was plenty of tomato juice to dunk the chips in too.

Our lobster was meaty and best enjoyed when cooked simply like this in herby butter.

Whilst the 2 other mains were quite enjoyable, we ended up leaving most of the chicken. The sticky chilli and kaffir lime sauce that was doused all over the chicken was just too sweet and sickly for us.

There are other chicken flavours to be had, and the other more savoury sounding sauces like shallot, mushroom and tomatoes or mushroom and tarragon probably would have worked better with the roast chicken.

We finished off our meal with waffle, strawberry and clotted cream ice cream drizzle with chocolate sauce, and thankfully we all enjoyed this!

I was in umms and ahhs over this meal. Half the food was good but some just really didn't hit the spot. Service was very good and atmosphere was nice and relaxed too. I think if I'm in the mood for mussels, then Belgo's will naturally be my first choice, but if I'm after a good roast chicken, I'm better off in Nando's.

Belgo Soho
29-31 Old Compton Street
Soho, London

*I was invited to dine at Belgo as a guest along with a friend, whilst the 3rd meal was paid for with my own money

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