Came here on a Friday night with toe friends and had a great time. They called me in the morning to confirm my booking, which was a nice touch.
It's all underground in a sort of warehouse-stylie set-up. The staff were really friendly and made lots of good recommendations for beer, which was great as I'm more of a wine girl, but you can't go to a place that serves over 100 different types of beer and get a glass of claret.
I had the mussels in a tomato sauce, which was delicious. My companions both cleared their respective plates, so I'm guessing their food was sufficiently tasty.
This review is slacking in detail because, in all honesty, we all got absolutely smashed and I don't remember a whole lot. There are photos on my phone of me crouching down in an abandoned suitcase in the street, so you know it was a good night. However, I do remember thinking that this place was the dog's cojones.
We discovered the secret to a great night at Belgo. Well, there is no secret, the food is good so it'd be great anytime. But to have a REALLY great night on the cheap - go on a Monday!! Since the theatre district is relatively dead on Mondays, they offer this amazing deal, presumably to get more business. Any mussel dish (yes, any) and a drink (house wine, house wheat, house pils, or a coke/lemonade/etc) for £10. Yes, £10. I don't know how they do it, but they do, and it's an amazing deal. Hard to find a better meal for cheaper!
Downstairs there's a restaurant bit and a more lively bar bit, so you can decide where you want to sit. You'll walk past the big, noisy kitchen and it's fun to see all the plates of mussels lined up. There's also a lobster tank, so you can wave hello and goodbye to your dinner (or somebody else's.) We all got the mussel deal - I got the espagnole which was mussels with chorizo, potato, and tomato. Gorgeous! They were cooked perfectly, and the sausage was abundant - I even pawned some off on my boyfriend as couldn't finish it all. We ordered some bread as well, for about £3, so we could use it to mop up the sauce - there will be a lot of sauce left at the bottom! You can pick fries or salad with the mussels. Obviously you should get fries, but you get quite a lot of them so my mom got fries and I got a salad and we shared. The salad was actually pretty good and had some surprise ingredients like edamame on it. The fries were lovely and addictive. Everyone loved their mussels - the Thai ones were very popular among my mom and boyfriend. We ate and ate and just stuffed ourselves. The wheat beer, which I had as my drink, was a bit unusual. Sort of citrus tasting, significantly so. But not bad, just a bit strongly flavored. So if you like that sort of thing, it's right up your street.
Go on a Monday, eat abundantly for cheap, and be darn pleased with yourself. Great place to go with friends or a date, though it is a bit noisy!
Belgos is a hit an miss place most of the time. The only redeeming factor is that they serve Strawberry Fruli. In my younger days (before Yelp) I only knew of this place and Porterhouse in Covent Garden serving this beer. Now I know better! De Hems does it, I think the Slug and Lettuce had it on Lisle Street too! Plus, now there is Rekorderlig which is basically the same thing you can buy from supermarkets/get from most bars/pubs! No more need to feel bound to Belgos just to get a drink!
- Strawberry Fruli on tap, other Fruli flavours on bottles
- Mussels, mussels and more mussels. Seafood offers. Loyalty cards. Beat the clock offers (pay the time you order the food before 630 I think?)
- Sometimes food is waiting at the front of the kitchen so long it becomes cold when it arrives. I once ordered a steak which was COLD when I got it.
- Some mussels (like the garlic butter one - which is basically replacing French snails l'escagot with mussels) are super small for the price you are paying, it's almost not worth it.
- The place is always packed. Most of the time it is also packed with big groups of loud and rowdy people.
- Our order literally took over 1 hour to arrive. We were a group of 18 or so people. Really? Most of us ordered mussels! You just put different sauce in! - However, the manager agreed with our complaint and took off the price of starters (but only a few people ordered starters)
Came here with colleagues and although the place is definitely a tourist trap (Even the host said so ;-)) the moulles fritte (Traditionelle very good, the Espanol supposedly with chorizo - but I am sure my Spanish friends would be outraged on a) this being called chorizo and b) the small number of pieces in it) were really good, the beer selection quite ok with not only the usual suspects.
Why only 3 stars? Well, service was ok - but not more.
moules + frites + beer = perfection
I've never been let down by Belgo. I've been here a few times because it's good, quirky, and conveniently located in the heart of Covent Garden. The seating is located in a basement area, which surprisingly has an 'open' feel. Come here if you want a casual fun dinner! (...that kind of sounded like an advertisement, but I swear it's not)
The moules are always fresh and perfectly cooked. I would personally recommend the Snob and the duck confit salad. They serve Fruli here too which is HUGE a plus!
Belgo is still the lively restaurant which is great for a big group of ppls . They also still take reservations, which is fantastic compared lots of newly opened trendy Restaurant That forces ppls to wait forever in the cold!! Those new Restaurant really need to stop doing That and let the customers suffer and wasting time in the queue!!
Love Belgo for their efficient booking even though they are always full. We suddenly increase from 12 to 18 ppls on the date and they manage it very well.
However, I gave three stars due to food quality and long waiting time for main courses on the night. It is great to see Belgo add lots of new favour for mussels, But the mussels are quite small and can taste much fresher.
Their steak is well cooked, But the meat quality is bad so it doesn't taste as good as other Restaurant.
So, Belgo is still a good place for a big group party with comfy food , but I will not specifically come here for food tasting.
This was not my first visit to Belgo's... but it might possibly be my last. It's a great place to go with friends and have a loud evening out, drinking fruit beers and eating mussels. On this occasion, I was sat next to such a group, which isn't half as pleasant. But ambience isn't a deal-breaker for me. I'm all about the food.
Before we get to the food, I must say, one of the best things about Belgo's is there extensive "Beer Bible" - each one as delicious as the next, if I do go back anytime soon, it would be to check off some more of these beers. We got the classic mussels and the poppei - mussels baked with cheese and pancetta, and some sort of green pesto. I've had both of these before, and they were well executed, but this time, it saddens me to say, they were far below expectations. Now granted Sunday night before a bank holiday Monday is definitely not the quietest of times and they probably rushed through thousands of orders that night, so in part, I am to blame...kinda. But the mussels were overcooked, the chips were dry, the sauce with the poppei was just tame and awkward, I couldn't find any pancetta if my life depended on it. It's disappointing because I've had better at Belgo's.
With hindsight, I think I'd like to give you another chance Belgo's, and I think I will, I'll just be mindful of when I visit...
The space and staff are top notch, very nice design. It is very noisy though, not good for a first date or a romantic night out.
The food presentation was excellent, however the taste wasn't so great, my mussels(I ordered the classic) tasted like they were made from frozen stuff and half of them had sand in them. My partner ordered some meat plate which was also kinda shady, no seasoning at all.
All in all, not a terribly bad place, a bit overpriced but it might be okay for some people. The beer selection seemed great and their booking system is nice.
I heard there's an excellent Belgian restaurant in London and being a Moules Marinière lover, I had to go to Belgo. I also wanted my husband to try good Belgian beer after last night's disappointing London Pride.
We got there around 4pm to avoid dinner crowd. The servers were friendly and ambience was very vibrant.
We started with Lobster Bisque which was flavorful. We got Moules Marinière (of course) and it was very good.
We finished our dinner with Salted Caramel Ice cream. Life is good!
The way this place operates and the unique food is just neat. BUT it is food that is very very rich and high in fat so be prepared to eat a salad for days afterwards.
They have a stunning array of beers and they are mussle worshippers so you MUST order that.
It's a little loud because locals come here for their kids' birthdays but it's totally worth it.
Great space in the basement too.
My wife found out about Belgo Centraal and suggested we went along after struggling to find somewhere to eat on a Friday night without a long wait. I went in knowing very little, but left with an urge to hurry back!
When I heard the terms "Belgian mussels restaurant" I had imagined a small, quiet place where we would be served a handful of mussels for an extravagant amount of money. I was pretty much wrong on all accounts.
First of all - Belgo is a massive place. Endless rows of bench seating, a back room (which had a big party going on; a birthday or Stag night I assumed), and the longest kitchen/counter I have ever seen. I like being able to see the kitchen, and you couldn't miss this one, with scores of chefs and servers managing pots and pots of steaming delicious mussels. Belgo takes up an underground floor which must be a good portion of the full length of Earlham Street, and had that "undergound" feel with exposed piping, brickwork, and low ceiling arches. I like this look.
First choice I had of course was ordering a drink. I didn't expect such a range of Belgian beer options, so it took quite a while to decide. I opted for a less-familiar lager; though many house names are available from the extensive drinks menu.
Then onto the food - again a superb choice and not all mussels-centric. Of course, it makes up a significant portion of the menu, but given the choice of moules pots, bowls, and platters, this is no bad thing. I opted for the "Traditionelle" kilo pot - standard white wine, garlic, and celery - and a kilo is a LOT of mussels for under £13! I struggled to finish them after a light crab cake starter. My wife went for one of non-moules options; there was a decent choice here too, and was impressed with her starter of lobster bisque; and the rotisserie chicken main was good if not amazing. Given how tasty that bisque was, I wished I had ordered my mussels in a creamier sauce, but that was my choice and I do not regret it. It was a tasty introduction to mussels done properly!
The waiting staff were very quick and friendly; especially commendable given how busy the place was. Also, despite this being a very busy time, we were never rushed and were allowed to take in the scene and the delicious Belgian fare.
I will definitely be returning in the not-too-distant future to sample some richer cuisine and rarer beverages!
Belgo is one of those places I walked by 4 years ago shortly after moving to London and thought "hm. Interesting. The boy might like this" and then forgot about.
I remembered it last Friday night after we'd been out for some drinks and it was raining and all of Soho was full up. "There's the mussels place in Seven Dials." I said. My husband looked at me like I'd just made the idea up. "It's in the basement of a building. Trust me." So we went. And it was so so so good.
Did I realize it was going to be cafeteria style? Nope. Did I care? Nope. We were seated at a big table with another couple who arrived about the same time. Lobster bisque = amazing. Crab cakes = divine. Roast chicken = tasty. Moules traditionelle = yummmmy.
AND they carry Lindemann's lambics (& other fruity booze) Those things are so hard to find. I'll be going back just for the fruity stuff, but am looking forward to trying the "snobby" mussels in bisque. Mmmmm.
It has to be said that a chain that makes its living off belgian beer and frites should, at its core, be serving up some very tasty beer and frites. Belgo is halfway there with a nice selection of beer on tap, but the frites here sadly leave a lot to be desired.
These supposed frites are glorified steak fries sadly, and not very good ones. Soggy, not crisp and not terribly tasty. Having remembered this place after having been impressed by Belgo in my late 20s, I can say that either my tastes have improved or things are rotten in the state of Denmark, and Belgium too, if judging by the frites.
I can see what I did like about the place though --a festive cavernous dungeon-like beer garden setting, almost like a nightclub, loud music, fun beer hall vibe, decent mussels options, etc. However, not such very desirable frites, sadly.
BTW, we had a terrible service experience, which is, no doubt, coloring my opinion. (Although the frites were still a failure, regardless.) We were seated by a nice hostess, then told brusquely three minutes later by a bullying floor manager, that we should have known better than to seat ourselves in a four-top as a family of three when they have many other guests waiting for a table for four. Huh?
When got our footing, we pointed out that a Belgo hostess sat us here and we were just following orders. Then did the floor manager apologize or try charm us for her error? Nah, as you might expect she simply ignored the comment altogether and continued to insist we move to a shared tight seating situation with another party, on a fairly small table. While I don't mind communal seating, hitting elbows and plates and possibly jaws with the neighbors isn't my favorite way to eat --the table turned out to be unusually close quarters for a family and another couple on a date. All the while, the floor manager maintained the same annoyed fashion, that we were in the wrong, throughout. Meanwhile, the table we were booted from remained empty for almost our entire meal --over an hour. Later, we did have the original hostess come back and offer a round of snapps and an eye roll about her colleague's attitude, but at that point, we were pretty deflated.
I prefer the camden one. Only because I hate bench seating. There was a lunch deal on fries and mussels with a beverage. I've had mussels at a few different places and have never had so many closed and broken ones. but they probably make them in large batches for all the people doing the lunch deal. oh well, deals a deal.
Like most reviewers, I had a great dining experience at Belgo... but let's talk about the drinks! I came here on a week night with two friends who were in town from the States. We were blessed with a waitress (I believe her name was Roxanne?) who was highly knowledgeable on the international beer selection available at the restaurant. She impressed us so much with her knowledge of ingredients, brewing techniques, and history that we relinquished control and allowed her to choose all of our drinks. Thanks to her infinite wisdom, I was able to try delicious beers that I probably would have overlooked.
Good friends plus good drinks equals a great time. Thank you, Roxanne... or whatever your name is!
Very busy place this time of year. We weren't able to get a seat in the main area downstairs, but we were lucky to be served near the bar. The hostess was very sweet and accommodating. Decent beer selection. I tried mussels and frites + fish and chips.
HOWEVER, I obviously can't say with certainty but something gave me food poisoning that day... (and the only other thing I ate was a pastry that morning so I'm thinking it was from here). So be weary!
Eat at a Belgian Restaurant while in London? Sure, why not! My friend that I was traveling with had found this place on Trip Advisor (I am usually skeptical about that site), but I was pleasantly surprised. Covent Garden was short ride on the tube, it was a fun little area, cobblestone streets, pubs, clothing stores, etc.
We couldn't decide on which moules, so we ordered two kilo pots (way too much food for two people) we ordered the Traditionelle (white wine, celery, garlic and onion) and the Thai (lemongrass, chili, ginger, kaffir lime, coconut and coriander). I preferred the Traditionelle as I thought the flavor was fantastic. The moules were excellent, big and juicy and fresh. We ordered bread so we could dip it into the pots (highly recommend soaking the sauce up with the bread).
Lots of beer to choose from, I had a couple rounds of Mongozo coconut beer, which was so flavorful (not a lot of alcohol tho).
I love a little Belgo. Chains are often a good thing. They typically provide a certain consistency and quality. That is an admirable feat in my opinion. They often also provide good value for money, because a lot of the overheads and running costs are cetralised... leaving a little more for lunch deals etc.
I feel that Belgo is a good case for this.
I prefer Belgo Noord. Nothing major, just small touches, like the natural light.
When you walk in you are greeted by a hostess before you head down the stairs to the actual restaurant. The restaurant is quite large and you get to peek into the kitchen when you walk to the toilets. The waiters and waitresses are all dressed in monk like outfits and were quite friendly and fast. On a Sunday evening it was pretty busy, but we still were able to get in and out within an hour.
The chicken was tender and complimented well by the roast tomato and chorizo sauce. The mussels had good flavor and I probably only had 1-2 out of the whole bucket that were not open. Fries were crispy and not too salty.
We will have to come back for the beer and mussel specials!
Roast tomato, chorizo & herb half spit-roast chicken, basted in Belgo's secret spices and served with salad or Belgian frites
Moules Kil Pots Thai Lemongrass, chilli, ginger, kaffir lime, coconut and coriander
Vegetables Warm asparagus, broccoli and green beans
This is what our group ordered:
Traditionelle Moules Kilo Pot
Wild Mushroom Bouchee
Smoked Salmon and Leek Tartlet
Pork and Herb Sausages
Now the last time I had Belgian food was over 15 years ago. I do not remember it and therefore have nothing to compare this meal to.
That being said, everything we ordered here was terrific (except for the tart, which was agreed upon by the table as just ok). They have a great selection of Belgian beer and the service was fantastic.
I'm having a bit of a love affair with all things Belgian at the moment, having recently visited Bruges and dined on some of the finest beers, mussels and waffles I've ever tasted, Belgo was always going to be facing stiff competition.
As a venue I loved it, it's very cool, unique and urban. The beer menu on the tables a definite plus, and the beers actually being served in the matching glasses, a thoughtful and appreciated touch.
Whilst I would definitely recommend Belgo's to beer appreciators, I did have a few issues with the service. To start I ordered a blonde zot but received the dark and the table next to us also received the wrong side orders. When I asked the waitress to change my beer as per my order, she took the beer off the table, didn't apologise, and was in no hurry to bring me my replacement. I am quite patient and I completely understand waiting for service when the waiter/ress is having to serve several tables but having been given menu's to start and then for dessert, we found ourselves waiting some time for the waitress to return to take our order, even though she was standing at the side of the room gazing into the distance whilst we waved our menus.
On to the taste - I had the mussels provencale, now I am a mahoo-sive garlic fan, but for me there just wasn't much flavour. The Belgian waffle on the other hand was gorgeous and the chocolate sorbet divine!
Whilst I have highlighted a few negatives, I would still recommend Belgo's and will probably return again, just hoping for a bit more attentive service next time.
Meh. I went with a friend and we each ordered a kilo pot of mussels with a side of chips.
How were the chips? Frozen. Most likely, frozen. There was nothing special about them.
The mussels at least tasted fresh, but A) there were a large number in my pot that didn't open and therefore wasted, and B) they have four different types of sauces the mussels are made in, but because the pot is tall and deep, you can't really get to the delicious sauce without either eating half the mussels or dumping half of them out. I wish they were served in a shorter, wider plate so you could actually taste the difference. My friend and I each got different "flavours" of mussels but the difference wasn't clear until about midway through.
As for the atmosphere, I cannot figure out why half the staff is wearing monk-like costumes. Or why half the place is in a well-lit room and the other half (the room we were in) is dark and dungeon-like - complete with low ceilings. My not-very-tall friend found herself ducking to enter the room, which was a first for her.
Not sure I'd go back, unless it was during a beat-the-clock special (from Monday-Friday, 5pm-6:30pm, you can get half a kilo pot of mussels and you're charged for whatever time you order them - so, order at 5:30, pay 5.30). I was surprised by how crowded the place was when we arrived, but when we left we were the only ones in the room. Food arrives very quickly; here seems to be a fast turnover.
2 stars - I wouldn't go back.
It's a good place. Food is decent. Great range of beers. Trouble is, it's just too big. Lots of staff but still seemingly understaffed. The food could have been incredible but when three of every five orders arrive.... one of five you need to chase up, and the other either doesn't show up or comes an hour late.
I'm sure it's fine during the week but if you come on a weekend evening, don't expect decent service.
Next time I'll go to Holborn or Chalk Farm.
Cold, undercooked skirt steak masquerading as a tbone was mostly grizzle. My friends mussel platter was mostly empty shells. Frites appeared to be fresh from an American sack of ore-ida frozen. Sad meal...
Whenever I am in London, I try to try out new places. This time, we went for Belgian. The place looks really small from the outside, but the actual place is huge, it coveres the entire downtown area. The menu is not big, but has a good selection. The portions are also huge and the service super quick, for us, paying took some time though. I opted for the fish, which was just more like basic fish'n chips. But friends opted for chicken, which were really good. The mussels are obviously the speciality here, and they looked delicious. The prices are also what you would expect in the area around 12-15 per portion.
All in all a good option to go to when in the area and in the mood for some hearty food.
I've been to Belgo Kingsway, and this Belgo Centraal blows Belgo Kingsway out of the water.
I ordered the moules frites (of course) Provençal as well as the chicken liver parfait as a starter. The mussels were obviously fresh as can be. Not a fishiness to a single morsel and not a single unopened sucker. The fries are fantastic and crunchy! The Provençal broth was lovely and light, but super flavorful.
Chicken liver parfait (read: paté) was delicious as well, but somewhat irritatingly, they give you a rather large slab of it but only three little pieces of bread to accompany. Actually, they seem to be a bit stingy on bread in general as most moules frites kinda places will give you some bread with which to sop up the broth, but not at Belgo.
The service was spot on, and our waitress was wearing a delightful monk-ish getup. Lots and lots of space, no wait on a Sunday evening just as shops were closing.
Here's a little tip: if you go to the loos, there's a pedal underneath the communal sink that makes the water run. I had about as much enjoyment as possible watching people trying to figure it out (there's only so long you can giggle at people in the toilets without coming off as creepy) before I tipped them off.
When I told people I was going to London their replies ranged from, "Ooh, maybe you'll meet a hot British guy" (didn't happen) to, "I bet you won't want to come back" (I did), to, "I hear they're snaggleteeth there" (no comment), and "Oh, the food there is terrible, just eat Indian food all the time" (I did not). By my second day in London I was less concerned with my food options and more concerned with how easily the pounds were flying out of my wallet like I was trying to make it rain.
While taking in Covent Gardens one day, I consulted my tourist beacon aka guidebook and found a nearby restaurant serving two of my favorite things: seafood and Belgian beer. To top it off they offered an Express Lunch: a lager, a house wine or soft drink, moules (mussels) and frites (Really? Do I need to translate?) for £7.5. Granted, £7.5 is still over $11 since apparently the British are still punishing us for jumping ship centuries ago, but I could happily delude myself into thinking it was $7.50. Now I knew I would be able to eat in Paris later that week and not have to volunteer to be someone's African nanny for the day!
My eyes danced the entire time I was at Belgo: the servers dress like Belgian monks, the walls are lined with kegs and kegs of delicious Belgian beer (I believe they have a variety of hundreds. HUNDREDS, people!) and I loved the industrial interior. Even the bathroom was an experience - it was co-ed and there wasn't much dividing the male and female sides and you share a sink. I was a bit slow on the uptake so when I saw a dude walk by me I was ready to bust out some self defense moves 'cause I will cut a mofo who gets to close to me and my lady business uninvited. But, all was well, he belonged there.
I asked our Dutch-looking server if I could take a photo of her and her uniform - she gave me a strange look, which being in London I couldn't decipher whether it meant, "I don't speak very good English," "Bitch, WTF?", or "Idiot American traitors!" I explained to her, squirming in my dorkiness, that I'm someone who likes to take photos of her surroundings to capture the moment and she then bashfully acquiesced
The traditionnelle mussels were tasty. They were delivered in a steaming pot seasoned with white wine, celery, onion and garlic. Accompanying them were the fries and a side of mayo (of course).
I left Belgo satiated, less poor than I feared, happily tipsy and ready to go to Belgium for a love affair with a brewery.
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS PLACE.
It combines my three favorite things in the entire world... BEER... MUSSELS... & Frijtes (aka chips/fries).
My Family and I came here while we were visiting London and my Dad had heard about Belgo's "BEAT THE CLOCK" special where you pay the price of the time you order... so like if you order at 6:30 you pay £6.30 which is pretty cheap considering!
My Father and I both ordered the Mussels & Frijtes and my Mom got the Spit roasted chicken... all three where HUGE portions and absolutely SCRUMPTIOUS.... mmm my mouth is just watering thinking about it now!
Because we are all three beer nerds too we just had to order (multiple.... says with a giggle) rounds of beer.... needless to say my mom was uber tipsy by the end of the meal...
First Round of Beers:
Me: Archel Brune (brewed by Monks, how cool is that?, also really good)
Mom: Hoegaarden (white beer... really good)
Dad: De Koninck (on tap I think... just ok I thought but Dad loved it)
Second Round of Beers:
Me: Gulden Draak (mmmmmmm.... yummy I love dark beer!)
Mom: Hoegaarden (obviously she liked it enough to order twice)
Dad: De Kninck (he like my Mom loved it so much he ordered it again)
Me: Floris Framboise (my whole family loved this one with our desert!)
Mom: (is a light weight and by this time was to tipsy to order a third...hah)
Dad: Floris Honey (not as good as the Raspberry one!)
For desert we got a waffle and split it and had a raspberry and honey beer. OMG SOOOO GOOD. Who ever said that beer cannot go with desert was mental.
The design of the restaurant was really cool too. As you walk in you can see the chefs firing dishes and then you walk down and your seated in a sort of modern underground beer garden (there is also a sit down restaurant side but who would want to do that?). The loo was also super cool... it was all open and men and women were in the same room though different sides and washed their hands in a ginormous sink.
Our server was really nice and the food was hot, fresh and tasty and the beers were great as well. Definitely coming back here the next time I make it down to London.
-Beat the clock Special!!!
-Raspberry fruit beer
-Make a reservation because it gets kind of busy
-Check out the bathroom (hahaha)
These place in the earth
intense my world. I like the concept of their food
and love's it, also loves the drinks and love, loveTheircentral seating area
is in the lower level and its canteen-style with its long tables & benches.
Their servers are dressed as a monk. The beams have hooks so you can hang your
coats. The lighting is dim, and the ambiance is lively and boisterous. I like
the most the mongozo banana beer that was so exotic and excitingto the non-beer
drinker in me that I wanted to try all the fruity beers on the list of options
and then some. The mussels were above regular, so much so that I'm now
interested in returning for some of the more inspired varieties on their
menu. Mussels are their specialty. All
in all, it is very cool and fantastic!!!
So I finally got around to visiting Belgo Centraal. Not being much of a beer drinker and not even a huge fan of mussels in meals in the past, I wasn't expecting much.
When I entered, I was surprised by the industrial vibe going on. I thought to myself, 'Where is the dining room'. I walked over what appeared to be a bridge overlooking a kitchen. 'What's that down there?'
We went downstairs after speaking to the host, where the restaurant opens up into an industrial-style canteen, with the open-plan kitchen as a centre point. The place was loud and festive. I looked over the drinks menu and was taken aback by the sheer number of beers on offer. All the fruity beers piqued my non-beer-drinking interest, and I opted for Mongozo Banana Beer. The Husbatron Prime ordered Chimay Bleu, seasoned Belgian beer drinker that he is. Since we were at a restaurant known for its mussels, I decided to order a mussel pot traditionelle to do a litmus test of tastiness. (Husbatron ordered the duck.)
One word. Delicious.
The Mongozo Banana Beer was so exotic and exciting to the non-beer drinker in me that I wanted to try all the fruity beers on the menu and then some. The mussels were above average, so much so that I'm now interested in returning for some of the more inspired varieties on the menu. The frites that came with both meals were obviously frozen food-service chips (I had my suspicions and then I saw someone pour them from a bag into the fryer on my way to the toilet), but they were as enjoyable as any deep-fried potato would be, really.
Speaking of the toilets, I found them a bit confusing. They were virtually communal but segregated toilets with a central (although more toward the men's toilets than the women's ones) carousel-looking sink. Two bathroom attendants were present, with the usual array of cheap colognes and a completely obviously placed tip plate. I really don't like toilet attendants. I can wash my own hands and really prefer not to return to my dining companion smelling of cheap hooker. And then I have to go and be all guilt-ridden for not tipping them for squirting some soap into my hands and handing me a towel since I was caught unawares having gone to the toilet without any money.
Oh yeah, we also got dessert, which, refreshingly, didn't taste like simply an afterthought on the menu. The bread and butter pudding was scrumptious. I think it was better than the Husbatron's Belgian waffle, although he would probably say he enjoyed his just fine (dessert envy).
I have to be honest when I say that most of the stars for Belgo Centraal are going toward the sheer volume and breadth of Belgian beer offerings on the menu. Because of my visit here, I'm inspired to visit Belgo's more bar-like Bierodrome on Kingsway, which will probably result in me getting good and hammered, since I want to try, like, every beer on the drinks menu.
Mussels, frites, belgian waffles w/belgian chocolate sauce, and belgian brews on tap- what more could one need?
You can't go wrong with the mussels here but be forewarned that each mussel pot order is a kg (~2.2 lbs) not counting frites. I've tried the traditional and green thai- both very delicious. For starters, the grilled goat cheese is devine and the salmon fishcakes are good, though a bit on the fried/breaded/carb-loaded side.
If you have room for dessert (or just want a food-coma), definitely get the belgian waffle w/ice cream and chocolate sauce. They don't skimp.
As for brews, you can't go wrong with a pint of Chimay, Hoegaarden, or Leffe. For sweet lovers, they have Strawberry Fruli. Also interesting to try (at least for me) was the honey beer and the chocolate beer.
The main seating area is in the lower level and its canteen-style with its long tables & benches. The servers are dressed as monks. The beams have hooks so you can hang your coats. The lighting is dim, and the ambiance is lively and boisterous. For Friday nights and weekends, bookings should be done. For bigger groups, bookings a must. Now, it does take quite a time to have a full meal here, so don't come expecting a quick lunch. My going-away lunch here took us about 2.5 hrs and we had about 15 or so in our party.
I wish there were Belgian places like this in the US.
This is the sort of place to go to when you're ready to eat a hearty meal. Ignore any words of 'gimmick' or 'overrated' - it's not the most exquisite fine dining spot in the world, but it IS very tasty and buckets of fun.
Ride the cage-like lift downstairs. Be ready to embrace the amount of meat, seafood, or whatever it is you're about to consume (perhaps both). Try some of the many beers they have from their extensive and interesting selections (it's a Belgian place, what did you expect!). The chocolate beer doesn't taste like chocolate at all by the way. The banana beer's better :P Don't wear too-tight trousers. It's a great place to go on a cold winter night. And enjoy!
On the back leg of my fantastic honeymoon, we once again found ourselves in the midst of an 8 hour layover in wonderful, sunny London! That's right, 80 and sunny! So you wonder why we spent the better part of 2 hours in an underground Belgian restaurant? That's what I thought, until Mark started bringin' the beer!
My bud Shoe left us an email that this is the spot we should hit up during our brief stay before heading back over State's side, so we ventured over to Covent Garden. After looking around like the idiot tourist we were, I finally spotted the red flag posted on the side of a discreet brick building.
Why the hell would shoe send us here? I mean, cool interior, nice lunch crowd, but kind of looked like another chain from the US of A.
Not so fast.
We sat down at our communal table and Mark asked us what we fancied. We opted for what their known for (at least what Mark said they were), mussels and fritas. Mmmm, delish! The mussels were cooked perfect, that is, falling off the shell, and the fritas were long and crisped to perfection. But enough with the food... On to the main event!
My first beer was the one I fell in love with at Holly Bush, Stella. Des opted for a Delirium, which is now one of her faves (not sure if its for the beer or for the mug with the purple elephants!) I then moved onto a Chimay Reserve after my 2nd Stella. I don't remember what Des went for next (hey, a couple of Stella's followed by a Chimay and nearly 5 years ago will do that to you!) But hey, maybe it was the 4-5 samples Mark insisted that we try during our stay! So this is why Shoe sent us here!
As the room started swaying, I think it was Des that talked Mark into parting with a couple of his purple elephant Delirium mugs!
Not to make the same mistake we did on the leg over, we left Belgo happy and 3 1/2 hours before our flight. We took the Underground back to Paddington, arriving about 2 hours pre-flight.
"I'm so happy we wont be rushed this time"
An hour and twenty minutes later, the train arrived. 2 trains delayed, we hopped on board, now extremely nervous. 1/2 hour trip, and 10 minutes to storm Heathrow until we miss our flight.
As the train approaches the terminal, we ready ourselves at the door, like sprinters in the blocks, and...
Doors open and we sprint to the security line. Des begs the person in the front that we now have 8 minutes to make the flight. He feels bad, and lets us pass.
Next the escalator. Actually, I can't quite remember if this was before the security check or after. Hey, I was about 6-7 beers down and this WAS 5 years ago, so who cares!
I fly up the escalator, with Des in tow, when I hear a shatter. I turn to look, and see her souvenir mugs all over the floor! They had fallen out of her backpack and were now spread all over the floor of Heathrow!
She looks up...she looks down at the broken mess...
"RUN!!!!" I scream. And she does.
We sprint down the terminal (again) and just catch the Gate checker closing the gate.
"Oh, there you are! The Gallaghers, I presume?"
Ahoy. On our way!
Oh yeah, the plane had a technical difficulty and we sat on the tarmac for another 45 minutes!
Who likes mussels?
I like mussels! I love mussels in fact!
Belgium is not a country that fills me with joy (trip to Antwerp in my first year of uni, Antwerp really wasn't the new Capital if Fashion that I was promised. Didn't see much fashion but did see heroin needles in the street, a man pissing in a plant pot in the middle of a shopping centre and a small dog pulling poo out of it's own butt!), but Belgo's has vastly improved my opinion of this country. I don't know if I would want to go back to Belgium, but I keep going back to Belgo's.
Each of my three visits has been really different, but good times were had by all on each of them. Different dishes, different locations of the restaurant and varying times of the day, so I really feel like a Belgo connoisseur.
Visit 1. Late night evening meal after much boozing with my ladies.
Got to sit in side bunker area, all dark and atmospheric, thought the waiter in his strange giant rubber apron get up was from a horror film and was coming to kill us. Moules Florentine and frites were to die for. I think I actually licked the plate.
Visit 2. Early evening civilised eats after work.
Good food, good service, good friends. Tried the Moules Portuguese. Nice, tomato-y, new potatoes, healthy option. Bit sad to have just missed the beat the clock offer, but food here is always worth the full price money.
Visit 3. Day date for my birthday.
Had goat cheese salad (just to be a bit different). Nice and tasty. The man (who is a massive talker and is very rarely ever silent) was so in love with his food he became mute (until the plate was scraped clean, then the talking was back on!). Fishcakes and duck and a variety of different beers all got the thumbs up from him.Coffees finished it all off nicely, but felt service was a little lacking this once.
So it's official. Belgo's rocks my world. Loves the food, loves the drinks and love, love loves the building, urban metal and brick tunnels and school type benches to sit on really make this place stand out.
Absolutely love this place... found this place before i went on a trip to London.. Yelp once again never disappoint me!!!
First of all.. for all the visitor this place is located at a very CUTE neighborhood. it's a little bit hidden, the sign isn't too noticeable but just follow the address # you will be fine..
The place is spacious, first thing I notice was they are specialize in mussels ( many different favors) they are all good. they have lunch special too..
They also specialize in fruit beer.. AMAZING.. loved it.. MUST TRY..
MOST IMPORTANTLY.. LOVE THE DECOR....TOTALLY EUROPEAN STYLE.. can't find in U.S!!
Doh! This place has so many specials. 7.95 for lunch with beer. On mondays get a whole kilo of mussels for 10 pouds. For dinner, depending on what time you ordered your entreé, pay 5-6.30 for your entree (M-F) between 5:00-6:30.
And what do we do? We come in on a super busy Saturday night when there's a ton of people and no specials! Ugh! Brilliant. But i had a craving... hee hee hee
I'd still pay the full 12.95 for just an order of mussels and fries. As we were eating our mussels i noticed a few other dishes I wouldn't mind sampling. The servers are quick on their feet and zoom by. I need a stop sign. Ooh maybe there's an App for that!
Loved it. You Yelpers were spot-on.
From the weird, sunken underground trail to the dining rooms to the massive beer selection, to the waitrons in Belgian costume, we had a delicious meal.
Bonus: healthy and tasty children's menu plates.
Most people find my descriptions of Belgo to be fabricated fantasies born of an overactive imagination:
1) the bathroom is uni-sex and the communal faucet is like a fountain!
2) all the servers are dressed like monks!
3) you pay based on what time of day it is!
However, I will say that Belgo is a pretty A+ place to bring out-of-town visitors and faboo for group outtings. The novelty of the restaurant is sure to charm your companions and the beer selection is eggggggcellent. Now that they've got a loyalty card, expect me to show up more often.
Mmm mussels and beer (I initialy wrote this as "muscles and beer", haha oh ME!)
While not my best meal in London this place is a reliable source for a good meal. From 12-5 they have a lunch special. We had the traditional mussels with frites and beer. They give you mayonnaise and ketchup for the fries; try them with the mayo. It's not bad actually.
the seating in the basement is interesting, with long tables surrounded by copper tubing. We enjoyed checking out the Covent Garden neighborhood as well... it's a very busy area though.
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