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.
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).
Can you give 0 stars? If I could I would. If you're looking for good food, nice service, and a good atmosphere, with non creepy bathrooms Belgo is not the place for you. Their specialty of mussels were watery and tasteless and the frites were no better than mcdonalds. The spare ribs were inedible and even the mashed potatoes were bad. And even pasta which one should not be able to mess up was not good. The servers were inattentive and surly. Don't believe the hype avoid this place like the plague. Especially when in London there are hundreds of wonderful restaurants.
very suitable for group, friendly services with good food
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.
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.
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
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.
2 stars - I wouldn't go back.
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.
The long list of Belgian beers should be reason enough for becoming a regular, but in my experience, Belgo Centraal also serves the best fish and chips in London: great beer-batterered fish, excellent peas with mayo (not greasy rubbish like in most places) and crisp, tasty chips. A pleasure to return each time.
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...
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!!!
We were in the Covent Garden area and saw that our tour book recommended Belgo as a fun stop to eat with great food. We navigate the cobblestones streets to come to an industrial warehouse interior. The entrance was very unique and we didn't know what to expect as we did not see any tables or patrons, only a hostess standing on an illuminated walkway. We were ushered down stairs into a large and boisterous dark communal beer hall, filled with happy diners and knew that this was a good decision! The atmosphere was casual and quite loud, but we could tell that everyone was having a good time.
My husband was very excited with the beer selection. He liked that they also came out in the proper glasses, which is not of the norm in the states. I was equally excited about the variety of mussels. I've never seen so many ways to prepare this dish! I had a hard time deciding on which dish to try.
I decided on the moules bowl- the Snob (I did not stand up and shout "I'm a SNOB" as the menu dared me too) The broth was a very rich and creamy base, you could really taste the lobster. I thought it was a little too much for my palette but it did say 'rich' on the menu! it made it hard to finish my heaping bowl of mussels, I'm glad we ordered the mixed breads to sop up the brothy goodness, which probably contributed to me filling up so quickly. He had the roast Tomato, chorizo and Herb Rottiserie chicken and was quick happy with it. The frites were very delightful.
We didn't get to sit in the restaurant side of the Belgo, but we did see the servers dressed as monks, running around the kitchen.
All in all, I enjoyed our meal here. It was a good recommendation from our tour guide.
Great Belgian beer as so many selections , love the atmosphere here . i tried the steak mixed with grill lobster on the side . it was so yummy .
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.
We came an hour after opening. This was recommended by Rick Steve's so we were very excited. After ordering, our waitress came back 15 minutes later to tell us they don't have muscles. We were very disappointed that a place famous for muscles didn't have muscles. I wish we would have been told prior to ordering.
My friend counted 72 mussels in a 1kilo
I usually visit this place, perhaps once a year,i.e. someone overseas comes over and we want to go to somewhere that's casual.
let's talk positive. The mussels and beer never disappoint you. You get around 7 favours of mussels and yummy beer. Is a bit noisy but relaxing to say, last time I went, I was with a business delegation who were desperate not to talk about business, so down the beer and we start bitching about the boss. The financial controller was determined and start counting how many mussels are there in a pot. So it is 72 (not some statistics Belgo will give you or know)
There was a the beer o'clock that runs to 6-ish, now it stops some ridiculous time, but it was nevertheless good value
Ok the negative. I hate flies, I hate anything that flies. If I see even a beer fly I need to kill it before I stop thinking about it. Problem with Belgo is their wall is full of beer fly. The light is dimmed, so the person facing to the wall can't see, but if you are sitting next to the wall, the constant beer flies above my head and near me made me so ill that I need to get out of the place as soon as possible. So if they can get the beer flies out of the place I'll give them the 1 star that is lacking (don't worry, the beer flies don't fly into your food, they just irritates me)
The other star goes to this cheap eats still cost me £20 per head.
I arrived at 5:35 for the Beat the Clock deal (which runs from 5 - 6:30), so I was able to order half a kilogram of mussels (about 35) and fries for £5.35. The white wine sauce the mussels were prepared with was absolutely delicious. I ended up putting the fries into the sauce and allowing them to soak about the sauce.
I also ordered a pint of Belgo Pils which was an appropriate compliment to mussels. Belgo Centraal also has an extensive selection of Belgian beers. The menu recommends trying the Bruges Zot Brune (a dark ale) which I intend on trying next time; I was unsure if the dark ale was going to overpower the mussels, so I played it cautiously.
The restaurant is underground and the restaurant is furnished to provide an ambiance that matches the location. Additionally, the waitstaff was attentive and because I ordered a common dish it was ready fairly quickly.
Missed the happy hour, but had a good time nonetheless. The beer selection is extensive, but only a few are on tap (mostly bottles).
The mussels are average (a little fishy and a little tough). The lobster and crab burger had a little too much binding / filler for my taste (had a mealy texture in your mouth). Loved the belgian waffle with sour cherries for dessert. Ate every last bite!
Seating is communal and half the waitstaff wear monk's robes which is a bit strange.
This was another recommenedation from a friend of mine which totally lived up to its billing. When I look back on the various types of cuisine I ate in London, it reinforces the facts that it is a city with a diverse food culture and that, if you do your homework, you can find inexpensive dining options.
The first thing you notice about Belgo is the building itself. You enter the building and take an elevator down a level where it feels as if youve been transported to the cellar of a Belgian monastery. It's dark, somewhat cave-like, and many of the servers are dressed like monks.
As far as the food goes, we went there specifically for the "Beat the Clock" special which I believe runs between 5pm-7pm. The price of your meal is based on when you arrive--the earlier the better. One of the Beat the Clock meal combinations was mussels and fries. They were excellent. To get food of that quality for that price was really quite a treat in such an otherwise expensive city.
Im not a beer drinker, but they claim to have over 80 Beligian beers... So I asked for a recommendation and tried one. Im not sure what it was, but it was tasty and expensive (more than my meal, by far). If you visit, though, Id definite partake in some Belgian beer just for the sake of the experience, if nothing else.
Pros: Excellent atmosphere, interior design, Beat the Clock special, great food, vast beer selection, location in the Covent Garden area
Cons: Expensive when not taking advantage of the Beat the Clock special
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)
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!
Cracking place. Don't expect high gourmet food and you will not be disappointed. That does not mean the food is bad...it's great. You go downstairs to a modern cellar, benches and tables. It's all open plan making the atmosphere very friendly. I have been many times with friends and the service has nearly always been fast. I don't eat seafood but have tried a few mussels and they were nice (big portions every time). I have tried the pork belly, duck, steak and sausages at various times. They are all great. Never had anyone come along who didn't enjoy it.
HINT; women love Belgian beer. The goblets are small enough to try a few but I strongly recommend the Chimay Bleu...three glasses and you feel a bit giggly and stoned. Also, hit a rack of the Schnapps. I am smiling just thinking about Belgo. It is one of the most consistently reliable eating places in town, and I know...I AM A LONDONER.
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!
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!)
Hmm, I'm confused.
I visited Belgo Noord for the first time in January and it was great, yet I've visited Belgo Centraal a couple of times recently and it just doesn't quite live up to its northern counterpart!
The service is not as friendly or efficient and both times I've been the food has been sub par and bordering on bland!
The first time I had the traditional moules... how on earth do they come out tasteless? With the garlic and white wine sauce, they should be bursting with flavour. And what's with the frites? I only got about 3 and, as Steve B pointed out, they appeared to be of the frozen oven-chips variety.
The second time I had the crab and lobster burger and it left a lot to be desired for me. It was tasteless mush. Again, how on earth do you make crab and lobster taste so... nothing! There really must be an art to it. I didn't even bother finishing it and believe me, that's not a usual occurrence.
Step it up, Centraal! Noord is way ahead of you on the service and quality of food scales!
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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