If you’d asked me 48 hours ago what I ‘don’t eat’, the two things I’d have said would be mussels and bananas. If you asked me now I’d be lying if I said the same. I was invited to the launch of Belgo’s newest venue in Soho for an evening of moulès and beer and although neither things come very high on my list of desirable foods or beverages, who am I to turn down free food and drink two days before pay day.
Belgian food has never been something I’d think about when choosing a cuisine, its actually not even really been on my radar, but I can safely say its now ranking pretty high in the stakes after last nights delightful experience. I’ve actually been trying to make myself like mussels for a while now but after a few unsucessful tries and an awful experience with clams I’d kind of given up. I’m really pleased to report back that after my first ever visit to Belgo I’ve well and truly changed my view on those strange looking little fishes and now I actually quite like them.
Throughout the evening we were served a vast selection of beers and were taught why each one worked so well with what we were eating. I’ve never been too fussed about beer but can appreciate a good one when I’m served it. We started our evening with coconut beer served in coconuts which was an absolute winner for me. Obviously. Anything tropical and I’m totally sold. I then scoffed down one of the biggest, most delicious pickles of my life (it gave Mrs Elswood a run for her money) and nibbled on olives until it was time to get stuck in. We learnt about the history of Belgo and all about its 52 strong beer selection (the best in London apparently) before tucking in to Kimchi flavoured moulès which absolutely won me over from the first taste. I couldn’t quite get over how delicious they were and I ate so many that I made up for a life time of missing out on them over the years.
After swiftly converting to a mussels fan we feasted like kings on the most sensational lobster (Belgo Lobsterfest runs until the 31st August so get involved!) and washed it down with yet another perfectly paired beer. Lobster is one of those things that I enjoy far too much to eat like an acceptable human being and I definitely looked like I’d not eaten in weeks whilst trying to salvage the meaty flesh from the shell like a lunatic!
Once the fishy courses were over and I was well and truly covered in butter we were served sweet chilli roast chicken and an anti-pasti platter that would make your mouth water. I was smothering bread in baked Camembert, topping it with cured meats and then finishing it off with bits of the chicken. It was beyond naughty and ridiculously delicious. The beer that was paired with our chicken was served in a strange contraption that resulted in me pouring beer all over myself but it was delightful nonetheless.
The dessert was incredible. Chocolate cherry waffles and ice cream served with a selection of sugary shots and cherry beer. The night was beyond anything I could have ever wished for, has 100% converted me to mussels and I’d without a doubt recommend a trip to Belgo so you can try it all yourself. We even got beer bottles with our faces on, it really doesn’t get much better than that. Thanks to everyone who made it so special (you know who you are) big up yourselves.