23
Sep
09

Belgo Oktoberfest 2009

Belgian beer-hall restaurants Belgo are putting on a special Oktoberfest menu during the coming month. A few of us got a chance to preview that menu tonight at the Covent Garden location, Belgo Centraal.

The full menu is listed below. You get to pick one from each course, and each dish is paired with a different Belgian beer. The courses shown in bold are the ones I had tonight. It costs £27.50 per person (min 2 people per table, max 10) for all three courses and beers; it’s £19.95 without the beers.

STARTERS

  • Shelled mussels in a cream & De Koninck monay sauce with julienne of vegetables in a pastry case (paired with Brugs Wit)
  • Asparagus spears with a Brugs white beer & chive sauce (paired with Vedett Extra Blond)
  • Chicken liver terrine with a raspberry beer chutney (paired with De Koninck)
  • Belgian cheese croquettes made with Orval trappist beer (paired with Orval)

MAIN COURSES

  • Pork belly cooked in Brugs Witbier served with spinach & butternut squash and a Rodenbach Grand Cru cream sauce (paired with Cristal)
  • Braised beef cooked in Faro beer, nutmeg and brown sugar (paired with Mort Subite Gueuze)
  • A puff pastry case filled with wild mushrooms and button onions, in an Orval beer with truffle cream sauce (paired with Steenbrugge Blond)
  • Mussels cooked in a Brugs Witbeer with bacon lardons served with frites (paired with Affligem Blonde)
  • Sautéed cod with steamed mussels in a Jupiler beer and chive broth (paired with Steenbrugge Witbier)

DESSERTS (all paired with Fruli Strawberry)

  • Pear poached in cherry beer served with a peach beer sorbet
  • Belgian dark chocolate cheesecake on a biscuit base with cherry beer coulis
  • Autumn berries set in raspberry beer jelly

I like this idea: I like the pairings of courses with beers, I like the amount – and variety – of choice. And I like the idea of a Belgian twist to Oktoberfest.

My starter was the biggest success. The terrine was smooth and tasty, well accompanied by the chutney, and the De Koninck was like washing it down with caramel. My mussels were very good, too: Shetland, plump and sweet. The Affligem wasn’t a challenging beer, but mussels don’t need a powerful counterpoint like, for instance, the beef does.

It would have been nice to have something other than Fruli, though, to go with an otherwise excellent dessert. Fruli’s become fairly commonplace in London gastropubs and most people find it difficult to drink any amount of it at all.

Belgo itself is a loud, elbow-to-elbow experience, of course. Not a place for a romantic dinner. But a great place for a chatty social meal.

It’s a good menu, and there are some fun beers to try, espcially when they’re explained by a server dressed as a monk. Make sure you’re good and hungry, though, because all the dishes are big and hearty and filling, and the beers even more so. Unless you’re ravenous you’re not going to finish it all. And given the price you don’t want to waste anything.

Photo from Daquella manera via Creative Commons license

Photo from Daquella manera via Creative Commons license

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1 Response to “Belgo Oktoberfest 2009”


  1. September 23, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    God, you’re quick!! Can’t believe it! I’m only at the draft stage!
    Great food and very nice beer pairing. I’ve spent 4 years in Lille, not too far away from Belgium and it was good to be back to the North of France and Belgium for a couple of hours through the food.


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