This was our 3rd visit to Belgo, and on both previous visits we had left feeling a bit underwhelmed, in our opinion the seafood didn’t match up to Loch Fyne.
However, a 50% off deal in January, a love of mussels and with us keen to eat healthily, we headed there again. There are lots of options on the menu other than mussels but a few new sauces caught our eye, particularly the kimchi broth. Regular readers of this blog will know that kimchi, fermented spicy cabbage of Korean origin, is a big fave of ours and it’s hard to order anything else when we see it on a menu. We did toy with the idea of a rotisserie chicken for a minute and Emily with a tasty sounding cod dish, but couldn’t resist the kimchi. I ordered mine with fries while Emily prefers bread as her mopping material.
We love mussels, so on paper this should be right up our alley but last time we found the mussels to be too small, not very flavourful and on one occasion very gritty – it’s all about quality. The sauces were also a bit uninspired. This time we prayed for different and we actually got it! We knew we were in for a treat when the kosh was lifted off the mussel pot and that smell of hot, tangy kimchi reached our nostrils. Emily and I exchanged the signature kimchi nod and we both got stuck in.
The mussels themselves were still a mix of sizes with some very small piddlers, but tasty in the super hot cabbage sauce. It was tangy, sour and spicy without overpowering the mussels or being too hot to eat (although we did have to take a couple of breaks to cool down with a glass of wine before continuing). Beware if you don’t like a lot of spice, but we loved it and mopped up the last of the cabbagey sauce with our bread and fries, both very satisfied.
There was no grit this time and not a single closed mussel (a pet hate) but some mussels were still small, I’m talking like five pence piece small. Maybe that’s just the way that Belgian mussels are, but personally we’d prefer some meatier lads.
Overall, the power of kimchi has elevated this restaurant in our minds (all hail the kimchi) and may well become a regular on the date night circuit. With 50% off this was insane value so we’ll be watching their social media for another deal for sure. Neither of us really enjoy Belgian beer unfortunately so we can’t comment on the other half of their core offering, though it is renowned for their paired selections and supposed to have a wide selection. We also didn’t have room for pud but the waffles sounded delicious – an excuse to go back!
Emily & Stu