Restaurant review: Belgo Restaurant & Bar, Nottingham

Up north from where I hail, Friday night supper usually includes fish. This tradition has stuck with me since I was yay high (think Macaulay Culkin’s height in Home Alone). Even today, my weekly meal plan has fish as the starring dish every Friday.

I was therefore Tigger excited to hop along to Belgo Bar & Restaurant on a Friday, prepared to check out the restaurant’s acclaimed offerings. Belgo specialises in moules, frites and boasts a whopping 62 Belgian bieres. The location on Weekday Cross is the first opening outside London. I fell in love with Belgo when I used to frequent the Holborn bar whilst living in London (ahh those heady fashionista days living the dream in the big smoke). Now, the Belgo brand is a byword of goooood moules and excellent beer.

It’s a cosy space, although the split-level restaurant makes it seem more expansive. Vintage wood and fairy lights make for a warm and inviting décor. Seated at our table, we sat statue-still for a few minutes to take in the atmosphere. And that’s one of the things I love about Belgo. It’s a nice space to hang out. It was a busy restaurant (our booking was at 7:30pm), which got busier as the night progressed, but it was never, thankfully, raucous loud.

Belgo have a good menu, and much like the Spice Girls back in the day, there is something for everybody. Love seafood? High five, you’re in the right place! Craving a carvery? There’s rotisserie chicken just for you. On a diet? The super salad will have you grinning faster than you can say “Lean in 15 my eye”. We ordered the meaty sharing plank (potted pâté, cured meats, duck croquettes, home-made coleslaw, dill pickles, dips) to get a flavour of a few dishes in one hit.

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It’s a generous sized board, pretty too. My favourite was the crispy, zingy dill pickle wrapped in salami, although I think the duck croquettes could have benefitted from a little more seasoning. This board is great if there’s a few of you, I think you’d get away with 3-4 sharing.

I had the whole lobster for my main (grilled, garlic and herb butter), which was pleasing to the eye and stomach. Again, I would have enjoyed a little more seasoning, but the dish was delicious post sprinkling of salt. I was missing a claw cracker or crab mallet, meaning I had to use the brute force of my bare hands to get into said claw with a little twist and shout. The gorgeously sweet lobster flesh was heavenly enrobed in a garlicky river, which was lip-smackingly good. I had chosen double cooked frites to come with this dish, although health-nuts can order a mixed salad and coleslaw.

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My dining partner had the traditionelle moules pot (garlic, celery, onion, butter, white wine). I tasted this, it was good, but I had to really search for flavours on my palate. Mussels were cooked well, and eventually the hint of onion came through. I sipped the broth that had collected at the bottom of the dish, and this was very tasty.

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Yes we were stuffed. No we don’t approve of skipping dessert (tantamount to blasphemy), hence us splitting the dessert of Speculoos cheesecake between us.

I loved this cheesecake; the base was soft with a slight bite, the filling dense yet creamy and light. Again, I wish the flavours were a little more pronounced of the Speculoos, which is a caramelised, slightly spiced cookie.

It was a pleasurable dining experience. I love the Belgo brand, and next time, I’ll be trying stronger moules flavours (Belgo kimchi moules sound amazing and a dish I would probably kill for). I’m also very excited about Belgo coming to Manchester, so do keep your eyes peeled about more news on that.

Rating: (1: Hate: I’d rather eat my shoe – 10: Love: I’d sell my kidney for a meal here)

Food: 7.5

Value for money: 8

Ambience: 8.5

Service: 9

Rate or Slate? Rate.

 

#InANutshell

Restaurant name: Belgo Bar & Restaurant, Nottingham

Owner: Casual Dining Group

Open since: Nottingham open since 2016 (first location Chalk Farm open since 1992)

Covers: 220 over 2 floors

Address: 9 Weekday Cross, Nottingham NG1 2GB

Closest train tram stop: Lace Market

Opening: Sun – Thurs 12pm – 11pm, Fri – Sat 12pm – 12am

Website: www.belgo.com

How to make reservation: online & telephone

Call: 0115 924 1765

GM: Dan Murphy

Facebook: www.facebook.com/belgorestaurants

Instagram: www.instagram.com/Belgorestaurants

Twitter: www.twitter.com/belgorestaurant

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMY9CV3gVoKVYqqh-sUXagw

Whilst in the area check out: Delilah to stock up your larder, and Old Market Square, which usually has food and craft stalls.

 

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