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“Belgo - Beer Tasting (in conjunction with Time Out)”
Review of Belgo Holborn

Belgo Holborn
Ranked #2,828 of 24,678 Restaurants in London
Cuisines: Belgian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Neighbourhood: Covent Garden
Description: Fancy food and beer in a bank vault? That's what the Belgo in London's Kingsway is offering as a converted former Lloyds bank, with the bank vault having been transformed into a Belgian beer cellar! Despite the building's history, the decor is contemporary and relaxing, but it's the beer list which is truly eye-catching, with over 250 beverages to choose from. The food is typically Belgian, offering treats such as Belgian Sausages, mussels and frites with mayonnaise, and a wide range of meat and vegetarian dishes. There are many fantastic, money-saving special offers throughout the year, but with even a three-course meal served at a reasonable price, this is one gastronomic experience that won't break the bank - even if it's in one.
Reviewed 30 October 2014

Belgo’s Centraal is having a Beer Festival (Oct 2014) and last night had one special evening in conjunction with Time Out with a three course meal, beer tasting and getting into the Oktoberfest spirit, live entertainment from an oompah band. We had a great night!

The three course set menu included a choice of a vegetarian or charcuterie Giant Plank, which is a sharing platter that is on their standard menu. We had the meat option, known as 'This One' (as opposed to the veggie option known as 'That One').
The chicken liver parfait went really well with the date and fig chutney, the prosciutto with the sour cherries, and the salami with the cornichons.
A good start.

For mains we both had the Belgo burger. It seemed a bit silly not to have moules and frites, but I had a really bad experience after eating some mussels 8 years ago and they just don't hold the same appeal for me now (shame).

For dessert, I had the dark chocolate praline torte and my husband, the waffle.

Each of us would have our choice again.

The beer tasting was a bit more haphazard. Maybe it was the first time Belgo’s had done a beer tasting.
It was a great idea, but I am not sure how much thought had been put into how it might work.

There appeared to be three servers. One was from another branch of Belgo, another from a beer importer. We didn't have contact with the third.

There were 5 beers on the tasting list, and we were told there would be some cheese to accompany one or two of them.

Early on while the restaurant was quiet they were able to come around, explain about the bottle they had brought to the table, but when there were more diners there seemed no plan to follow up with the different tables to make sure we got to try all 5 tasters.

It's quite possible some diners were not worried by this; it all depends on how one perceived the Time Out advertisement. For beer lovers, the 'beer tasting' element was the reason for us being there in the first instance, and I did hear other tables talk of this too. Other diners were perhaps there for the meal and the live entertainment.

We were able to sample two of the beers early on, & before ordering our food. We had to press to get to try the other three, which then came all at once, at the end of our meal.

Had the tasting been more formal, followed by the food, we may have been more inclined to order more specific beers to complement each course.

The beers:

Barbar Bok (ABV 8.5%).
A smooth, dark honey beer

It was recommended this beer would really complement our main course so when the time came we ordered a bottle to share. The beer came in a gorgeous ceramic topped bottle and was served in frosted glass beer mugs (more or less coffee mug size). We found it went particularly well with the side orders, Frites, Belgian-style mayo & crispy onions, that came with the burger, and less so with the burger itself.

Coming at the end of our meal:
Gouden Carolus Hopsinjoor (ABV 8%)
Described as a cloudy orange beer with a great white head. We found this to be very crisp, very clean & refreshing in taste, leaving you with a very clean dry palette.

Gouden Carolus Tripel (ABV 9%)
We liked this but not as much as the Grand Cru (to follow)

St Feuillien Grand Cru (ABV 9.5%)
We really liked this beer. It was described by the server as the best beer on the menu at Belgo Centraal, only topped by one other that he had on the menu at the Kingsway restaurant. Cru went fantastically with the cheese that was brought to accompany it and was a great way to finish our meal.
Very generously we were left with the remainder in the bottle.

Lindeman’s Framboise (ABV 2.5%), is a very raspberry demi-sec experience, not like a beer at all! This beer would work really well as an aperitif or alongside dessert.
I was fortunate to be able to have my taster to sup alongside the dark chocolate praline torte. They went really well together.

Hosen Brass (http://hosenbrass.com/) were the oompah band that provided the live entertainment. They were good!
Roaming the dining area, they nestled themselves amongst the tables and played vintage and modern tunes in an oompah style! We had the pleasure of Michael Jackson, Oasis, some Motown, and some numbers from musical theatre. We have been online to read up about them, and would be sure to go to a venue where they would be playing in the future.

All in all, a very enjoyable evening.

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1  Thank sneat98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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356 - 360 of 558 reviews

Reviewed 29 October 2014

I booked a meal for myself and teenage son online a few weeks before we intended to visit. We were coming after visiting the MGM Comic-con and had a train to catch home later.

We got there about 40 minutes early as we escaped the convention earlier than expected. I asked if we could be seated earlier (the place was half empty at this point), but the manager huffed and puffed, as we were apparently the 4th party to ask this! We sat at the bar & waited, and waited and waited. Finally 30 minutes later (so nearly our reservation time) we were seated. In a row of 3 2 person tables so close together that it was hard not to bash elbows with our neighbouring table. This is a real bugbear of mine. Why when the place is half empty; do they squish every one together? Also my son was a bit peeved as when we were directed to our table the manager asked us to ; "Come this way ladies" My son is not that girly looking thank you!

Anyway I had chicken parfait & son had gravad lax to start which was 'nice'. We then each had a bucketbof traditional musserls which were not so nice. My son got haslfwsy through his before biting into one that may have been on the turn as he had to sdpit it out and then he couldn't carry on. Mine were OK, but my favourite bit; sopping up the juice with bread, was ruined by what seemed like a bucket of salt added to the cooking liquer
Meal came to £60 with drinks (1 beer & 2 cokes) which was a bit extortionate even by London prices. Last time I ate at belgo it was only around £45.

We'll go to Greenwich for pie and mash next time we visit London.

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Thank Elise C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 October 2014 via mobile

The atmosphere was very nice and casual. The informal atmosphere was welcoming. The food was not as palatable as it sounded on the menu. The chicken chorizo lacked in enough bits of the chorizo to justify its name.the sauce was good but the service had a lot of room for improvement. Is it the cheap labour where the waitresses are just picking up the language???

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Thank RK R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 October 2014

A bit like a big chain restaurant with the quasi industrial fittings and blue lighting. Usual menu and obviously draws packs of pre booze night adults and clusters of kids.

Thank HillyCirencester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 October 2014 via mobile

Always been a fan of belgos since the early days.

This follows s familiar theme of great food, fast service and fabulous beer.

This branch is just as good as the others in almost all respects apart from ambience. The Covent Garden branch is below ground and that adds a certain charm. That's not picking a bit but there's not much else to separate them.

Visit, it's s lovely experience.

Thank pwils10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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