Just walking in to Belgo made my mouth water in anticipation, as huge pots of moules were whizzed past us at lightening speed.
All wooden and brick walls, framed prints of beer branding adorning the walls and brightly lit, this isn’t screaming ‘I’m so classy’ more ‘I’m so cool’. Industrial chic has been done to death in Nottingham, but it was a pleasant space.
As you walk in, you’re greeted by friendly staff, all smiles and fabulous hair (and that’s just the guys) and taken to either a leather booths at the back, or small wooden tables with wooden chairs, a bit like my old canteen at school.
Belgo is known for its 52 craft beers, and to be honest I have absolutely no idea about any of them. I opted for a Floris Mango, which is a Belgian white beer, 3.6% and is really refreshing to drink. It’s light and a bit like drinking pop, it went down a little too well!
I am virtually dairy free and try to avoid it as much as possible. I was a little worried that the selection of food I could eat would be sparse, but that was far from the truth!
We started with the crispy calamari, lobster bisque and duck croquettes. Now I love calamari and it was cooked incredibly well. My teeth cut right through the squid and I barely had to chew it. However the coating could really have done with a bit of seasoning, it was pretty bland. The lobster bisque was incredibly buttery, but overpowered any other flavour for me. The duck croquette on the other hand – wow! The outer casing was dark golden and crisped to perfection, the mashed potato filling was light and fluffy and there were large chunks of duck inside. The pickled radish accompaniment was the perfect palate cleanser.
On to the moules, there are 10 different flavours to choose from, from the standard ‘Traditionelle’ to the ‘Belgo BBQ’. We tried the ‘Thai’ and ‘Herb & Garlic’ with a side of frites, double cooked and fresh from the fryer, they were red hot, crisp and salty.
The herb and garlic, were nice, but nothing special. Sage, thyme, rosemary, garlic and butter apparently feature in it, however the only thing I could taste was the garlic. Lovely chunks of the stuff coated the huge moules, and I love garlic so that was all good. However even when dipping the bread into the sauce at the end, I still couldn’t see any remnants of herbs.
The Thai on the other hand was a delight. The chilli left a tingle on my tongue that lasted far longer than the mussels did! I don’t think I have eaten anything else with such gusto in 2016. My friend and I was fighting to finish them first. The lemongrass was subtle but refreshing and the Kaffir Lime leaves gave a depth of flavour that complimented the ginger and garlic. The moules seemed to soak up the flavour and every bite literally filled me with joy.
I really enjoyed Belgo, the atmosphere was relaxed and warm, with a typical ‘thank god its friday’ vibe to it. I would definitely go back to try the other dishes on the menu.