Friday, October 01, 2010

Belgo (Oktoberfest)

Belgo is a chain of Belgian restaurants in London - the flagship being the one in Covent Garden which can do 400 covers at a time. While Oktoberfest is German in origin, the Belgians love their beer as well and Belgo has decided to co-opt the idea with a special Oktoberfest menu, matching beers to each option on the menu. I was invited to attend a preview of the menu where we could taste all of the dishes available, along with their paired beers, and also find out more about the beers from the Belgo Beermaster. Every Wednesday, you can book a "Pilgrimage" which consists of a three course meal, with a different beer served with each course, for £33 (which is pretty decent value when you consider that three Belgian beers would usually run you around £15 on their own). Here's the menu:

Parsnip and ginger soup, paired with Jupiler Pilsner (the ginger frites sprinkled on top were great)
Moules Mariniere, paired with Belgo Witbier (made by the same brewery as Hoegaarden)
Champagne, duck and truffle terrine, paired with De Koninck Blonde

Carbonnade of braised beef cooked in Faro beer and served with Witcap Stimulo beer
Mushroom Bouchee, paired with Palm Amber
Moules Portugaises, paired with Bruges Zot Blonde (yummy chorizo)

Pear poached in raspberry beer served with lemon sorbet, paired with Floris Apple
Belgian Chocolate Pudding, paired with Westmalle Double
Belgian waffle, paired with Mort Subite Gueuze (ohh this waffle was amazingly tasty)

My favorite pairings were the beef with Witcap Stimulo, the pear with Floris Apple, and the Belgian waffle withMort Subite Gueuze. A also really loved the Westmalle Double. I also enjoyed the parsnip soup and both moules preparations - can't go wrong with mussels in a Belgian restaurant! Catch this if you can - it runs through the month of October and is a rare opportunity to learn about how well Belgian beers go with food.

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