Let’s hear it for Belgium

August 1, 2013

Ok, back to Leicester now and an old favourite I’ve rather neglected. I was present about 15 years back at the opening of Café Bruxelles and was staggered by what a great job the Brothers Hussein had done with it. A handsome old banking hall, which had become a slightly crummy nightclub, given a fantastic makeover inspired by the station buffet in Bruges (or Ghent or somewhere I can’t quite remember).

Not your average Leicester bar ceiling

Not your average Leicester bar ceiling

An extraordinary set of paintings of Leicester’s twin towns around the planet brightened up the central dome and the overall fit out was done with great attention to detail. The vast majority of the money spent doing it up was with Leicestershire businesses too.

I had some great evenings eating and drinking in there but after it was sold on, I kind of got the feeling it was not being run with same passion and have not been in for a long while. But when a friend got in touch with a spare place for a Groupon booking I was quite pleased to go and have another look, and I came out pretty happy.   The deal was for a sizeable bowl of mussels with frites and bread, waffles with ice-cream and a beer off the Belgian list. The mussels weren’t the best ever but they were fine, the frites were excellent, the waffles very sweet and tasty and the beer selection first rate (I shared a Red Chimay and a Zinnebier – both showing why the Belgians boss the world in brewing as well as…erm, I dunno, boy detectives?). Our waitress was lovely too.

I don’t know about the rest of their menu – pretty generic-sounding stuff –  but that was a really nice option for simple night out in Leicester.  They have a regular mussels and beer offer on Wednesday nights for around £12 – worth a try if you’re in the mood.

Oh and if you’re Belgian beer fan you should try the nearby Taps too – another beautiful old building (the old Opera House restaurant) and another healthy selection of fine bottled and draught beers. I had a Liefmans with a spicy chicken quesadilla earlier in the week  – it definitely qualifies as a lunchtime recommendation.

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