‘Twas an evening of mussels…
I had just started my new job, was exhausted from a spurt of wedding planning following various places resuming business after Christmas/New Year break, and was happy to regain some semblance of a social life when Kiki invited Monsieur Poisson and I out for dinner. Although it was for mussels on a Friday evening and not, unfortunately, for Belgian Beer Café‘s Wednesday half-price specials, we looked forward to it nonetheless. Who can say no to sweet, plump mussels offered in a myriad of broths? And who, more importantly, can refuse those thick-cut fries served in true European fashion alongside creamy, creamy mayonnaise?
Most definitely not us! We have the usual suspects present and, between us, have the mussels Provençale (tomato, capsicum, herb, garlic), Belgian style sausages (with potato mash and sauerkraut), Tintin au Congo mussels (coconut cream, lemongrass, chilli) and mussels with mushrooms (vegetables, mushrooms, baby spinach, light creamy basil broth). They’ve all been ordered with beers as part of value-deals, although I stick to something non-alcoholic.
All the mussels are really well cooked with none of them being overdone and, except for the odd exception here and there, were pretty much all opened as well. I always wish there was some bread to soak up the juices left at the bottom of the pan after mountains of shells have grown alongside in the bowls provided, but seriously doubt it is possible to fit more food in after the mussels themselves and the fries. The sausages are pork and firm with the sauerkraut adding a nice tang although there is quite a lot of it.
Monsieur Poisson and I also order the ‘Pork ribs with fries & side salad’ from the specials board for something a bit different. The ribs are saucy although a little too tangy for our liking, as we were expecting perhaps for them to be smokier. The side salad is a welcome refresher from all the mussels and meat and, my goodness, ever more fries!
The Belgian Beer Café does get a bit noisy at weekends with the open windows at the front and patrons drinking, eating and generally being merry. Although the array of beers is wasted on a non-beer consumer like myself, it’s fun and relaxed surrounds for groups of friends in amongst the warm, cherry wood interior.
429 Miller St (near cnr Amherst St), Cammeray NSW
Tel: (02) 9954 3411
Opening Hours: 7 days from midday