Belgium Beer Cafe Beergustation

15 Nov

Following a big Beer Day Out, a shocking experience at the Durham, and a pretty decent time with Chuck Hahn at the Tradies, we’re not sure how the Beergustation at the Belgian Beer Cafe in Kingston as our final experience for Canberra Beer Week will go. At $99, it should hope to be good!

Like the Durham, we’ve done a Beergustation at the Belgian Beer Cafe before. We turned up and every single other person who’d booked in had cancelled (!), but they still ran it for just us two, which I thought was terribly good of them. I have a good feeling about this one.

We pay on on arrival and take our seats. Unlike the Durham, the Cafe isn’t full for this event – in fact, we take up just a few seats on one side of the restaurant. I’m recognised by a fan of the blog (hello!) and we’re almost instantly served a starter of Stella Artois. So far, so good.

First beer course - Stella Artois

First beer course – Stella Artois

Canapes are brought to us and we help ourselves with our fingers…

This is something like a chicken parfait

This is something like a chicken parfait

… and a teaspoon.

Meatballs

Meatballs

The first real food course comes out quickly: grilled scallops and prawns with celery leaf sauce and salmon pearls.

Prawn and scallops with celery leaf sauce and roe

Prawn and scallops with celery leaf sauce and roe

Served with Titje

Served with Titje

This dish is a dream. I’m no fan of celery, but the sauce works with the buttery scallops and the well-cooked and beautifully presented prawn. I could eat this for the next three courses.

The next dish is a beef fillet. I’m a little sceptical: the beef dish (casserole) at the Durham was the lowest point of an overall bad experience, and the steak at the Tradies was the lowest point of an otherwise enjoyable experience.

Straffe Hendrik beer

Straffe Hendrik beer

Beef fillet with 18 month old jus, lardons of house made bacon and potato mash

Beef fillet with 18 month old jus, lardons of house made bacon and potato mash

This is a really great dish. Boyfriend is a little put off by the jus (it’s quite bitter), but I enjoy it. The mash is properly mashed – creamy, full of flavour and a pleasure for the mouth. The lardons of bacon are probably unnecessary; a little chewy. But the beef. WOW. Probably the best beef fillet I’ve had in a long, long time. It’s melt-in-your-mouth tender, juicy – all those words you’d expect for an awesome beef dish. The dark beer isn’t something I’d be keen on on its own, but it cuts through the rich flavours on the plate.

Strangely, a fish dish follows the beef dish.

Snapper fillet with scallop roe and hoegaarden sauce

Snapper fillet with scallop roe and hoegaarden sauce, served with Lucifer beer

This is another winner for me. I can’t really tell you what the fish tasted like on its own because I was coating every side of every piece I cut with this amazing sauce. The asparagus was a nice touch; it was a simple but still beautifully presented dish.

For dessert we choose from three flavours of the Floris fruit beers: passionfruit, raspberry or apple. We order one of each flavour between the three of us. Each has a strong flavour of the fruit, unmistakeably so. The raspberry beer is incredibly sweet, like overripe raspberries. The passionfruit beer has the zazz of passionfruit. My apple fruit beer tastes exactly like apple cider.

Floris fruit beer (apple) with profiterole

Floris fruit beer (apple) with profiterole

Dessert comes out and it’s a profiterole on the plate. After the big showing of the other dishes, I expect something a little more, but it also seems fitting to end the dinner on a small and simple note. The profiterole is filled with chocolate mousse. We finish them happily.

But then.

092

!!!

A huge plate of profiteroles arrives. Um, yum!

You won’t be surprised that we finished the entire plate off.

But wait, there’s more! On leaving we get offered our own take home glass: either a Leffe goblet, or a Hoegaarden glass.

It’s such a good dinner – well worth the $99. We agree it’s one of the best degustations we’ve had in a long time. The timing between dishes is perfect. The amount of food is plentiful and the flavours are right. The cost of the Belgian beers alone makes this dinner worthwhile. It’s a shame more people didn’t turn up – this time, and the last time – and it worries me that the restaurant won’t do this again. It would be a real shame, because it does it so well.

Date: Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Cost: $99 per person, paid on arrival

Where: Belgian Beer Cafe, Kingston

Food creativity: 4 (out of 10) – it’s not particularly creative, but it nails what it tries to do

Ability to take photos without a flash: 1 (out of 10 – it’s very dark in there)

Waitstaff pretentiousness: None from those who served us. In fact, I very much appreciated their patience when I asked them stand still with heavy plates of food while I took photos.

Worthwhile factor: Highly worthwhile

Want more? The Canberra Beer Week ends tonight. Belgian Beer Cafe website is here.

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5 Responses to “Belgium Beer Cafe Beergustation”

  1. Bobby November 15, 2013 at 6:44 pm #

    We loved the mussels and pommes frites.

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