Thursday, 11 June 2009

Restaurant Review: Belgian Beer Cafe, Balmain

On Sunday night I went to the Belgian Beer Cafe in Balmain. How to describe it?

For someone who has previously spent a very pleasant weekend in Brugge and has frequented the likes of Belgos in London, I was perhaps a bit underwhelmed. But then I decided that comparisons with Europe are a bit unfair. I can't just pop to Belgium for the weekend or get a variety of continental beers easily in Sydney. I think you need to take the place at face value.

The pub has dark wooden floors and there is dark wood panelling on the walls. It could be terrible tacky like a themed English pub, but it isn't. It looks rather good. They have a large selection of Belgian beers, five on tap and a further thirty bottled beers. They even make the effort to serve the beers in their correct glasses. I'm sure you won't find a larger selection in Sydney.

The food menu, predictably, serves contains bowls of mussels, chips and mayonnaise and a variety of beer based dishes (e.g. beer stew). I went for the steak frittes; excellent chips, nice salad, but the steak itself needed more flavour. Dave's slow roasted pork belly was similarly hit and miss. Great pork, but the accompanying mash and sauerkraut were a let down. It's a pub where you go for a good time with friends, so perhaps I shouldn't judge the food too harshly.


  1. They even make the effort to serve the beers in their correct glasses.

    That is the only review you needed to make! Who cares about the food?!?!

    That "Belgian" pub by Borough Market does not use the correct glasses. When I asked why I was told that they tend to disappear. Sydneysiders seem to be a bit more honest.

  2. judging by the prices, you must be paying glass-theft insurance!