Belgium may be attracting interest ahead of the European Championship because of the popular football team but their food has been bringing people to the landlocked country for years.
Now, Nottingham has its very own taste of Belgian cuisine at the recently opened Belgo in Lace Market.
The city already boasts a wide range of restaurants in the city but deputy manager Fatima Rivas Barreiro believes Belgo will be a popular choice. “It’s something different, we specialise in our beer, mussels and lobster,” she said.
“When you come to Nottingham, you see ten different Italian restaurants, ten different French restaurants and so on but this is something new and I think people want to try that.”
Belgo has ten varieties of mussels on the menu (£13.50) and 52 different types of Belgian beer to go with it.
“All our lobster and mussels are brought in from the Shetland Islands regularly. You can get them however you prefer, be it more traditional or something a little more experimental,” Fatima added.
It is the chain’s first restaurant outside London and Fatima said there was a good reason for that.
“I think they chose Nottingham because it offered what they needed to be successful. It is a city on the way forward and there is a good culture here for eating out.”
Belgo offers all the Belgian classics such as mussels, frites, and waffles, but it also offers less well-known Belgian dishes including carbonade, a meat stew usually served with frites.
The location on Weekday Cross where the Spanish tapas bar, La Tasca, used to be has undergone a £550,000 renovation, which is clear to see by the revamped interior design on the inside, offering 180 seats and two bars.
Business has been thriving for the Belgian restaurant so far since it’s opening.
“We expected a few soft days in the beginning”, Fatima said, “but we received over 1,000 bookings in the first few days.
“When we opened we had originally planned that only the downstairs would be a seating area and more of a bar atmosphere upstairs but because of the many booking we opened up both floors immediately and now they are open most weekdays.”
Belgo is open everyday from 11am onwards, closing at 1am on Friday and Saturday and at midnight during the rest of the week.