Summer seems to be a fickle thing here in muggy London. Not sunny enough for a picnic but warm enough for some chilled beer so we headed off to Belgo Noord for some moules, frites et bieres. Just north of Camden Town, the restaurant itself has an industrial feel but it's cool, clean and light.
When Belgo first opened its doors in London (Belgo Centraal in Covent Garden) over 10 years ago, it was a small culinary revolution. What used to be an arid landscape of over-boiled vegetables and bland meat was instantly transformed by some continental goodness. It was quick, affordable and very tasty. And the array of fruit beers and schnapps was a revelation.
My favourite is this:
Floris Framboise or Belgian raspberry fruit beer! So like juice, so easy to drink.
There was a lobster-fest going on but I had a craving for some moules. I normally go for mussels steamed with white wine, garlic and parsley (marinière) or lobster bisque, but this time I was in an adventurous mood and ordered a kilo pot of mussels steamed in a Thai green curry broth. It beat everything else hands down. Fragrant, with just the right balance of salt, spice and lime, it was piquant and hit the spot. And it came with a bowl of thick fries and mayonnaise.
A kilo is a lot of mussels for a girl but we almost licked the bowl clean leaving only a few lonely mussels swimming in the green curry.
Then we strolled up trendy Primrose Hill with its select shops and mouthwatering patisseries and walked all around Regents Park heading towards its famous rose garden (Queen Mary's Garden). Although we were too full for dessert, we were content with smelling a big white rose named Ice Cream. Perfect!
72 Chalk Farm Road
*Sakura is mixed Sri Lankan/Japanese, lives in London and blogs about books at chasing bawa. Her column Slightly Peckish will post every other Tuesday.