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4 August 2017


is a thing that's happening until the end of august, and is just as delicious as it sounds. essentially, everyone's favourite moules restaurant, belgo, has upped its own ante for the twelfth year in a row, with lobsterfest and friends. they've added four specialty lobster (and friends) dishes to the menu for a limited time - as well as two new beers, and this fact, added to the other fact that i have never in my life eaten lobster in the shell, well.. i was in.

the holborn restaurant is my closest, so i wandered over work last tuesday and caught up with bex over a few too many belgian beers.. and then some. we started with one of each of the chain's most popular beer flights: the saint and the sinner (which i can't find details of online, so i'm not sure if this is exclusive to holborn or not. they were about £7 each from memory). each plank came with three nearly-full glasses of the chain's finest (they're called "thirds" but i'm sure they're bigger than a third? oh, i dunno), with an increasing amount of alcohol, and flavour.

no matter how many times i go back, fruli remains my favourite, followed quite quickly by delirium. though, i tried a new one this time, the belgo wit, that apparently had notes of coriander in it, and my my, it was tasty! it was spicy and aromatic, and it's only available at belgo, so there's yet another reason to be obsessed with this chain.

the food though? holy smokes. we left it up to manager paulo to order for us, and he did a cracking job. he brought us out the seafood platter (£49.95) which came on a giant plate, full-to-spilling with fresh shellfish and sea food. we were served half a lobster, half a west country crab, mussels and king prawns in chilli and garlic butter, beer battered fish goujons, grilled red mullet, lobster bisque, and frittes and bread on the side to mop it all up. if that sounds like a lot of food, that's because it is. the mussels and prawns were as good as ever, but the red mullet was the real winner there for me. i've never had it before, but it was cooked so well and tasted so good, that good lord, i would definitely order it again.

the shell fish though? it's a tricky one. it's not like it's easy to eat; it's quite fiddly, and it's a bit.. well.. unnerving cracking shells and claws and the like, to try and get meat out. i'm no vegetarian, obvs, but i do draw a line and man handling my meats to eat them. shellfish sure is tasty, but i don't think it's tasty enough for me to want to get my hands dirty and make that happen. so, as far as the half crab and half lobster go: i won't be ordered those again. which is just as well really that the main dish that paulo brought out next blew my tiny mind: crab spaghetti.

the spaghetti was al dente to a point of perfection, and the west coast crab (£14.50) had the nicest, subtlest flavour to it so the garlic and chilli really only complimented what was already going on on the plate. yeah, this giant serve of pasta was meant to be shared, but i was soooo taken by the tingle of the chilli and the flavour of the crab that i baaaasically ate the whole thing, on my own. my only criticism? why so much greenery? tomato and garlic and chilli are the perfect ingredients on their own - add crab and you've got a sure fire winner. keep the greens, they're just for show.

bex had another half lobster, but this one came with bearnaise sauce (£29.50) and a lot of the meat already rescued from the shell. this option was a lot nicer than the one that came in the platter, so i would definitely recommend that version of the lobster instead, if you're keen on having a big bit of meat that's a lot easier to eat. i'm still not entirely sure if i even "like" lobster or not; it feels like a luxurious dish for me, still, having grown up on squid and prawns, but.. i'm coming around.

and, it would have been rude to not stay for a waffle, no? when in belgium, and all that. i had the white chocolate and raspberry waffles (£5.95) while bex went for the crepey variety (£5.75), and.. neither of us could finish our plates. because, i mean, did you just read how much food we had?! i can confirm that they were as good as those from their motherland though, if not better, because i don't really think belgium is down with all the hipster ice cream options that us londoners are privy to, and let's be honest: hispter ice cream does have a place in this world.

lobsterfest is only on until the end of the summer now, so if you're a big old fan of those shelled fish then i would 100% recommend getting your butts down there before it's too late. find your local restaurant here.

*we were guests of belgo's, but all words are mine.

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