THE phrase 'let's go for a Belgian' is not exactly a well used one in Britain.
When I told my boyfriend we were going to such a restaurant he looked somewhat confused and asked; 'What do they eat in Belgium?' Then, with one mention of the word 'moule', I faced a blank refusal to my suggestion.
However, little did he know that the name Moules a-go-go is actually quite misleading. The restaurant tucked away on Watergate Row, does serve a range of mussel dishes but also has an extensive menu that promises to please most hungry diners.
After promising Paul beer, soup and steak, we booked a table and that Saturday hopped up the winding steps of Chester Rows to the bright, glass fronted restaurant.
As we walked in we were greeted immediately by a friendly waitress who took us to a pleasant table, next to the open fronted kitchen.
The restaurant was bright and modern, without feeling cold and the eating area was full, with everyone else already enjoying the atmosphere. We were very close to another couple on the next table but this did not really seem to matter.
Firstly we decided to have a drink. The menu had a vast range of bottled Belgian beer but we decided on Hoegarden to quench our thirst.
We were left for a while to study the menu and I was completely spoilt for choice. The fish dishes all sounded delicious.
There was a wide assortment of mussel dishes, served in pots and platters with various accompaniments such as green Thai curry (£10.25), and cream of wild mushrooms topped with Mozzarella, Cheddar and Brie (£9.95).
Steaks and chicken in various forms were offered as well, along with vegetarian dishes. After much deliberation we ordered and sat back, watching the assortment of colourful platters fly past us (we were sitting by the kitchen after all).
Our starters arrived very quickly and we eagerly tucked in. The goats cheese and sun blushed tomato tart (£4.95) had lovely crisp pastry and the cheese was not too bitter.
Paul chose the haddock and asparagus soup (£3.25), which he said was a little acidic but as he admitted, this was probably down to his dull taste in food. He did enjoy it though and said it was very tasty and creamy.
The sirloin steak (£13.95) was cooked perfectly and came with tasty crisp green beans and chips. The couple next door looked on mockingly as the chips arrived, but soon realised they were included in the dish. They quickly scoured the menu to see if chips accompanied the mussels they had chosen. They were, so the couple stopped analysing our table, realising that in Belgium chips mustn't be a restaurant faux par.
My smoked haddock (£11.95) was served with creamy but firm mashed potato and a Gruyere cheese sauce that was not too rich. The fish was also wrapped in a sheet of Gruyere cheese that stopped the dish being too sloppy and added texture. The dish as a whole was really flavoursome and was put together well.
A bottle of Chardonnay (£13.95) complemented our main meal, which was smooth and light.
Neither of us could manage a pudding as the portions were very generous. The food by nature was also very rich so we could not have faced anything sweet. However, I felt the choice of desserts was a little limited, especially compared with the rest of the menu.
We slouched around for a while on the comfy seats, finishing our wine and then felt ready to move on for another drink, something I did not expect to be able to do after eating so much cheese. Not only did this restaurant serve us great food but it also was the perfect way to start a night out.
Address: 39-41 Watergate Row, Chester
Tel: 01244 348 818
Menu: Meal deals, beat the clock 6-7pm, the time you arrive is the price you pay. Two-course lunch £6.95. Evening, flame roasted rotisserie chicken £9.95; whole lobster £19.95.
Best part: the combination comfortable surroundings with good quality, fresh food.
Worst part: Limited sweet menu.
Best for: In essence this restaurant is perfect for most people. The menu is balanced well between adventurous, unusual meals and simple, universal favourites.