The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Delectable Belgian @ Frites (Central), Hong Kong

Last Friday, we took our 3-year-old son to a Belgian beer house after hubby finished work. Before you jump to any conclusions, we weren't there for the beer, and neither was our boy. I'd read good food reviews on Frites, a Belgian restaurant in Central, and I was keen to try out the food. The boy had a late doctor's appointment in Central on Friday, and there was no way I could get back home in time to get dinner prepped and ready at a reasonable hour, so I booked a table ahead of time for dinner. Frites is a popular hangout for the bankers and office workers in the area, especially for after-work drinks on Fridays. Previous two attempts at making same-day dinner reservations proved futile, so I was quite pleased to achieve success when I rang the restaurant the previous day to make a booking. We were alloted a 90 minute slot for our table, which was fine by us as we usually try to keep our meals short and sweet when dining with our toddler, especially in the evening to make it back home in time for his 8pm bedtime routine. He was the littlest one in the restaurant, but we were made quite comfortable, and the waitstaff even playfully chatted to him.

A dalmatian figurine sits on the bar with the day's paper in its mouth:

When we arrived for our 6pm booking, Frites was already buzzing with early diners. The restaurant layout was quite open with a central sit-down dining area and bar stools lining the perimeter, and the space soon got quite tight as the place filled up with happy office workers reveling in the fact that it was finally Friday. The staff were friendly and cheerful, in spite of the fact that they had a busy night ahead of them. The food menu was quite comprehensive offering a wide range of European dishes, featuring their specialty of Mussel Pots. Frites also had an Express Dinner menu, only valid for ordering between 5pm and 7pm on weekdays, and includes a house beer, wine or soft drink. Dealing with the boy's allergies was a breeze here. Apparently the beer selection is also very good, which is probably why this beer house is very popular (though we can't vouch for the beer as all three in our dining party are teetotalers).

Frites House Mussels - with diced tomato, onion, garlic, light cream and fresh chives, and served with frites (fries/chips) and mayo. The mussels were deliciously plump and juicy, and the tasty sauce was great for dipping the bread into. Predictably, the 3-year-old only had his eyes and hands for the frites, but we managed to also get some nutritious food into him:

Pan-fried Sea bass - with roasted vegetables, olives and a creamy sauce (sorry, I can't quite remember what it was exactly). The sea bass was tender and succulent, and the sauce was a good accompaniment. I loved the cute fish themed plate:

Mallard Two Ways - pan-roasted duck breast, confit duck leg with whipped sweet potato, cherry compote and kriek jus. The duck is somewhere underneath all that green and garnish:

The duck was delicious, both ways! Very moist and flavourful, and the kriek jus went well with the duck:

Hot Chocolate Fondant with vanilla bean ice-cream:

Mmm, look at all that chocolatey goodness ooze out from the middle of the fondant! We really enjoyed this dessert, and expressed it so to the manager who proudly told us that it was his recipe:

We really enjoyed our dinner that night, and we drank not a drop of beer in that beer house. Frites offers much more than just beer, and it's definitely worth a visit even for teetotalers. Bookings are essential - take it from someone speaking from experience!

Shop 1 & 2
1st Floor Queen's Palace
74 Queen's Road
Tel. +85 2 2179 5179

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