Upon arrival at the bar, Damien had already been there and had already been enjoying Gouden Carolus, $10.80 which he described as “Dark, smooth, very malty and utterly delicious”. He was really raving about it, and I agreed it was very nice also with lovely caramel flavours.
As it was a cold, wet night, and we were both hungry, we moved quickly to a table for two and started to look closely at the menu, choosing at first our beers.
Leffe Blonde 250mls – $6.20 | 330mls – $7.90
Blond colour, made with clear malt and of medium strength. Leffe is Belgium’s original abbey beer, tracing it’s origins back to the abbey of Leffe, founded in 1152. Inside the abbey, monks handcrafted their own beer according to the specific rules. In the 1800’s abbey beers were beginning to be brewed outside the abbey wall, though the traditions and recipes were followed closely. Alc. Vol.6.6%
Duvel 330ml $9.00
Originally, the Breendonck brewer used to give his brand new beer to the town baker to taste. “Devil” or Duvel in Antwerp province dialect…innocent and begulling at first, with a soft, light palate. A style unto itself. Alc.Vol.8.5%
And then for main course, I chose…
Belgian Style Meat Balls $21.50
In a Leffe brune sauce, with parsley potatoes
…while Damien chose:
“one of the specials: duck, pistachio and cognac sausages, on a roasted root vegetable cake with caramelised escallot jus ($24.50). Very rich, rustic flavours, and the sharpness of the Duvel cut through the sweetness of the sauce superbly”
Although I guessed we’d planned to have a beer before dinner, and then order something different to accompany the main course, the mains arrived REALLY FAST. It was just as well, I guess, the beers matched fairly well with our main courses, because we didn’t really have much choice. In hindsight, Damien said he wished he’d ordered some bread or a couple of side orders, since he was still hungry at the end, though the meals were of a reasonable size.
After dinner, we both had a glass of the Piraat, which “in 17th and 18th Centuries Piraat was a popular beer at sea because of its high nutritional value. Flavour of hops, spices and rich tropical fruit.” I really liked this beer, especially the fruity and caramel flavours which made it a good end to the meal.
The cafe has nice decor (looks like it could have been an old bank or a converted factory with an unpstiars office), a good atmospphere, good meals and of course good beers. The only negative, I’d say is that the main course arrived REALLY quickly. If they’d taken a little more time, we probably would have spent a little more time savouring the experience, enjoying the flavours etc.