Many of you will be familiar with Belgo, the Belgian inspired restaurant chain specialising in moules, frites and bieres (mussels, chips and beers). First launched in Chalk Farm, north London, in 1992, with Kings Cross being the newest addition.
At this location it has come together in a dual venture with adjoining venue Bloom Kitchen and Bar, which is so new you may struggle to find it online.
The two venues have been designed by London agency Superfutures so I had high expectations for the décor and the visual decadence didn’t disappoint in the least.
Bloom opulently oozes 1920s vintage style with art deco designs, lounge seating and low lighting. To heighten the experience I would recommend visiting on Friday nights where some of the best UK jazz singers enhance the atmosphere.
It is palpably inspired by the avant-garde era. With the innovative and award winning gin cocktail menu and staff dressed in neck scarves, cravats and braces, Bloom pays homage to the famous artistic set, The Bloomsbury Group - a collective of bohemian writers, poets and intellectuals including Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell.
The standalone gin menu is set according to breakfast, lunch and dinner, offering refreshing, flavourful and sweet cocktails respectively. Each one forced my partner and I to stop manager Joel Lawrence and in-house mixologist Kevin Kugler to help us decipher the incredible and subtle essences inside.
While they are yet to open their kitchen, for which I have great expectations, the bar snacks are of the same calibre as the cocktails with complimentary risotto rice chilly cakes and seaweed tempura crackers.
The design within Belgo, which sits to the other side of the Crowne Plaza Hotel (formally Holiday Inn), is in keeping with the 1920s aesthetic but with additional colourful features more akin to the style of the 70s.
Here we were welcomed with yet another innovative concoction, a fruli (strawberry beer) mojito (£8).
To start we had a medley of cheesy beer croquettes (£6), potted pate (£6.50) and king prawns (£8). Each was sumptuous to taste and complimented by the recommended sweet Belgian beer, Lindemans Faro.
To follow we had Thai mussels with chips (£13.50), cooked with green chilli, ginger, garlic, kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass with coriander. They were so fragrantly flavoured my partner, who has never been a fan of mussels, devoured the bowl not long before I did.
We also had a sirloin steak served with chips (£19). It was soft and succulent, completely without fault.
Finally we filled the little room we had left by sharing waffles (£5.50) that were split into pieces and adorned with various relishes of chocolate, toffee, strawberry and cream.
I was unequivocally astounded at the staff, service and offering at both Bloom Kitchen and Bar and the Belgo restaurant. The two combined creates a flawless evening out whether you’re after an intimate date venue or a more raucous night with friends. I give them combined my first five star review. *****