Thursday, February 15, 2007

Brussels Sprouts, The Pier @ Robertson

Themed by the peroxide blond Chef in Black, Emmanuel Stroobant of Saint Pierre, this is a relatively new place located along the river at Robertson Quay just within sighting distance from the courtyard at Frasier Place. Brussels Sprouts in it's sparse and minimalist decor appears to be a bar cum restaurant establishment whipping up "Belgian food" and importantly Norwegian mussels that gets served by the pots. The mussels were for me the major highlight of the place. I came here bent on trying them if not anything else. These Norwegian mussels are smaller than the regular ones that are frequently found locally, but are decidedly much more tender and sweet. And because of their size, eating them by the pots isn't really as intimidating as it sounds. A starter portion comes with 300 grams of them mollusks and a main portion ups the portion to 700 grams. Minus the shells, it's really not that hefty. Plus it was all really good with the large selection of Belgian beer on their menu. Hoegaarden white ($11.50 for the Magnum, $9.50 during happy hours. Yay!) and Leffe Blonde is on tap at this place too! This combination means that I will be back....and possibly back again....and again. Lol. This is actually my third visit here, but it is the first time I'm ordering food.

The mussels here are served with a variety of broths. I don't know if that's an appropriate term for description, but it just means that there is quite a few different flavors you can get them in. I've only tried the Brussels Sprouts Special where the shell fish is cooked in a buttery broth with celery and pepper. The broth was so tasty with the mussels that I was drinking it from the pot after the shellfish were finished. Each order of the mussels comes with a free flow of Belgian fries which are pretty good. Totally hearty and heart clogging with the accompanied mayonnaise.

Apart from the mussels, Brussels Sprouts has a small menu of mains (ranging from $20-$30) and a variety of sides on menu. The mains are supposedly Belgian styled, but I'm not exactly familiar with what's the signature of Belgian food apart from a mentioning of horse steak (which isn't in the menu by the way) from someone. We managed an order of the pork belly and unexciting chicken.

Pork belly glazed with Juniper Berry Honey and Braised Red Cabbage with Apple ($20)

Poached Chicken Waterzooi with leek, carrot, baby potatoes, parsley and lemon juice ($20)

I didn't think too much of the mains up there. I'm not too big a fan of non roasted fatty pork meat and to be fair, it didn't taste bad. Could have been the beer affecting my tongue but I could have sworn a hint of ginseng in there. The side of red cabbage tasted a lot like raisins and the little lump of orange is sweet grated carrot. The poached chicken drenched in the creamy sauce felt like chicken carbonara... which is about as direct as I can describe it without too many words.

This turned out to be a great place to hang out for dinner and drinks. The selection of drinks almost guarantees that I will be back for repeated visits. And I've discover another good label based on recommendation by a friend. Kwak!

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