I'm not normally a fan of themed restaurants. As a general rule of thumb I tend to find that the emphasis is placed on the (usually somewhat naff) decor, rather than on the quality of food. However, a trip to Frites, the Belgian themed restaurant in Central, taught me that I should learn to be a little less cynical.
The narrow entrance opens up into a large room dominated by huge windows and a gigantic wooden bar. The room is themed to look like a traditional Belgian beer hall - with all the dark wooden benches and the large mirrored wooden bar - but the theming is tasteful. Perhaps more importantly, the atmosphere was fantastic. We went for dinner on a Tuesday night, not normally a night I would associate with packed and heaving restaurants, and it was full, both in the dining area and in the bar area along the edges of the room. The high ceilings mean that it is noisy but more in the way of feeling that the next table can't hear your conversation, rather than at the level of having to yell at each other to have any semblance of a conversation.
E. and I had originally set out to have a light, healthy supper. Things were clearly going wrong when we chose a restaurant named after a deep-fried sliced potato but in order to try and semi-rectify things we decided to avoid the more substantial meat dishes and opt for the moules-frites. E. had the "house" mussels which were in a light creamy sauce while I chose the moule "provencal", where the mussels are cooked in a chunky tomato sauce. Each dish came with sides of bread (which we managed to resist... well, most of it anyway - after all, it would have been a shame not to soak up some of that sauce!!) and chips with mayo. Personally I've never agreed with my Belgian/Dutch neighbours on the idea of mayo as an accompaniment to chips, feeling that the old faithful ketchup is rather better, but, when in Rome and all that...
A surprisingly good meal, one that would have been even better if I had been a fan of Belgian beer...
1st Floor, Queen's Place
74 Queen's Road
Phone: +(852) 2179 5179