One of our favorite casual go-to places in Wan Chai for a simple dinner has become, surprisingly, a Belgian moules frites (mussels and fries) place called Frites. It's actually not because we particularly love moules frites (though they do an excellent job here). It's because this place has one of the best selections of Belgian beer in Hong Kong (75 different beers! 4 on tap, rotating) and surprisingly good salads!
The moules frites are excellent. Our favorite is the Mediterranean, where mussels are steamed with chorizo, chili, onion, coriander, and a yellow pepper sauce (so good!). The others are fine too, but we find this one the most flavorful. The Hoegaarden is a lighter tasting one, with coriander, fennel, lemon zest and Hoegaarden beer.
My favorite salad is the Tuna "Quinoise" Salad [HKD$155], a generous arugula (rocket) salad tossed with preserved Spanish tuna, quinoa, beans, sweet potato, olives, tomato, capers, and soft boiled eggs. I like how it has a nice, rich assortment of healthy vegetables and flavorful protein.
Classic Caesar Salad [HKD 110 + HKD65 for chicken or smoked salmon] is fine as well, with lettuce tossed together with sun dried tomatoes, anchovies, bacon, croutons, and Parmesan in a classic caesar dressing.
The menu also has a decent selection of main dishes, which are fine but don't stand out to me the same way the rest of the menu does. There are Belgian/Germanic classics, such as pork knuckle and schnitzel, as well as a hodge podge from various cultures (chicken parm, fish and chips, Flemish beef stew, and a wagyu burger are just some examples).
We tend to stick to the mussels, salads, and beer, though on occasional we've tried the mains and they are OK.
Of course, the highlight is the beer. They have an amazing collection of really interesting Trappist and harder-to-find beers. The Trappistes Rochefort 10 is one of the top 50 beers in the world according to Ratebeer. I like to get the Trappiste Achel, one of the hoppiest Trappiste beers they have on the menu.
Beers range betwen HKD80 to HKD120 a bottle. However, we love the Happy Hour, which is available Monday to Friday from 3pm-8pm [that's late!!] and almost all beers are 50% off! They claim they have the best happy hour in town, and I am almost inclined to believe them.
Another nice perk I noticed one Sunday when I was dining there for lunch. They set up a dedicated kids play area at the back of the restaurant on Saturdays and Sunday. I saw groups of parents enjoying a nice lunch while their kids played in the back (often watched by one or more helpers / nannies).
All in all, we really enjoy coming here. It's fun to enjoy excellent beer together with a pot of mussels and one or two healthy salads. Inside, the dark wooden benches and the high ceilings makes you feel like you are in a 1920's style Belgian beer hall.
We typically like sitting outside, though cigarette smoke can be a problem (sort of a universal problem when it comes to outdoor eating in Hong Kong). They do have big fans outside, which helps.
The restaurant has four locations on Hong Kong island: Central, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, and Quarry Bay.
Frites Belgian on Tap Hong Kong
The Wellington 1/F
No 198 Wellington Street
Shop 6 1/F
28 Harbour Road Wanchai
Shop 1 G/F Park Haven
No. 38 Haven Street
G/F Oxford House
979 King’s Road
Island East Hong Kong
(Entrance at 22 Westlands Road)
This is the twenty-ninth post in the updated #50Postsin50Days – Take 2 Challenge. Other posts in this series will be added to the bottom of the original post.
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