Belgian Beer Cafe proves classy

ABBIE NAPIER
Last updated 14:51 25/06/2014
Belgian Beer Cafe Torenhof
Dean Kozanic

GOOD VIBES: Belgian Beer Cafe Torenhof is now in Sydenham.f

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It's a Saturday night and the game is on, but the Belgian Beer Cafe in the carpark of The Colombo in Sydenham, is quiet. A good spot for dinner.

The restaurant used to be in an old stone building on Armagh St near the river. The interior was all wood and character, and at its new location the owners have done a good job of replicating its former decor.

From the outside, it is not much to look at, but inside the feel is classy and classic with an abundance of wooden panelling.

From the get-go, the service is fantastic. Our waitress is attentive and knows the menu.

Her wine recommendation (Roaring Meg pinot noir) is spot on and pairs nicely with steak.

But to start, we get breads and spreads to fill the gap while we digest a sizeable menu. The pumpkin spread is tasty, and the capsicum spread has the right amount of warmth and bite.

A mushroom spread though is a bit bland with an off-putting texture.

The Belgian Beer Cafe has a large selection of steaks, each with its own beer recommendation. Despite lusting after a huge 400g t-bone steak, the 300g ribeye is the order of the day, with garlic butter and fries.

When the steak comes out, it is everything we hoped for - medium-rare and full of flavour. Yes!

The fish of the day is pan-fried monkfish, served with garlic butter and salad.

Unfortunately the fish is a little over-cooked and has lost its creamy fleshiness. The salad is crisp and fresh, and the garlic butter nicely seasoned but subtle enough to pair with fish.

Despite a generous main course, I cannot go past a chocolate fondant for dessert. We share, and it is the perfect amount for two. The centre is gooey and oozing and the chocolate flavour rich.

The whole meal is a classy take on pub food done well. And, the restaurant staff pull off a decent coffee to end the meal.

Next time, we'll be in for beer tasting and we'll watch the rugby match.

THE BELGIAN BEER CAFE TORENHOF

Where: 20 Durham St, ph 03 377 1007

When: Mon-Thurs 11.30am-11pm, Fri 11.30am-1am, Sat 11am- 1am, Sun 10am-11pm

Cost: Mains $26-$42, entrees $9-19

Upside: Fabulous service

Downside: Fish a little too cooked

Go again? Yes

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