Belgian Beer Cafe VIP Opening

Ten years ago I took my parents to the Belgian Beer Cafe for dinner. That night, my parents told me it was the best restaurant I had ever taken them to. Whenever there was a birthday or special event in the family, I would take my parents to a hatted restaurant for a degustation dinner. However on this occasion, I heeded their protests and choose a more casual type of restaurant. My parents don’t understand the concept of eating a series of small portions from large plates. My parents are simple folk; they like all their food on the one plate.

Therefore, when I was invited to the Belgian Beer Cafe VIP Opening on 29 May 2014, I was a bit confused. Why were they launching something that had been open for more than ten years? Well, as it turns out, it was open ten years ago but was sold and became the Heritage Bar and Restaurant. Sydney Hotel Group, Gallagher Hotels, (better known as the owners of P.J. Gallagher’s Irish Pub) recently purchased it and relaunched it as the Belgian Beer Cafe Heritage.

In addition to Irish pubs, Gallagher Hotels has had award winning success with other European-inspired venues: Le PubThe Union Hotel, North Sydney; and Le Pub Balmain.

The team from the Belgian Beer Cafe global cafe group (Jeroen Demuydt, Executive Chef of Belgian Beer Cafe and Kevin Strubbe, Beer Sommelier) flew in to make the night a success. They posed for me with Belgium Beer Cafe Heritage staff: Patrick Gallagher, owner of Gallagher Hotels; Sean Wogstaff, Licencee of Belgian Beer Cafe Heritage; and Gonzalo Burgos, Restaurant Manager of Belgian Beer Cafe Heritage, at the entrance of the Hotel.

The kitchen and bar worked endlessly to feed and lubricate the young professional crowd that attended, while Jazz Nouveau supplied the covers. Goodie bags with Guylian chocolates and Belgian beer coasters were given out.

The regular menu includes Belgian staples such as Stella Artois,Hoegaarden, and Leffe, and dishes such as steamed mussels with Belgian fries, Flemish beef stew, smoutebollen and traditional Belgian Waffles withCallebaut Official chocolate.

Notable guests of the night were the Belgium Ambassador to Australia, Jean-Luc Bodson, and his beautiful African wife, Mrs Stephanie Mbombo.

The finale of the night was when a hotel patron, Brindusa Silvia Muresan, took to the stage (after a few drinks) and sang ‘O mio babbino caro’ by Giacomo Puccini. She astonished everyone with her Maria Callas like performance. And there I was wondering what the connection was between Belgian beer and Puccini!

 — at Heritage Belgian Beer Cafe.

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