PUBLISHED : Thursday, 31 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 January, 2008, 12:00am

1/F Queen's Place, 74 Queen's Road Central

Tel: 2179 5179

Open: 8.30am until late

Cuisine: European.

Ambience: Frites has all the ingredients of a traditional Belgian beer hall - high ceilings, warm wood panelling and a buzzing atmosphere to match, so look elsewhere if you want intimate dining. On a cold Thursday night the place was heaving with a chatty, well-heeled crowd.

Price: A two-course dinner without drinks and before adding 10 per cent service charge was about HK$450 each.

Pros: Where do you start? The ambience and choice of dishes impressed. Moules frites - buckets of mussels served with fries and homemade mayonnaise - come in a variety of flavours including with Hoegaarden beer or lemongrass with coconut cream. The friendly staff are on hand to advise which beer goes best with what dish and it's probably wise to ask - there's a large selection of Belgian draft and bottled beers, although a beer sample paddle (HK$95) might be your best bet if you can't make up your mind. Diners can retreat to a room at the back to use their mobiles - how very civilised.

Cons: Staff were friendly but getting their attention on a busy night was a challenge. Salad lovers or weight worriers among us might struggle.

Recommended dishes: While the starters section looked tempting, my companion and I had our hearts, and stomachs, set on the main courses, which we shared. Moules marinieres steamed with white wine, celery, garlic and mixed herbs (HK$165 for 500 grams) were succulent and delicious with the accompanying fries a perfect sponge for the sauce. The biggest thrill came in the form of a 750g roasted pork knuckle served with caramelised roasted vegetables (HK$185, left); lovers of crackling can rejoice with this dish. The mains menu is a comfort-food lover's delight: tempting dishes such as the Frites sausage - a half-metre of it served with brown onion sauce and mash (HK$160) - and the half roast duck with red cabbage and potato dumplings (HK$170) made selection difficult. The dessert menu rocks: the Belgian waffles with whipped cream and chocolate sauce (HK$55) was a treat, although it could have done with an extra dollop of cream.

What else? An express lunch deal is available between midday and 2pm and is HK$98 for a three-course lunch. The express dinner deal between 5pm and 7pm is HK$118 for one course including house beer, wine or soft drink.