Since its opening in spring 2015, a passion for all things Belgian has seen Continental bar and kitchen Huis go from strength to strength, amassing a loyal following of local Portsmouth foodies and international epicures alike. Here, Belgian food and drink take centre stage, with a captivating à la carte menu, regularly changing specials, and an impressive drink list that features over 60 different beers from Belgium.
Huis’ variety of small plates and starters are excellent for satisfying smaller appetites. Platters of kroketten – priced at £5.95 for three or £8.95 for five – are great shareable nibbles that prove perfect for midday grazing. If you’re looking for something just a touch more substantial, well-known croque madame and monsieur toasted sandwiches feature alongside some of Huis’ own marvellous creations.
Owing to the prominence of artisanal Belgian beer at Huis, it’s no surprise that the à la carte menu is comprised of decidedly hearty dishes. Think three-beer carbonade – tender beef, slow-cooked in a unique blend of Westmalle dark, cherry and wheat beer, finished off with bacon and root veg and served with panfried Stoemp (a Belgian take on bubble and squeak) – and rib-eye steak served with Huis’ signature twice-cooked frites and a choice of mustards or red wine jus. Freshly caught mussels are served in a variety of styles such as classic marinières (prepared with garlic butter, white wine and parsley), Provençale (prepared with sun-dried tomatoes, fresh rosemary, thyme and red peppers) and Oriental (prepared with coconut milk, Thai green curry butter and wheat beer). Regularly changing specials, including catch of the day fish dishes, completes the truly authentic bill of fare.
If, after two courses, you’ve still some room, Huis has sweet treats aplenty. Finish your meal in tried-and-true Belgian style with homemade Brussels waffles. The banoffee (fresh banana, caramel and vanilla ice cream) and lemon meringue (lemon curd, vanilla ice cream and meringue) options are especially popular. For a taste of Belgium on British turf, look no further than Southsea’s Huis.