Bite Me, Brussels.

Reviewing food for the foreigners, without all the fluff.

The good, the bad and the… sushi near the Bourse

Posted by rachelinbxl on February 28, 2010

I am a sushi fanatic. I adore it, and hate the price they charge in Belgium. Take me back to Paris Montparnasse… sigh

The Inari in the Parijsstraat in Leuven is fantastic, but that is a long way to go to satisfy my cravings, so Djazia and I loosened our belts and out wallets and set out to try 3 sushi restos near the Bourse.

We started with Kabuki, beside the Casino. Because it has a sushi belt, so we could just select a few small items and then make a run for it. We were there early, so it was quiet and the trains (yes, trains) running round the conveyor were not all full. The salmon sashimi was excellent – really good melt-in-the-mouth fish. But we took the only plate on the train, and another was not placed on it in the 30mins we sat there. We tried 2 special rolls, one with rocket wrapped around the outside of the rice, which was very interesting, but rather overpriced for the quantity of fish, and one with herbs on top, that was also pleasant. The tea was hot and fairly good. Moan: the ginger was not on the small plates, so we asked for it separately. Advantage: she brought a huge plate of it! 4 small plates and almost 20 euros down, we moved on to…

Anata. This is indeed the BAD sushi place on Blvd Anspach. The staff were not welcoming and the downstairs is cramped. We were at least seated right next to where the sushi was being prepared. The waitress was very shocked that we only wanted to order two small items a la carte. But she allowed it However: the tuna nigiri were only tolerable and the salmon futomaki… well, this is the first time I have left sushi on the plate. The rice was too cold, and the fish was not of the best quality. They had also added a leaf (I believe its called shiso), that is extremely bitter. It was wrapped around the salmon inside the rice, so even removing it left the taste on the rest of the roll. Neither of us could finish it. We didnt even bother to try their tea, but had to hope that the next place would be better…

The third and final sushi place near the Bourse that we tried was called Sakura. Cherry blossom. After Anata, the atmosphere was calm and welcoming. The one waiter was very polite and the other customers definitely of a different genre. He didn’t blink an eye at us only wanting to order the tuna nigiri and their tempura roll. The nigiri had a thin slice of fish, unfortunately; but it was good. The rice was also much much better. The tempura roll was excellent. There were small pieces of puffed rice distributed within the roll and the fried ebi in the middle was really good. We were so pleased that despite being full we asked for a mix of sashimi. They dont have this on the menu (you can only order by 10 pieces) but he was willing to do half tuna and half salmon. We savoured this with the excellent tea that Sakura makes. It approaches Genmaicha, with rice in the tea, but is not as strong. I should have thought to ask which tea it was. Only disadvantage was that it came in a cup, not a pot! This restaurant had the nicest atmosphere of the ones we tried, with the sushi chef doing his thing near the door, and the hot food cooking going on behind screens at the back. The waiter was Malaysian, very sweet and friendly. I will be going back!

Kabuki
Kiekenmarkt 32

Food: B
Price: C
Atmosphere: B
Languages: French, English, probably Chinese

Anata
Boulvard Anspach 74

Food: D
Price: B
Atmosphere: C
Languages: French

Sakura
Rue du Pont de La Carpe

Food: B+
Price: B
Atmosphere: B+
Languages: French, English

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8 Responses to “The good, the bad and the… sushi near the Bourse”

  1. Harold said

    Yeah, good and authentic sushi places are rare to come by. There are a couple of good ones outside of Brussels though. One in Antwerp near the castle Het Steen and one along the Vlaamse Kaai. One in Gent centre on the street called Hoogpoort.

  2. Alison said

    Hi! I just discovered your blog and I agree, sushi in Brussels can be a bit hit or miss. I enjoyed Sakura as well and I also had a decent experience at Kabuki – it’s much better if you just avoid the sushi train. The best we’ve found so far is YAMAYU SANTATSU on Chaussée d’Ixelles. It was the only one I’ve ever seen Japanese people actually eating at.

  3. bxlblog said

    Nope, no good sushi in the Bourse area, sorry. But there’s a handful of very good places in town. Here’s my pick:
    http://bxlblog.wordpress.com/2007/08/11/top-japanese-restaurants-in-brussels/
    Enjoy!

  4. John said

    you guys should try ZUZIKO sushi bar in Antwerp.

    http://www.zuziko.be

    number —1— for me..

    • Rachel said

      Damn it. That is closed on Sundays. I’ll be in Antwerp in 10 days… on a Sunday. Any recommendations for then?

      • John said

        sorry… it’s worth going back for it though… you won’t find a better one…

      • John said

        i know all the sushi restaurants in Antwerp but it’s really difficult to suggest something else after an experiance at zuziko…

  5. Sofie said

    To Rachel, i must agree with john. this zuzikoo place was also my very best sushi experience.
    They use to be open on sundays as well but they changed that apperently till the opening of their new place.

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