Bite Me, Brussels.

Reviewing food for the foreigners, without all the fluff.

Archive for April 22nd, 2010

Good outdoor seafood; better service if you have breasts

Posted by Pi on April 22, 2010

Noordzee / Mer du Nord over at St. Catherine often is much too crowded or just closed.  The tiny place is standing-room-only, and all the people drinking white wine while eating their fish soup gave the place a slightly exciting aura of exclusivity.  Fortunately we managed to try it recently on one of these sunny days in Brussels, and some items on the menu, though not all, were well worth the effort.

The first success came with the small plate of freshly cooked calamari (~6 euros), lightly batter-fried and tender.  The flavor was subtle and definitely not too salty, making it perfect to eat while still hot.

The seafood soup (~5 euros) in a tomato-based broth also went down well.  The smell of this stuff probably lures a lot of people to that corner in the first place.  Fans of spiciness might be disappointed, though.  Also this came with some bread with an interesting neon orange sauce and parmesan cheese, but only one bite was taken from that.   It looked suspicious enough, but then a hair was hidden in the cheese, too, which is pretty nasty.

The seared scallop (~2.50 euros) over endive and mushroom-cream sauce looked fantastic, but ultimately it’s best for scallop-lovers only, as it was slightly too salty, and it tasted like nothing special once it cooled down.  That’s the problem with eating outside in Brussels.

When the crab burger (~6.50 euros)  with a tomato sauce finally came, my hopes and expectations were very high.  My female friend already was eating, since our server was the tall Spanish guy who catcalled to all the passing young women, meaning that he served the female sex significantly faster than others.  Unfortunately I expected too much, so I ended up slightly disappointed.  Again, it looked fantastic, and it tasted better than the scallop, but overall the taste of the crab was weak.  Over several minutes, the cold Brussels air gave the burger its final death sentence, extinguishing more heat and relegating the flavors of the dish to just average.  Next time, I’m eating the whole thing as soon as it hits the bar.

Speed is of the essence when you eat at the North Sea.  And maybe breasts, too, apparently.

Mer du Nord / Noordzee
Sint-Katelijnestraat 45, Brussels

Food: B+
Atmosphere: A+
Service: B-
Price: A
Languages: French, Flemish, English

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