Bite Me, Brussels.

Reviewing food for the foreigners, without all the fluff.

Brusselicious Tram Experience

Posted by rachelinbxl on April 4, 2012

Part of the Brusselicious festival of food experiences this year (2012) is the Tram Experience. The menu changes every 2 weeks, with Michelin star chefs from different restaurants inventing menu’s to be prepared (at least partially) and served on board of a specially converted 50 year old tram as it performs a 2 hr tour of Brussels. I HAD to experience this!
I didn’t select the date based on chef, but on availability of a weekend date when a friend from the UK could join me. So, by chance, it was Pierre Resimont of L’Eau Vive who came up with the menu we experienced on Sunday 1 April (no joke). The boarding pass said 11:45 for a 12 noon departure. This was very optimistic! We boarded nearer 12:20.
One of my first questions was whether a table was reserved – or whether it was a free for all as couples fought for the tables for 2 (which are more popular than the tables for 4). But no, you are assigned a table by the gentleman receiving guests at the Poelaert tram stop. People were a bit more dressed up than for a normal tram ride, which I thought was really cute, as it is NOT the same as a Michelin star restaurant!
There are hosts to welcome you, and take your coat, however. The chef preparing the dishes came through and explained the amuse-bouches, which were not on the menu, and our waiter explained each wine (selected to go with the food). So.. what you see here are:
The tram table for 2 seen from the outside as the tram pulled in ; the amuse bouches – foie gras with a granny smith mousse, a double layer pea conconction with a quails egg and mushrooms at the texture change, and pizza dough worked into a crunchy bread, with truffles in. All very tasty and served with an excellent glass of cava.

The menu then listed: mushroom soup with farmhouse eggs, foie gras, artichoke, chestnut. This was very good – though the crunchy bread added nothing. Then there was Anjou-style young pigeon with puree of Jerusalem artichokes, buttered cabbage and legs a la Royale (a source of great amusement to my dining partner who was unimpressed with the actual presentation of these legs!). These were accompanied by a Macon village Chardonnay (very pleasant) and a Mas from Roussillon (less impressive, very French, which is not my thing – too much tannin) respectively. There was then a Rum Babe with pineapple and mango. This was mini, and the service lacked flair. The table of 4 next to us had eaten their mini portions before the little jug of rum arrived! Luckily we had been served a lot later – with rum before dessert ;-).

The chef can be seen preparing our pigeon in the small kitchen. Not bad for a small area, and yes, there is a toilet on board – though the unlock on the outside works even if it is locked from the inside.. and there is a sign explicitly requesting that gentlemen sit to urinate.. which given the bumps is probably necessary. The tram driver tried desperately not to shake us around too much, and compared to most tram drivers, it was smooth. There was only one time I was serving water and almost missed. The tables have sunken circles to hold the glasses, plates etc in place.
The two hour tour follows this route. The tram itself looks better at night (see another blog), but I was glad to have the view during the day. And we were lucky that it was cold, but sunny!

But was it good??? Well, I really enjoyed each of the courses. The mushroom soup was probably my highlight, and I could definitely have skipped the dessert without feeling I had missed anything. Wine and water were a volonte, which was surprising, considering that the website had specified there would only be 1 glass of each. The service was swift.. but not rushed. In fact the two hours passed very quickly. My friend from the UK was delighted, but I won’t be offering a Michelin 3 course meal to every visitor! Still, an experience indeed.
And when we disembarked, our chef got out to say goodbye – see the last pictures.


3 Responses to “Brusselicious Tram Experience”

  1. Thanks for trying and blogging about it. Sounds tasty and fun. Not sure if my taste buds are adventurous enough for this experience. 🙂

  2. Interesting. We ate at Eau Vive recently and had the same soup and pigeon dishes.

  3. The Tram Experience is a brilliant concept!

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