Bite Me, Brussels.

Reviewing food for the foreigners, without all the fluff.

Resto Days at Jaloa

Posted by rachelinbxl on October 10, 2012

I spoke about Resto Days last year and the year before. The idea is that restaurants (Primarily the expensive ones) offer a 3 course meal at the fixed price of 21 euros for lunch and 28 euros for dinner. This encourages people to test the place, love the food, and go back when its more expensive! After a particularly bad experience last year where we misunderstood the wine menu price, we were less enthusiastic this year, but Jaloa had spaces left at the last minute, so I seized the chance to try this seafood place at St Catherine. The fixed restodays menu did not leave room for choices:

Wild duck and goose liver carpaccio, baby spinach and hazelnut oil
Seared albacore tuna, vegetable spaghetti, fresh herb potato puffs, soy and yuzu (Asian citrus fruit) vinaigrette
Crepe Suzette (thin pancake flambéed with orange liqueur) and vanilla ice cream

but the whole thing sounded fantastic. We dripped in from the rain and were welcomed rather brusquely. Other tables had their coats taken – we did not. But we got a nice round table where we could view the bar and see the guy outside opening oysters. A table near us had a tower of shellfish that they were attacking, which was fascinating but I didn’t dare to take pictures, sorry.
We went for the house red – liver needs red and the tuna could handle it – because we all prefer red and because the house wine was the only affordable bottle on the menu. It was a Cab Sav from Carcassone that was rather light before food, but handled both dishes tolerably. I’m sure the waiter could have picked out a better option but if the meal is 28€, I object to spending more than that on the drinks!

Liver carpaccio, spinach, hazelnut oil

The first course arrived fairly quickly and was an excellent starter. The liver was beautifully prepared and I loved the delicate hazelnut flavour. The fresh bread went well with it and we polished it off quickly. Our mistake, as we had to wait a while for the main course. We saw other tables get theirs, and knew they had been waiting a while. Luckily we couldn’t drink too much while waiting as the bottles of wine are stored at a table where only the waiters can access them – so he restrained us by not serving more – unlike the overzealous habit of some to keep topping up your wine, which can get very annoying. We had control of our bottle of water, which was the wiser choice.

Tuna, Potato puffs and vegetable spaghetti

The main dish was fantastic. The tuna was char grilled and had a light smoky taste. The vegetable spaghetti was a mix of carrot, bean-sprout, green and yellow courgettes and had a very light spicy kick. The yuzu sauce was perhaps light on taste, and the beetroot painted decoration on one diner’s plate was so thin and hard that he couldn’t test it; the potato-herb puffs were fried in truffle oil – which was a very strong flavour (certainly more than the potato or herb), but went well with the smoky tuna. We each argued over what was our favourite part of the melange of tastes. It was a superb plate of food, and a good serving size. Once we had finished we were allowed to have the wine bottle on our table to decide who got the last few mouthfuls.

Crepes Suzette

After this I could have done with a longer break before dessert arrived, but the crepes were served fairly rapidly. They were cold, not too sweet, with a pleasant orange after-taste. The ice cream wasn’t anything special.
The restaurant was definitely emptying out (10pm on a Monday) when we got the bill. Nobody wished us goodbye until we got outside, where our waiter was on a cigarette break, explaining the calm inside. All in all an excellent meal, and Jaloa will be on my list of places to take people who offer to buy me dinner!

Brasserie Jaloa
Place St Catherine 5-7,
1000 Bruxelles

Food: A
Atmosphere: B
Service: B
Price: A- during resto days!
Languages: French, English

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