Bite Me, Brussels.

Reviewing food for the foreigners, without all the fluff.

Archive for the ‘Food rumors’ Category

Bite Me Update

Posted by rachelinbxl on July 8, 2013

A common problem with a blog is going back to check old posts are still relevant. Has the cuisine got better/worse? Has the price/quality ratio changed? Is the restaurant even still there?
Well, this weekend I wanted to go back to this cafe: Ethiopian Coffee and it isn’t there. However, I am told it has just moved to Place St Jean, Brussels centre. Can anyone confirm this?

Also, while in the Marolles, I stopped by the stock up on beers at ‘Au nom de la biere’, mentioned in this post on burger and beer. The shop is rented from the hotel next to the public swimming pool on Place de Jeu de Balles, and they want the space back. So they are closing down and beer is 30-50% reduced. I got a 3 Fonteinen Schaerbeekse Kriek 75cl bottle for 16 euros… so anyone wanting to try hard to find bottles… get over to the Marolles before 25 July! Stop by for mussels and the Bal National on 21 July even! The shop is open on Sundays.

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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:

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

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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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I’m singing in the snow

Posted by rachelinbxl on January 16, 2012

Le fou chantant on ave de fre in uccle is well hidden from passers-by. It is set back from the street down a small path that could almost be a driveway for cars, but isn’t. to note at this point: it doesn’t offer parking for clients which, given its rather off the beaten track, is rather a disadvantage. I found it thanks to a fan of the establishment who hosted his birthday party there. He booked the entire restaurant so i cannot comment on usual lay out or clientele. It was the day of snow in brussels, dec 2011, and getting down the drive was perilous. But i digress.
The crazy singing man is so-called because the focus of the cozy room with its mezzanine is a grand piano, where an expert comes to sing old favourites (mainly french language). There are song books on the tables and diners are encouraged to sing along. Dinner and karaoke. A few great classics by the likes of the beatles and elvis have made the list, but otherwise you can go observe the massacre of Jean-Jacques Goldman, Johnny Halliday etc.
The food is based around a grill. The open fire heats BBQ style grill prangs and the meat is high quality. We started with oysters, then a plate of foie gras. Neither of these is really my favourite, but the pate was good, served with onion jam and bread.

Foie gras

Foie gras


The piece de resistance is the steak, however. They came round to ask how you want it cooked and I would advise against saying anything darker than saignant-bloody. This is the third grade after bleu and rouge. I had never even heard this first, i think it means raw!!
I took bloody and enjoyed all but the very centre of my very thick slab. Had i had a thinner piece i think I could have eaten it all. It came with caramelised witloof, which is one of my pet hates in Belgian cuisine, and the ubiquitous fries. The witloof was actually edible, with sauce. 3 different sauces were on the table, of which the pepper cream sauce was my favourite, but the bearnaise was ok too. The tartare was too much like garlic mayonnaise for me. The wine was a robust french offering that went well with the meat.

Singing started in the middle of the main course. Dancing started once we could safely stand after all that food and only paused when dessert arrived. By this point i was not at all hungry but tested it out of gourmandise. It was a chocolate mousse cake on a wafer base with a fruit coulis. delicious, and luckily small. But I shouldn’t have indulged!!
Since this was a private party i cannot comment on the price of a normal meal in the resto, though I have read mixed reviews on that front. However, if you are looking for a sing along grill, look no further! A great time was had by all…

Le Fou Chantant
Av. de Fré 176
1180 Uccle

Food: B
Atmosphere: A
Service: B
Price: ??
Languages: French, Dutch, English

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Izakaya

Posted by spacemonkey99 on May 4, 2010

I have been hearing about Izakaya for years.  As the story goes, it used to be a place run by and for Japanese customers only (or you had to at least be Japanese-speaking).  I guess times change, and now there are non-Japanese customers such as myself who venture to try it.  But, by the number of Japanese clientele it seems it has quite authentic cuisine (or they could just be there for the Japanese karaoke found in the basement).  Above you see the free starter everyone gets but not everyone enjoys. Its tangy, sweet, fishy.  Those familiar with real (not the Westernized versions) of Japanese, Korean or even Chinese cuisine will taste familiar flavors and textures.  Those less familiar will either love it or hate it.

We decided to try a variety of dishes including the above mixed platter (~10 euros) of yakitori and other grilled meats.  The chicken, mushroom and shrimp were by far the best.  The strange one was the cheese and bacon. Question mark there.

Above the grilled mackerel, a favorite with fish lovers and recommended here as it was quite tasty.

The karaage (fried chicken) was also done well for those familiar with this dish. Crispy and crunchy.

We also tried many other dishes such as the udon, tempura, chicken with rice and so on.  Overall, our group had mixed reviews.  Some people loved it.  The udon was overcooked and the noodles were soggy which was a disappointment. The tempura was perfect ~ light, fluffy, tasty but a bit expensive at 18 euros for 6 – 7 pieces.  In spite of being a bit expensive (we paid 35 euros a person and not everyone felt they had eaten sufficiently) I would recommend this place ~ order some warm or chilled sake, enjoy the dishes in a tapas-style way sharing with your friends and try something Japanese other than sushi!

Izakaya

Chaussée de Vleurgat, 123

1050 Ixelles

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

Posted in Far and away, Food rumors, Home Sweet Home, Hot List, Pretty Pictures | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

BMB is on a fact-finding mission

Posted by Pi on March 17, 2010

A portion of the staff of the Bite Me Brussels blog is on a culinary research assignment outside Belgium until August 2010.  We will be logging some foods in other parts of the world that we’d also like to have in the cozy heart of Europe.  If we are to lobby the capital properly for the foods we want, we need our supporting data!  Follow the pictures at our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bite-Me-Brussels/69742516288

Brussels food will still be posted here as usual from our other contributors.  Thanks for reading, fellow expat Bruxellois!

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