Bite Me, Brussels.

Reviewing food for the foreigners, without all the fluff.

Archive for the ‘Get it to go’ Category

Jaipur in Uccle

Posted by rachelinbxl on February 20, 2013

Previous posts will attest to my addiction to Indian food, and my sorrow at finding a poor selection in Brussels (well, I’m a Brit, I have high standards). There is one right near my office that I have never tried, however, and a group of colleagues and I set out to rectify this one Friday. One colleague had already tried it a few times and had been satisfied with the food – nothing amazing…. but good. Reviews on the websites told of very long waits for deliveries, and inaccurate order content. I was rather apprehensive.

We went at lunchtime and were the only people in the restaurant. The greeting was slow to come and very cool. We did not feel welcomed. The menus were haphazard (mine was almost empty, I had to share with my neighbour). They took a long time to come and take our orders and were rather uninformative on the fixed menu of the day (chicken tikka masala according to the blackboard outside). Orders placed, and drinks delivered, we settled down a bit more. We waited almost an hour for food. During this time we saw 2 deliveries leave and pondered calling in our order to see if we could get it faster! When the food finally arrived, it did not all arrive together. One colleague had taken the menu and got her curry but no rice. This took an extra 10 minutes to arrive, so we shared out other rice to compensate. A friend and I were sharing 3 ‘side dishes’ and the last one came so much later, we had finished the first two and most of the naan. No apologies were offered.

Naan bread

Naan bread

All that said.. what about the food. Well, these are the naan. Not bad, but not great.

Aubergine curry

Aubergine curry

This is the aubergine curry we had, which was pleasantly spiced, tomatoey and fresh.

Mushroom curry

Mushroom curry

The mushrooms with curry leaves was a creamy delight – my favourite dish at the table. Nothing was very spicy, most of the sauces were too sweet and the whole meal felt unsatisfying due to the long wait and the lousy service. I’m afraid we did not tip and I will not be going back. Maybe a delivery… but I’ll order 1 hour before I want to eat!

Ave de Fre
1180 Uccle

Food: B-
Atmosphere: C – more atmosphere in a takeaway joint!
Service: D
Price: B
Languages: French, English

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Sushi and seaweed in Uccle

Posted by rachelinbxl on October 30, 2012

I think I have mentioned how much I adore sushi, so I was really pleased to sea that the old chocolate shop on Ave de Fre was being turned into a sushi outlet. I feel that Uccle is rather poorly represented in terms of sushi – Cote Sushi at Vanderkindere being my closest. More and more are opening though, and this one is close enough for a lunchtime trip, so we went to test it today. Since it was from work, I didn’t have my camera with me, but it turns out this is a takeaway/delivery only joint, so there was no sit down decoration, just take away plastic. They opened 5 October and are still being discovered. They offer a few lunchtime menus – at 9 euro or 12. We each took the 12 and felt we got a very good deal.

We got miso soup, a seaweed salad and a mix of rolls and nigiri – to be precise 2 different rolls of 6 pieces and 3 nigiri (1 salmon, 1 squid, 1 prawn)

We made it back to the office and the soup was still warm. There was plenty of wasabi and ginger, but those little bottles of soy sauce always seem a bit small to me. One dish had just cucumber roll (I never see the point of this), and then salmon and avocado wrapped with dill rather than seaweed or sesame seeds. The other dish had cooked tuna with apple, rolled in sesame and salmon with magato (fish eggs) and another herb, wrapped in seaweed.

The miso soup was a little bland (though I prefer this to overly salted). There were real strips of seaweed and real chunks of tofu in there. I enjoyed it. The seaweed salad was pleasantly crunchy, though a little cold after soup. The dressing was a little sweet, but I liked it. This is just 3.50 euros outside the menu, which is good for seaweed salad. Edamame and the traditional cabbage salads were also options. But I far prefer seaweed.

The fish (only really salmon in raw fish) was good. The rice had a slightly sweet taste, but good texture. We both noticed a metallic taste to 2 of the rolls – with herbs in. Either the herb was meant to have this taste, or the seaweed inside was a little old. It did not prevent enjoyment but degraded it a little. We think that the girl messed up and the tuna and apple option was not meant to be in the menu with soup and salad. But I was glad she did. I would never have chosen this combination but it was really good – the best of all of them.

We were very full for our 12 euro lunch and I will be testing them again. They have no website, so I scanned the menu!

Algues et Sushi
Ave de Fre, 207
1180 Uccle
02 375 90 84

Food: B
Atmosphere: C (well its a takeaway!)
Service: A Very friendly
Price: A
Languages: French,…?


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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.

Posted in Far and away, Get it to go, Hot List | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Japanese supermarket near Flagey

Posted by rachelinbxl on February 26, 2012

** Update April 2012 ** Due to overwhelming requests the supermarket has changed its name back to Tagawa and put the old sign back up outside.. so don’t look for Nagomi anymore! I went back today to test Black Sesame as well as Green Tea ice creams (both chilling in the freezer). I explored upstairs -which is far roomier than downstairs and found yuzu marmelade! Also tried the yuzu and green tea financier selection – EXCELLENT!

In a post from 2009, Pieguybxl gave you an overview of the Kam Yuen supermarket near the Bourse, which for a long time has been my go-to location for all things for my Thai curry, Japanese sushi attempts and also indian curries. I love browsing the selection of utensils nd china at the back, the unknown products in the freezers, the tea, the spices, the fresh vegetables. I love the fact that it is open on Sundays!

But, for the Japanese side of things, I have finally found a competitor! On google maps it shows up as Tagawa, but when you are on Chaussee de Vleurgat, you find Nagomi. It looks like the entrance to a garage, or interior hall, but just keep going towards the back and you will find this tiny, often busy, supermarket. Nearer the street entrance there is also a small tea/china shop with beautiful Japanese imports also.

But Nagomi is a Japanese store, with an in-house sushi slicer! You can order your fish by phone, saying whether you want it for nigiri or maki, and he will prepare the fish. They also have pre-made sushi on site, as well as seaweed salads, sake, and the amazing Belgo-Japanese collaboration OWA beer. Try it! It’s a very good beer! They stock ingredients for far more than just sushi though. I was just passing through, to see what they had so didn’t have time to explore all the freezers and the recipe section upstairs. I will be back for a tub of the black sesame ice cream however!!! Our visiting Japanese researcher swears by this shop, and I think I may become a fan too!

Chaussée de Vleurgat 119
1000 Bruxelles

02 648 59 11

Posted in Bang for your Buck, Get it to go | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Test all the restos at once!

Posted by rachelinbxl on August 23, 2011

The first weekend in August, Leuven hosts Hapje Tapje – a name meaning small drinks and snacks. Restaurants have stands in the streets and vie to make the best tasty morsel to tempt the passers by. There is even a prize for the best snack.
It has become quite the institution and people go for lunch and dinner, eating at the small tables in the streets, as well as on any green patch of grass. Snacks vary in price from 1-6 euros. Some are hot, some are cold; some are better value for money than others.

The main restaurant stands are in the Muntstraat, the Hogeschoolplein and the small street between the two, as well as the start of the Naamsestraat. Old favourites are Mykene and Kokoon, who always have something interesting to test (this year ZEBRA with wok noodles!)… we also enjoy comparing samosas from all the Indian/Nepali restaurants, though were most disppointed in 2008 when our winning restaurant closed down soon after. EverestBasecamp is also reliable though, and De Werf’s desset buffet is always insanely popular.

The Oude Markt hosts the annual bar man race – which is worth a visit. The winner from last year starts the race, and the bar(wo)man who completes the fastest circuit of the packed Leuven streets with the most beer still in the glasses on their trays is the winner. Some take it more seriously than others – but onlookers certainly have a laugh!
This year, for the first time, the Oude Markt had Hapje Tapje glasses for rent (we kept ours), meaning one could take smaller (cheaper) beers. The selection of beers is always better than for the rest of the year, with some interesting breweries attending. This year we also tested Belgian wine (not so impressive).

I heartily recommend the Hapje Tapje experience to all foreigners – and Leuven is a must see in Belgium anyway!

Hapje Tapje (in dutch)
All over Leuven
First weekend in August each year

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