Bite Me, Brussels.

Reviewing food for the foreigners, without all the fluff.

Posts Tagged ‘African’

African sunshine

Posted by rachelinbxl on August 11, 2013

One of my favourite places to eat in the summer is the Matonge. This area, near St Boniface, is full of life, character(s). warmth. good food and cheap beer. Their spicy chicken wings get your fingers sticky and you can smell Africa even the next day. The terraces are heated. You share long tables with other diners and everyone is enjoying themselves. Once Brussels jazz kicks off, I have to go to the Matonge for my dose. My boyfriend would go every week if he could.
I won’t pick out one particular restaurant, as “rue de la longue vie” has many and they intermingle. They all serve chicken with onions or peanut sauce, mafe and spicy dip. They also all have tilapia (a fish that is fantastic grilled), goat, plantains, rice. samosas (vegetarian or not) and giant bottles of jupiler served at the table with tiny little glasses. The tables out on the terraces have boxes of tissues to clean your fingers and bowls of insanely hot red chili sauce.
The food is not haute cuisine… and one cannot really go and sit there alone and expect to be left alone.. but everyone is friendly, the food is never bad (though the plantains have been very dry on occasion). Food is cheap. the company is good and you come home feeling warmer just for having been there. Try a mixed plate that features samosas, chicken wings, plantains, rice and peanut sauce (at last testing not very peanutty)….

Tilapia,  plaintain and some leaves

Tilapia, plaintain and some leaves

Their opening hours are indiscernible. Whenever the weather suits eating on a terrace… and they are busy from 12 noon through to 12 midnight!

Anywhere in the Matonge, especially Rue de la Longue Vie
1050 Ixelles
Food: B (varies down to C if you are unlucky)
Atmosphere: A
Service: B Friendly but disinterested.. but that’s OK!
Price: A
Languages: English  and French, or a sort of mix

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Passing time at the Horloge du Sud

Posted by rachelinbxl on February 23, 2010

A friend and I have been looking for a good African restaurant in Brussels to replace Isimbi that moved out of Leuven. Kokob and the equally good House of Labilela (Leuven) are good Ethiopian places but we were looking for a more eclectic mix. An internet search revealed Horloge du Sud as a good place to start testing. On the corner of Chaussee de Wavre and Ave du Trone, it is well placed. The large clock on the facade makes it easy to spot. The inside looks a bit too much like a bar, certainly when we arrived early at 1920! But, the staff were incredibly friendly and the food smelt amazing from the minute we entered.

We tried the pastelles starter (we ordered vegetarian but got a meat version). We had to check it didn’t contain pork for my friend, and from then on we were teased by the waiter about things containing pork and alcohol! We also had the soup of the day, which was a creamy broccoli number. Nice, but not very african!

So far so good, except that the service IS slow. This didnt bother us as we were enjoying people watching and guessing which of the other yummy options on the menu our fellow diners had ordered.

So for the mains, we had the lamb cooked in cocoa, and the fish stew with seafood in coconut milk. The sides are not included, so we tested the fried plantains and the couscous made from manioc root. The lamb and its tomatoey-sauce was really good. The meat was stewed into submission and the sauce had bay leaves, star aniseed and cocoa in it. If we were to add one criticism it would be that it was slightly too salty.

My fish and seafood dish was mainly fish, with 2 shrimps added; but it was excellent. The coconut milk was rich and delicately spiced (we think turmeric mainly). The manioc couscous was interesting (a slight lemon flavour, perhaps?), but the fried plantains weren’t quite hot enough. We stil thoroughly enjoyed both dishes though.

For dessert we tried the mango creme brulee with the ‘Green Rooibos’ tea. The creme brulee was actually sans mangue… which we pointed out to our good-natured waiter and he was amused. Definitely not a resto that takes itself too seriously 😉 The tea was excellent. Not at all green; in fact very dark for a rooibos. A delightful grassy flavour behind the normal rooibos sweetness. We also recommend their mango juice and their pissap (hibiscus juice). Next time I try their cocktail with Baobab juice!

Troonstraat 141, 1050 Elsene

Food: B+
Price: B
Atmosphere: A
Languages: French, maybe others…

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Tastes Like Burning

Posted by Pi on February 15, 2009

From all the way in South Africa, there came into an innocent house in Belgium a simple, solid bottle of clear Witblits.


I will let the commentary surrounding this liquor during a tasting speak for itself.

“It’s supposed to be the South African version of tequila.”

“Guys, I’m warning you…”

“It means ‘white lightning’.”

“I don’t think we’re the right people to review this.  Only people who really appreciate hard liquors should taste this and judge it.”

“You know, if you smell something long enough, eventually you can’t smell anything at all, even if it smells really bad.”

“Fifty percent?!”

“Should this be cold?”

“Let’s try it.”

“Those are huge shot glasses.”

“This smells too much like tequila.  I can’t drink this.”

“If I were out partying I’d have some with you.”

“It smells good!”

“Oh my God.”

“Give me just a little bit.”

“…maybe if it had any kind of good smell…”

“I might as well drink rubbing alcohol.”

“I’ll taste it if you do it.”

“It’s not so bad.”

“Yeah, it smells a lot worse than it is.”

“It’s burning right… [cough] here.”

“Did you hold it in your mouth for a while to taste it?”

“I don’t have to brush my teeth now.”

“Not bad.”

“It’s pretty good, actually.”

“I bet it catches fire.”

“No way.  I don’t think so.”

“Do you have a lighter?”

“Doesn’t seem to be wor– IT’S BURNING!”


“We can clean the table with it.”

“Take a picture! Where’s the camera?”


“Turn off the lights!”


“It’s going out.”

“That plate is hot.”


“Do you have any whiskey?  We can mix it.”


“Don’t you want to take the rest back with you?”

“No, let’s leave it here for next time.”

“Good night!”

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