Bite Me, Brussels.

Reviewing food for the foreigners, without all the fluff.

Posts Tagged ‘Brouckère’

Phatcat Thai

Posted by pieguybxl on April 18, 2010

Compared to other Thai dishes in Brussels, the flavors in this spicy prawn and vegetable curry were excellently strong and fine all at once.  It went down smooth and hot like coconut milk and hot peppers ought.  Unfortunately, however, the portion was so small that I was hungry enough to eat a durum from the nearby Sultans of Kebab immediately afterward.

Oh, I had eaten a starter and my rice, too, but all that was useless.  The starter was some small fried fish patty that could have been the salted and greasy offspring of an unholy union of hard tofu and bicycle tire rubber, and that was a complete waste.  At least the curry completely canceled that out.

Clearly this place was more geared toward business-types, given the small portion sizes and slightly classier ambiance.

The place may be good on an expense account, but the other Thai restaurants on Dansaert are generally better.  Use that knowledge for what you will.

Phat Thai
Rue Jules Van Praet 30, Brussels

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

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The good, the bad and the… sushi near the Bourse

Posted by rachelinbxl on February 28, 2010

I am a sushi fanatic. I adore it, and hate the price they charge in Belgium. Take me back to Paris Montparnasse… sigh

The Inari in the Parijsstraat in Leuven is fantastic, but that is a long way to go to satisfy my cravings, so Djazia and I loosened our belts and out wallets and set out to try 3 sushi restos near the Bourse.

We started with Kabuki, beside the Casino. Because it has a sushi belt, so we could just select a few small items and then make a run for it. We were there early, so it was quiet and the trains (yes, trains) running round the conveyor were not all full. The salmon sashimi was excellent – really good melt-in-the-mouth fish. But we took the only plate on the train, and another was not placed on it in the 30mins we sat there. We tried 2 special rolls, one with rocket wrapped around the outside of the rice, which was very interesting, but rather overpriced for the quantity of fish, and one with herbs on top, that was also pleasant. The tea was hot and fairly good. Moan: the ginger was not on the small plates, so we asked for it separately. Advantage: she brought a huge plate of it! 4 small plates and almost 20 euros down, we moved on to…

Anata. This is indeed the BAD sushi place on Blvd Anspach. The staff were not welcoming and the downstairs is cramped. We were at least seated right next to where the sushi was being prepared. The waitress was very shocked that we only wanted to order two small items a la carte. But she allowed it However: the tuna nigiri were only tolerable and the salmon futomaki… well, this is the first time I have left sushi on the plate. The rice was too cold, and the fish was not of the best quality. They had also added a leaf (I believe its called shiso), that is extremely bitter. It was wrapped around the salmon inside the rice, so even removing it left the taste on the rest of the roll. Neither of us could finish it. We didnt even bother to try their tea, but had to hope that the next place would be better…

The third and final sushi place near the Bourse that we tried was called Sakura. Cherry blossom. After Anata, the atmosphere was calm and welcoming. The one waiter was very polite and the other customers definitely of a different genre. He didn’t blink an eye at us only wanting to order the tuna nigiri and their tempura roll. The nigiri had a thin slice of fish, unfortunately; but it was good. The rice was also much much better. The tempura roll was excellent. There were small pieces of puffed rice distributed within the roll and the fried ebi in the middle was really good. We were so pleased that despite being full we asked for a mix of sashimi. They dont have this on the menu (you can only order by 10 pieces) but he was willing to do half tuna and half salmon. We savoured this with the excellent tea that Sakura makes. It approaches Genmaicha, with rice in the tea, but is not as strong. I should have thought to ask which tea it was. Only disadvantage was that it came in a cup, not a pot! This restaurant had the nicest atmosphere of the ones we tried, with the sushi chef doing his thing near the door, and the hot food cooking going on behind screens at the back. The waiter was Malaysian, very sweet and friendly. I will be going back!

Kabuki
Kiekenmarkt 32

Food: B
Price: C
Atmosphere: B
Languages: French, English, probably Chinese

Anata
Boulvard Anspach 74

Food: D
Price: B
Atmosphere: C
Languages: French

Sakura
Rue du Pont de La Carpe

Food: B+
Price: B
Atmosphere: B+
Languages: French, English

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Romanian secret under your nose

Posted by pieguybxl on April 13, 2009

restaurantromaine4

These deliciously heavy cabbage rolls stuffed with fragrant sausage mince meat and rice (~9 euros) impressed us all.  The polenta with Romanian crumbled cheese and sour cream on the side only added to the warm and full flavors.  Coupled with a bold red wine, that meal gives a great taste of what this tiny Romanian restaurant has to offer.

restaurantromaine

Nestled among all the touristy cafes and fast food restaurants along Anspachlaan, it’s easy to miss.  But once you’re there surrounded by a new language, you realize how different this place is from the area.  Sure, the traditional countryside music in the background might be gimmicky, which apparently nobody in real life listens to ever, but the food and decor is all about comfort.

restaurantromaine2

Other good choices include this fried whitefish, with potatoes and salad.

restaurantromaine3

A solidly good meal is the creamy Transylvanian chicken with mushrooms, but don’t expect anything extraordinarily exotic with this choice.

Overall, as European restaurants go, this is a commendable small place for food with excellent and fast service, though it may be lost among the passable jumble of the rest of the street.  All the better, I say — fewer people to take my seat.

Restauration Roumain
Rue Grétry 13, by the Brouckère

Food: B+
Service: A
Atmosphere: B+
Price: A
Languages: Romanian, French

Posted in Chill Corner, Drop By, Home Sweet Home | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

Sweet and salty Peking duck

Posted by pieguybxl on March 23, 2009

pekingduck1

We’re always on the lookout for good Peking / Beijing duck in Brussels, and so far it has been elusive.  The perfect version should have the right balance of savory roast duck with crispy, flavorful skin; hoisin or plum sauce; spice and crunch from fresh green onions or other vegetables; and all put together in a dense but thin rice or wheat wrapper.

One version, shown above, comes from a Chinese restaurant just south of the Kam Yuen market.   It may have tasted pretty good, as the dish goes here, but we’re still on the lookout for better.  The duck missed a little bang, but at least it didn’t have bones, like other places!  They also give you all the components separately, so if you like putting together your own wrap with a personal duck-to-onion ratio, this place is for you.

Once we remember the name of the place, we’ll add it in this entry, but if you walk down that Brouckere street, you can’t miss it.  Where else can we find this dish?  Where are the excellent versions in Belgium?

“Restaurant Chinois” south of the Kam Yuen market
Food: B+
Atmosphere: B
Languages: Mandarin, French, English

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The Giant Asian Grocer of Brussels

Posted by pieguybxl on March 2, 2009

kamyuen

Sometimes we just want a one-stop shop for all our East Asian grocery needs in Brussels.  Fortunately for us, Kam Yuen off the Brouckere is on its way to becoming that all-purpose supermarket.  The products that it lacks can be found at other, smaller specialty shops elsewhere, while the selection of products it does carry among its expansive property is pretty impressive for Brussels standards.

Beyond the basic rice, sauces, and spices, this place (lovingly abbreviated as KY) has a fresh produce section filled with items that may be more difficult to find elsewhere, particularly all in one place.  The bean sprouts, Chinese broccoli, nappa cabbage, taro root, lotus root, Thai chilies, and other produce are available at the front, changing with the seasons.  Teas, curries, star anise, canned lychees,  and various condiments also line the shelves.  A variety of dried Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean noodles lie in the back, while my personal favorite of fresh Cantonese wide rice noodles sometimes is available in the refrigerator.  The frozen dim sum section is decent, though lacking, while the Japanese munchies in the back are a real pleasure (YanYans, roasted nori, and wasabi peas, anyone?).  Finally, if we want a steamer, wok, or chopsticks, we conveniently can find them here, too.

They’re even open on Sundays before 18h/6pm, competing with the nearby Delhaize.  Sometimes I don’t like shopping, but KY always makes doing it easier.  Be warned that the place gets packed on Saturday afternoons.

Kam Yuen Supermarket
Rue de la Vierge Noire 2

Products: A
Price: A
Atmosphere: C
Languages: French, Mandarin, Cantonese, English

Posted in Bang for your Buck, Home Sweet Home, Products to Pilfer | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »