Bite Me, Brussels.

Reviewing food for the foreigners, without all the fluff.

Posts Tagged ‘duck’

Ugly But Tasty Duck

Posted by Pi on November 30, 2009

Brings new meaning to “ugly duckling”.  Fowl, but not foul, fortunately.

This take-home roasted duck (13 euros) from the small Vietnamese grocer Xuan Minh can look a little unsettling, but when heated in the oven you will forget all that.  The meat has a great flavor with the right amount of saltiness and meatiness.  Being duck, it also has lots of fat that not only helped the duck float when alive but also helps the meat taste like poultry’s glorious version of bacon after some crisping in the oven.  Sticklers for health can scrape off all the skin, too, of course, but that’s no fun.

I tried to take a photo from the side that wasn’t cut into, so that it wouldn’t look so unappealing, but you can still see it.  Oops.  Anyway, whatever, it’s roasted duck on a plate, not the Mona Lisa.  What can you do, put glitter on it in the shape of a smiley face?  If you like duck or other Vietnamese produce, check this place out.

Xuan Minh
Avenue Georges Henri 31, Woluwe

Languages: French, Vietnamese

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Sweet and salty Peking duck

Posted by Pi on March 23, 2009


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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Let’s eat cow stomach!

Posted by Pi on January 18, 2009

Hong Kong Delight
Rue Sainte-Catherine, 35
1000 Brussels

This relatively small and austere establishment is about as close as you can get to good and authentic Cantonese cuisine in the city of Brussels.  It’s great for Belgian standards but lacks the best quality found elsewhere.

However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go to at least try something you can’t get anywhere else.  Try the cow stomach and jellyfish (each 6-10 eu), for example.

The beef tripe was perfectly tender and not chewy at all, and the jellyfish, or meduse, mixed with cucumber and carrot also had that great crunch you can’t find with any other food.  For these and other more common dishes, perhaps with stir-fried beef, chicken, or vegetables (9-14 eu), the flavors always shout — almost too much, in fact.  All their food tends to be two shades too salty for my tastes.  I wonder if that’s just me, or if the cooks try to cater to the locals who want loads of sodium.  When I asked for extra spicy flavors, they did deliver, though, and I appreciate the care taken for my order.

While not the best Hong Kong food in the world, it at least has the honor of being the best in Brussels that I’ve found so far.  The attentive service makes up for some of the problems it may have in the food, or in the surroundings that feature hanging roasted duck.  When I try the roasted meats to-go one day, I’ll be sure to review them here.

Food: B
Price: A-
Service: A
Atmosphere: B
Languages spoken:  Cantonese, Mandarin, French, English

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