Bite Me, Brussels.

Reviewing food for the foreigners, without all the fluff.

Posts Tagged ‘Japanese’

Japanese Noodles

Posted by rachelinbxl on October 27, 2013

Another interesting eatery has sprung up on a corner of the Flagey square. This is a really good area for choice of food. The Walk in Thai is a great, cheap thai eat-in/takeaway place, there’s Mama Roma’s, Les Super Filles du Tram (burger joint) and Quartier Libre (tapas), as well as Slurps and Dolma for the vegetarians.
The latest addition that we have tested is Unamido. Opened by a Belgian with a penchant for Japanese cuisine, this focuses on Ramen noodles – in their traditional broth. There is a veggie option, but the rest are served with pork neck and half a (perfectly) soft boiled egg. One can choose the addition to the broth – miso paste, soy sauce, spicy miso, pork fat etc. There is also a ‘Ramen of the week’. This was autumnm chestnut yesterday. I stuck to traditional – and went with miso. My friend took soy sauce.

Soy Ramen

Soy Ramen

Both were excellent. The noodles were al dente and freshly prepared. The pork neck is cold and added to the broth like that. There’s a lot of fat in it, but tasty. The egg, as mentioned, was perfectly cooked. Diners get chopsticks and a spoon in order to enjoy the broth and the contents. In addition to the basics, there were mangetout, spring onions and a few leaves of spinach. The broth was not overly salty (though the soy sauce one was clearly more salty than the miso), and well balanced in flavour. The portions were generous without being impossible to finish.

Miso Ramen

Miso Ramen

 

They serve a selection of Japanese beer, as well as hot or cold sake, but we didn’t sample those yesterday. The service was speedy and courteous and completely bilingual (in fact, the waitress and chef were discussing in English). The basic noodles are 13 euros per bowl. There was a lunch menu advertised with 3 gyozas and a bowl of ramen for 12 euros. Shame I can’t get to Flagey for lunch.
The chairs were not particularly comfy – one is not meant to sit and chat all evening. This is a quick eat joint – they do not seem to do takeaway. There was only one dessert option. But with Capoue ice cream next door, do you really need more?

In short – a good stop for Japanese noodles with no fuss. I only didn’t give As because I think it could be cheaper for a quick meal, or more comfy if you are meant to hang out longer. But it goes on my list of reliable places for good food near Flagey. It’s quite a long list..

Unamido
1 Chausee de Vleurgat, near Flagey
1050 Ixelles

Food B
Atmosphere: B
Service: B
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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All aboard for sushi in Leuven

Posted by rachelinbxl on September 2, 2011

  I think I have mentioned how much I adore sushi. I also used to live in Leuven, a pretty student town just 20 mins outside Brussels North station. Worth a visit, if you’ve never been, and home to my favourite sushi resto in Belgium (so far!) A friend of mine finished her Phd this year and was celebrating her last weekend in Belgium by eating in a few of our favourite places, so this is the 3 person boat from Inari sushi in Leuven. The spicy tuna is amazing – lovely the sesame and coriander dressing. They deep fry (tempura) some of their sushi rolls, as well as doing a roll with tempura shrimp (ebi) inside. The salmon and tuna sashimis are to die for, and the other couple of (unidentified) sashimi were interesting. One was more smoky – the other had a strong flavour and texture that was not really to my taste, but some might like it. There was far too little ginger on the boat, but they provided a large bowl on request, and your green tea is topped up with hot water for free (ask earlier, as it gets strong near the bottom, if like us you are taking a while to demolish the contents of the whole boat!). The service is friendly, the price is very reasonable for the great sushi on offer, and there is a good selection of non-fish dishes for the non-sushi lovers in your group (why, oh why though !)…

Reservation is a good idea. Promise to get back to Brussels cafes and restos soon, but in the mean time ‘Itatakimas!’

Inari Sushi
Parijsstraat 18
Leuven 3000

Food: A+
Atmosphere: B
Service: B+
Price: B
Languages: Dutch, English

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Going, going, GONG

Posted by rachelinbxl on May 27, 2010

The Gong restaurant next to the Ixelles cemetery was a lucky find on resto.be. I was looking for good, cheap-ish food near a friend in Ixelles and this one had the nicest website. On arrival, I discovered the major roadworks going on in the area. This meant the resto was much emptier than normal. In fact, there were only 3 groups in with us. So service was speedy and attentive. The menu had already looked very interesting online, a mix of Japanese dishes (sushi, sashimi and tempura – with some exotic twists), and more typical Vietnamese dishes. I chose the mixed tempura dish and my friend took the chicken with red curry and coconut. The dishes arrived very quickly. The mixed tempura had 2 mangetout peapods, one baby sweetcorn, one asparagus stick, a piece of pumpkin or sweet potato, an aubergine slice, a scallop, 2 prawns and one unidentified vegetable (yummy). This was served with a weak soy sauce, and horseradish. Each item was perfectly cooked and the tempura batter was crunchy. The only problem is eating fast enough to enjoy all items hot, whilst not feeling sick or not fully appreciating each flavour!
The chicken was grilled, with dried coconut and a piece of lotus root. The curry sauce was served on the side and was not overly spicy (or overly coconutty.. a slight disappointment, but nice to be able to choose the amount). Each was served with a pot of rice (not only plain white).
I forgot my camera, so I hope this is enough of a description.
We enjoyed both dishes and took a long pause before dessert to enjoy our wine. At this point, the owner (a lovely Vietnamese lady) came over to chat with us about how we had found the restaurant (and complain about the roadworks damaging business). Gong has only been open for 6 months bu has built up a name in the neighbourhood… I’d say it was justified. She was determined that we should try a dessert… and even brought the cakes over to show us. My friend chose a sort of pistachio bavarois, while I took omochi, a traditional japanese rice ball filled with red aduki bean paste. We each had these with black sesame ice cream.
At this point my friend remembered she could take a photo with her camera, so we have a picture of the amazing ice cream. it was a very unusual flavour, not overly sweet, but really really good!

Cake with black sesame ice cream

I really liked this restaurant. The decor is very zen -open and airy, tastefully decorated. Let me know what you think!

Restaurant Gong
489 Chaussee de Boondael
Ixelles

Food: A-
Atmosphere: A
Service: A-
Price: B+
Languages: French, English, Probably also Vietnamese!

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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

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