Saturday, 23 April 2016

Hana (rue Saint Boniface)

When faced with every restaurant blogger's least favourite question - 'What places to eat do you recommend?' - I've started to give increasingly vague answers. Not the rue des Bouchers, of course. The rue de Flandres, though, is a good bet. Or, further away from tourist central, the place Saint Boniface. I've had good and indeed very good experiences in its environs and I can't think of anywhere in Brussels that matches it for sheer variety of different cuisines, from traditional Belgian to African to Asian, including one of Brussels' few Korean restaurants, Hana.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Antas (chaussée de Wavre)

It is not often that Sunday lunch brings you face to face with existential despair, but then Antas turned out to be exceptional in several ways: exceptionally good food, exceptionally slow service, and exceptionally disturbing menu art (see below: I found the 'screaming mouth' on the right hand side especially striking, though the dead-eyed mask on the left is still haunting me too). A slightly mysterious enterprise in several ways - it's very close to the place Jourdan but the restaurant entrance is well hidden within a takeaway pizza outlet - it's not like anywhere I have visited in Brussels or, indeed, elsewhere.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Au Vatel (place Jourdan)

I've previously reviewed other establishments on place Jourdan, but it took me a while to realise that Au Vatel wasn't just an upmarket bakery selling intricate cakes and also offers sit-down meals. It has the feel of an Etterbeek institution (albeit one that appears to have gone bankrupt in 2014 - strangely, I can't find any reports of the recovery it must have experienced since then).
In order to eat in you walk past that tempting cabinet of pastries and to a seating area at the back; there are windows but they don't really have much of a sky view, so the space is slightly dark and some of the furniture is a bit too close together. This definitely feels like a bakery with tables rather than a café. Oddly, this distinction was also reflected in the people serving: those behind the bakery counter (where you pay) seemed more jolly and engaging than the waiting staff.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Manhattn's Burgers (rue Henri Maus/avenue Louise)

I have a confession to make: I don't really like the idea of burger places. When I go out to eat I like choice, uncertainty, a bit of mystery even. I'm not that excited by restaurants that offer variations on one meal. Still, the high-end fast food joint trend of the 2010s has clearly reached Brussels, and one day (fortunately when I wasn't doing any proofreading work) I had the chance to visit Manhattn's (sic) Burgers.