Another subject that I will talk about is restaurants. Even though I don´t go out a lot to have dinner at restaurants, I have a number of places in Brussels that I consider special and I hope that my tips will be useful for people visiting or living in the city.
I guess that my favorite place now a days is the Spanish tapas fishmonger at Place Ste Catherine. I don´t know the name exactly but it can be found opposite to NordZee. The NordZee is also a very good tapas place. It is so good that is crowded like hell on the weekends. Instead of having a Spanish approach, the NordZee is more of a European / Belgian cuisine.
So back to the Spanish tapas place… They have a different approach to the NordZee, mostly because they are … Spanish! By the way, both of these places are not restaurants. They are a “hole in the wall” where you will eat standing up – perfect for warm spring / summer days. Horrible in winter! 🙂
Most of their dishes are done in the “plancha”. There different pieces of fishes, squids, octopuses, and some strange creatures from the sea are fried on a fine Spanish olive oil and bell peppers. If you want some chilli can be added. The tastes are not advanced and complicated, but they are delicious!
Besides the dishes prepared in the plancha, they also have the most delicious fried calamari I have tasted in my life. It is fresh, dry and served accompanied by a delicious tartar sauce. This is a must try! Finally, they also serve a delicious fresh Sashimi, but pay attention to the fish spines as they are not Japanese sushi masters.
The best thing of the place is that it feels much more relaxed than the NordZee, which recently became the restaurant number 1 in Brussels on TripAdvisor. This means that not only locals are flocking the place, but also tourists. In the Spanish fishmonger there are no crazy lines and the service feels much warmer and pleasant. Prices are very acceptable and the dishes are between 6 and 15 euro. They also serve San Miguel Premium beer, which I find it a perfect match to the food. (I have a Spanish friend who says I am crazy for liking San Miguel … In Belgium! haha)
Here is a picture of their delicious squid + shrimp dish: