fish, chips and craft beer at The Black Sheep, Brussels

Earlier this week, while the weather was pretty fine (for Brussels standards) – M and I walked down to Flagey and just a little further on, we headed into The Black Sheep – a very recent establishment that has opened up in the area.

black sheep logo

Promising Fish&Chips and Craft Beers… we were both VERY eager to try them out … especially since they have been open since January and although I had walked & driven past the place, I had never before entered through their doors.

we grabbed one of these booths

we grabbed one of these booths

the bar area

the bar area

interior... and I LOVE the lights

interior… and I LOVE the lights

We sauntered in on a sunny day around 7pm to find that there was one other table occupied (a family)… and started to scour the menus that were left on each table….

black sheep menu black sheep food menu black sheep beer menu

After about 10 minutes, the only person working there came across to take our orders…. (in all fairness – he was in the process of taking delivery of beers, glassware, serving drinks to the other table and then rushing between the kitchen to fetch their orders)

Irish accent and having greeted us in English, made us forget where we were for a second… and we placed orders for 2 beers (neither of which are considered Craft in our vocab… but La Chouffe is one of my favourites & M was up for a bit of English Ale)

black sheep london pride ale black sheep choufee

The menu is somewhat limited…  Fish & Chips (3 varieties of ‘coating’), Chicken & Chips (2 varieties of ‘coating’) and then a selection of nibbles (all served with chips as well.

M’s first choice of Lemon & Basil Fish (fresh fish in panko Japanese style tempura, served with chips & homemade garlic & truffle sauce) was not available due to ingredients for the tempura not having being delivered. She therefore opted for the PIRIPIRI option (Fresh fish in panko breadcrumbs spiced with PiriPiri blend, served with chips & homemade PiriPiri sauce)

black sheep fish

I had seen a picture of their Mozzarella & Basil Drops (described as Velvety mozzarella in Basil & Panko crust served with homemade Tartare sauce – 7€) online and had been dreaming of it all afternoon… Sadly, they were somewhat disappointing, essentially balls of mozzarella fried (duh to me!) and lacking seasoning :( - I would say that if they had been served with a spicy salsa it might have worked better…

black sheep mozzarella balls

I also opted for the SPICY (Chicken strips in panko crust, spiced with PiriPiri blend, served with chips & homemade PiriPiri sauce) – which was excellent. The chicken was cooked perfectly – still succulent and juicy with a crispy coating… and the hand cut chips were soft on the inside and crispy on the outside.

black sheep chicken

There are 2 size options for the fish or chicken baskets (as everything is served in Eastern steam baskets) – a full PINT (6 pieces) for 12€ or a Half Pint (3 pieces) for 7€. We opted for the smaller options as we were having 3 baskets between us.

black sheep food

Would I go back? Most probably. I think that this place has HUGE potential… and must be a great on a busy weekend or evening - but as a new manager had JUST started that very day – there were a few teething issues that a new place might encounter that should definitely be improved upon (only toilet paper in the one ladies cubicle… the other was bare – which should never happen at 7pm) and as friendly as the lonely member of staff was – leaving your customers to sit and wait (and never checking to see if food is ok or if further drinks are required) is not good. And my final negative-ninny comment is that I really dislike the wooden knives & forks that are given … it makes eating out of the dim-sum type baskets difficult… and I opted to use my fingers rather.

All that said - I really and truly DO believe that a few minor adaptions and this place could be a new & fun watering hole for most of Brussels…. the fish/chips or chicken/chips were cheap and tasty… they have a wide range of beverages available and it is in a very convenient place.

Have you been? Am the only person who doesn’t like the wooden knives & forks concept???

black sheep cutlery

THE BLACK SHEEP

Address: 8 Chaussee de Boondael, 1050, Brussels, BELGIUM

telephone: +32 2 644 3803

no website – but they can be found on Facebook

Opening hours: Wed – Thu: 5:00 pm – 1:00 am; Fri – Sat: 5:00 pm – 3:00 am; Sun: 5:00 pm – 1:00 am

Burgers at Hard Rock Cafe (Brussels)

I remember when Hard Rock Cafe first opened in Cape Town… it was exciting… it was American… there were burgers & milkshakes… The only problem was that in South African currency – the menu prices were too high for the locals and of course, visiting tourists had a wide array of other foodie offerings available across the city at much more reasonable prices. So the concept in SA never really took off…

hard-rock-cafe-logo

That didn’t stop me from enjoying the experience in many other countries – including Bali (2000); Amsterdam (2009); Dublin (2010); Rome (2010); Prague (2011) and now Brussels (2014)!!

The entire concept is driven around music & musical memorabilia (with focus on rock ‘n roll – as well as a bit of Pop culture)…. walls adorned with records, photo’s, instruments, and even items of clothing…. from music legends… and as soon as you walk through the door – you are greeted in English and treated with American hospitality. (“Hi, my name is XXX and I will be your server today” – all said with a huge grin and bounce of the ponytail)

HIM and I were on our way to an afternoon movie in town and were looking for a quick burger lunch on the way…. when we walked past the Brussels HRC…  and I (almost) begged HIM to try it out…(please note that we almost missed it because the facade of the building is currently behind scaffolding)

This place was in demand – maybe because it was a Saturday or maybe because it is geographically so close to the Grand Place… or maybe, just maybe – because people want the whole experience? But we stood in a queue for a few minutes being told that there was a 5-10minute wait for a table unless we were willing to eat at the bar tables near the bar…we opted for this as time was of the essence for us.

walls filled with ROCK memorabilia

walls filled with ROCK memorabilia

The bar seating area has 4 high tables next to a bar stool level bench… and then bar stools facing them… and as comfortable as it was – the 4 tables were very close together – so once you are in… you are in!

Our waitress was a sweetie… bouncy, smiley and nothing being too much trouble! Offered us glassware to take home (at a price of course :)), showed us the brochure for the clothing portion of the shop (more $$ to be spent), etc… so let’s just say that Marketing is done really well in store!

HIM ordered a THE BIG CHEESEBURGER (an enormous burger patty topped with a choice of three thick slices of American, Monterey Jack, cheddar or Swiss cheese, served with crisp lettuce, vine-ripened tomato and red onion.)

hard rock cafe quarter pounder with cheese

And I ordered the CLASSIC BURGER (smaller burger patty, topped with crisp lettuce, vine-ripened tomato and red onion and I added a slice of cheddar to it)

hard rock cafe burger

Now comes the real crunch… I loved this burger because the bun was so soft and light… although next time - I would definitely go for the bigger size burger patty option – while the only complaint that HIM had about the burger was that the bun was too soft & crumbly…  which means that the thing that I loved about it was the exact same thing that put him off! Go figure… and now it explains why we have such differing views on our “favourite” burger place…

hard rock cafe burger 2

In terms of the sides – the container of fries was perfectly portioned and came with a bowl of mayo… but the plate really lacked a little bit of garnish or something… or maybe it is just me? maybe I am turning into a rabbit???

Our total bill for 2 cold drinks & 2 burgers was 34€ – so not too badly priced (and of course they don’t serve Coke – but rather Pepsi…. and in very tall glasses stacked with ice making them deliciously cool but it does make you think twice about how much liquid is actually water based & how much is the cold drink – although, having said that – even as a thirsty drinker, I didn’t need a second one!)

hard rock cafe pepsi

Would I go back – yes… the table next door to us ordered the GRILLED NORWEGIAN SALMON (salmon wrapped in cedar paper, grilled tender and drizzled with sweet and spicy barbecue sauce served with Golden mashed potatoes and seasonal veggie) and it looked SO moreish… while the table on the other side was nibbling away at SPINACH ARTICHOKE DIP and parmesan flatbread (which has got me salivating just writing about it)… so the other food options would definitely encourage me to return in order to do further sampling :)

I also believe that the main reason to go back (or go for the first time) is for the no-nonsense, no-frills Burger & Grill kind of offering – in a fun (American/English-speaking) environment, with friendly staff.

HARD ROCK CAFE

address: Grand-Place 12a, 1000, Brussels, BELGIUM

telephone: +32 2 546 16 60

website

Apricot Jam Biscuits

Last week – I had a fit of nostalgia…. and was craving biscuits that my granny used to make… chocolate coconut biscuits (aka just like Romany Creams), cherry biscuits and of course – her apricot jam squares… but I didn’t have the actual recipe….

After a discussion with Mommabear – she used the google-web to source me a similar type recipe and reminded me – “either use desiccated coconut OR grate the rest of the dough on top!”

Wise words from a wise woman!

My problem was that it was 9pm on a thursday night… and although I had the “craving” – my effort input levels were not that high … which is why an easy biscuit recipe was still do-able!

I adapted the recipe by using 3/4 of the dough for the base (instead of half) and then mixing in a cup of desiccated coconut into the other 1/4 dough to make the topping. The dough however was quite wet – so grating was not an option and I finally resorted to rolling out pieces to place on top of the jam layer! (lazy – I know – especially when I could have just added more flour…)

as nice as these were (and HIM really enjoyed them because they were so sweet due to the jam – and kept refering to it as “cake” :)) – I would probably continue the search for a recipe that reflected what my granny used to make!

Apricot Jam Biscuits

apricot jam biscuits final

2 cups of flour
2 tablespoons sugar
60ml water
1 egg
125g butter (softened)
8ml baking powder
JAM
1 cup desiccated coconut

apricot jam biscuits ingredients apricot jam biscuits ingredients 2

  • Sift baking powder & flour together
  • apricot jam biscuits bowls
  • rub softened butter into mixture to make crumbs
  • apricot jam biscuits dough
  • beat egg & water together & then add to dough mixture
  • Mix until it forms a tight dough
  • Use 3/4 of it – roll out to make the base of your biscuits
  • Spread half a jar of jam across the top
  • apricot jam biscuits pre-oven
  • Mix the rest of the dough with the coconut & crumbly/roll out and place on top of the jam layer
  • Bake at 180C for 20-30min
  • apricot jam biscuits 1

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Beautiful Fruit Salad

As some of you might know… I love cheese.

Now you are thinking… “What does cheese have to do with fruit salad?”… right?

Well – truth be told – HIM got given a Raclette machine for his birthday last year (something that I have fallen in love with ever since I experience that first melted cheese meal experience)… and since then – we have actively made use of it at least once a month since October (if not more).

For those who are not aware – Raclette is actually the word that describe the scraper that is used to move the melted cheese out of the little pan onto your plate… but to break it down… think LOADS of melty cheese (flavoured/seasoned with black pepper, herbs, mustard, etc)… that you place into your individual pan (with or without other items – I love to add thinly sliced mushrooms & paprika to mine – but most people keep it simple)… you then place this pan under the grill (the machine normally situated in the middle of the table) … and when it starts to bubble and get golden – you slide it off (with the help of your wooden raclette) onto your plate.

Raclette-cooker

Now the interesting part is what else is on your plate… normally boiled new potatoes, slices of bread, salad, etc… and our latest discovery is roasting butternut & adding to cooked broccoli (making your very own cheesy broccoli concoction) – plus of course using the stone above the grill to cook veggies & loads of meat!

But the thing about an evening of Raclette & entertaining is that after about 6 (or more) pieces of cheese – the thought of dessert is daunting… so the secret is finding something light but refreshing to serve….

This fruit salad is super duper easy, looks beautiful and was a pleasure to consume ;)

Fruit Salad

fruit salad 4

3 Kiwi fruit

1 Mango

1 punnet of raspberries

1 punnet of blueberries

half a pomegranate, seeded

1 orange, squeezed

1/2 cup of Port (optional)

  • Peel & slice Kiwi’s & mango
  • Wash the raspberries & blueberries & add
  • Cut and de-seed the pomegranate (you want to keep the seeds!)
  • Place all of this together & pour over the juice of one orange
  • Refrigerate for at least one hour (nothing like the crispy cold fruit)
  • Just before serving (ours served 5) – add a glug of port of each portion

fruit salad 2 fruit salad 1 fruit salad 5

Burgers at L’Amour Fou

L’Amour Fou (otherwise known as “Crazy Love”) is a trendy (hipster-ish) spot on Fernand Cocq (almost directly opposite the Ixelles commune buildings).

The restaurant had been recommended to me by a vegetarian colleague who stated that they had the best burgers in Brussels. I raised my eyebrows on this – as what does a veggie know about burgers… right?

WRONG – her man is a food gourmand, running a catering business and they both have some serious food knowledge between them… PLUS she did go into a long description of how everything was homemade at L’Amour Fou (from the buns to the patties)… AND that they had 3 amazing veggie burgers available (not those “veggie patties” that you buy in the frozen food section that look & taste like fake meat… but combinations like POPEYE = Spinach/goat’s cheese/rocket/apple/beetroot/cashew nuts or the Portobello = mushrooms/goat’s cheese/hazelnuts/mayonnaise/rocket/oak leaf lettuce/carrot/balsamic reduction… which is enough to make any meat-eater consider the veggie route!)

l amour fou menu

Since Angela had just returned from a recent trip to the US and of course being American herself – I really felt that she would be a good foodie partner to discern whether their statement of being the Brussels version of American diner was true, and to help me discover if their burgers were really as good as everyone claimed them to be.

l amour fou interior

I made a reservation (which I heard was also a MUST because they get so busy)… for which I was grateful as we got there at 7pm to find that the place was half packed already.

Tables are pretty close to each other – but nothing that I couldn’t bear.

The staff were pretty friendly & efficient. Trip Advisor has very mixed reviews of the service offering – and I have to admit that we did not experience any bad service at all… Having said that – we did get served by 2 different guys during the course of a 2hr sitting, which was a little confusing… but both of them were charming and switched between French & English for both of us.

a little nibble while you wait

a little nibble while you wait

Angela opted for the SMASH burger (Beef patty, mayonnaise, oak leaf lettuce, mustard, cured ham, rocket, Orval cheese, avocado, cherry tomatoes 15,50€) served new potatoes & carrot salad. This burger was devoured hungrily – but I know that she eyed my frites longingly… and we eventually shared out the potatoes on each of our plates :)

SMASH... now that I look back I don't see the carrots....??

SMASH… now that I look back I don’t see the carrots….??

and I had the BLEU (Beef patty, creamy blue cheese, rocket, apple, walnuts, bacon 15.50€) served with frites & salad. I have to admit that the apple addition was delightful, the bacon was the perfect crispness… but the burger was a little overcooked for me (I like mine pink – but in hindsight – we had never stated how we wanted our burgers to be done)… and the blue cheese was on the thin side. Don’t get me wrong – the burger was great… as were the hand cut chips…  but a smidgen more of the blue cheese flavour would have taken this burger from a 8/10 to a 9/10 for me.

l amour fou bleu burger 2

l amour fou bleu burger

GET INTO MY BELLY…..

All in all – this is a place that I would definitely want to head back to… as their entreés sounded very appealing, as did their salads… and of course – there are 2 pages of burgers to try out (from meat to lamb to salmon and of course those decidedly appetizing veggie options)

They quote the following on their menu’s in French & in English, all of which is enough to make you want to smile, nod & return….

We work with fresh and quality products
Our burger buns are homemade
Our burger meat is grounded every morning
Our sauces are natural and without preservatives
Our fries are homemade
We offer the only homemade Banoffee Pie in Brussels
Our finger food is homemade
We have brunches every weekend and bank holiday.

Have you been there? What was your impression?

L’AMOUR FOU

address: 185 Chaussée d’Ixelles, 1050, Brussels, BELGIUM

telephone: +32 2 325 7353

http://www.lamourfou.be/en/

have you heard of Secret EATS?

I have watched this concept since the inception of it… especially considering that one of my favourite food bloggers was the first chef cook to provide a 3 course meal for them.

And here I mean Candice of A Gorgeous Life - probably one of the most influential bloggers in MY blogging life… and I have watched how her evolution of her original blog A Gorgeous Gourmet has blossomed into a lifestyle, travel, food & experience blog…. and she has maintained all of this with humble sense of decorum. (yes… I am girl/food blogger crushing now… but it is the same way that most of us feel about Nigella… so don’t judge me (much) :))

Back to the concept…

secret eats

SECRET EATS has been providing a bold & brilliant idea of sharing meals in a secret venue… no idea what the food will be, where it will be or who you will be seated next to… Kind of exciting, eh?

They have provided dining venues that include art galleries, private homes and abandoned warehouses. From eating underground to eating in a private mountain cellar and lets not forget the Castle experience (the venue, not the beer)… which I watched 12,000km away via twitter & facebook (while being seriously jealous!).

this isn’t just any old pop-up restaurant – this is a whole new kind of fun night out!

And I wont even go into the details of how many different cooks & chefs that they have managed to secure… but let’s just say that every dish that has been served up has had a 5star rating!

They are just over 1year old… and are offering the opportunity for YOU to win 2 seats at one of their dinners…

Awesome right? Plus the fact that I am in Cape Town for 2weeks in May… means that I am hoping that one of their dinners will *pop up* during this time period and that I can FINALLY attend one of them!

secret eats contest

Details of the contest are here

For more general details, check out their websitetwitter or facebook account

Cinnamon Swirl Buns (SRC)

woohoo – it is SRC time again!

SRC-logo-440

A reminder to those who are not aware of The SRC (The Secret Recipe Club) concept:

Think of a recipe-swap blogger community – whereby each blogger in a group gets assigned another bloggers website on a certain day each month, with the main task of trying out one of the recipes. Then writing about it, photographing it & sharing it – but only on the special “REVEAL” day…. so there is much anticipation of seeing who got your blog and what they decided to make from it… and of course, seeing all the other bloggers in your group publish mouth-watering recipes from each other!

It is truly what I would call a community-building initiative amongst food bloggers worldwide!

So I was excited to see that the I got The Heritage Cook as my assignment… Jane Bonacci, a native Californian, has a passion for cooking, baking & writing. She has titles that extend from food & travel writer, recipe developer, event manager, editor and tester to passionate cook & baker… so I just KNEW that I would find multiple recipes on her site that I would be drooling over!

Another inspiring fact about Jane (The Heritage Cook) is that when she found out that she was gluten-intolerant in 2012, she didn’t give up on her kitchen passion – she just adapted it and therefore she has an amazing array of gluten-free recipes!! (you can find tmore details under her “gluten-free” tab)

However – the recipe that I am about to share with you… is not gluten-free…. but it is delicious!!

I adapted the recipe by adding in a cup of mixed dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, sultana’s)… and I omitted the icing (as I am not a fan of icing and I really felt that the rolls/buns were sweet enough without it!)

Cinnamon Swirl Buns

chelsea bun final

Rolls

170g butter
¾ cup milk
½ cup sugar
2 Tablespoons dry yeast
1 cup water
3 eggs
5 to 6 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup mixed fruit

Filling

1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
120g butter

chelsea buns mix 1

  • Heat butter, milk, and sugar until butter is melted. Leave to cool until to lukewarm
  • chelsea bun butter
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt.
  • Add cooled butter, yeast, water, mixed fruit and eggs into a large bowl (as I don’t have a kitchen-aid or magi-mix… this was all done by hand!)
  • chelsea bun dry
  • Mix together ingredients – until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowls….
  • Place into a lightly greased bowl, cover with a clean towel and leave to rise in a warm area for 1hr (until doubled in size)
  • While the dough is rising – time to make the filling.
  • Combine sugar, cinnamon & softened butter together
  • Place dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out to make a rectangle (approx.. 30cm x 23cm)
  • chelsea bun dough chelsea bun dough 2
  • Smear the filling mixture across the dough (leaving an 2cm uncovered around all edges)
  • chelsea bun with butter sugar
  • From the long edge, roll the dough together (like a swiss roll J)
  • chelsea bun roll
  • Using a sharp knife, slice approx. 12 even pieces
  • Place rolls cut-size on a greased baking tray with edges touching
  • chelsea bun pan pre-oven 3
  • chelsea bun pan pre-oven 1
  • Leave to rise for approx. 1hr
  • Bake at 180C for 15-20min or until golden

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Date night at Le Bugatti

Saturday 29th April proved to be a foodie heaven day!

Not only did I get the chance to mingle with some of the most amazing Belgian Food bloggers at the first #BxlFF event (see who attended here) - but I also got to taste test the Cube Cakes at The Hotel as part of the event (you can read my review here)… and then… that evening was devoted to HIM and date night.

Some of you are aware – but HIM and I have a bit of a clashing calendar… I work Monday-Friday 8am until 5pm, while he works Monday-Friday starting around 5pm-midnight (or later)… therefore, during the week, we rarely see each other in the evenings (unless I go to the restaurant for a bowl of Pasta – which I probably do once a week… but he is working… so I try not to get in the way). Plus – when HIM gets home, I am normally already asleep and when I get up, he is asleep… sometimes one of us opens an eyelid and gives a little grin to the other… and then promptly drift back into Zzzz.

THEREFORE, our weekends are really special to us, and although we try to ensure that we enjoy time with our friends, we also make sure that we have at least one part of the weekend just for us.

And henceforth… DATE NIGHT concept was put into action… no phones, no iPads, no tv… no distractions… an evening out for just the 2 of us. Sometimes our “Date” time is just sitting in a movie theatre holding hands… and then dissecting the story afterwards while sitting on the bus… and other times, we actually get out to a nice (new for us) restaurant, where we can sip wine, hold hands across the table and really chat.

(yes – I am blessed and as some would say… still in the honeymoon phase… but we agreed when we got married that we would ensure that date night would continue to be a part of our life, even when we have the little pitter patter of feet around us)

Right – I digress…

Date night this month was at LE BUGATTI - a fabulous authentic Belgian restaurant just off Vleurgat in Ixelles.

source: TripAdvisor

source: TripAdvisor

We had made a reservation for 7.30pm and were still the first people to arrive… but that didn’t stop the folks working there from welcoming us in with warm smiles and showing us to a delightful little round booth table in the corner.

our corner table was the round one on the right. PHOTO SOURCE: TripAdvisor

our corner table was the round one on the right.
PHOTO SOURCE: TripAdvisor

The decor is fantastic… boasting 25years of authenticity

how cute is this place?

how cute is this place?

And the murals of cars are reminiscent of the fact that this spot used to be a private garage from 1885 (annex of the mansion).

le bugatti mural le bugatti mural 2 le bugatti interior

HIM & I decided to share a mixed duet of homemade shrimp croquette & a parmesan cheese croquette served with fried parsley (13€)

le bugatti croquette 2

the round one was cheese & the long one was shrimp... Mmm

the round one was cheese & the long one was shrimp… Mmm

HIM opted for his favourite… Sausages & Stoemp (mashed potatoes) for 13.00€, which he thoroughly enjoyed.

le bugatti stoemp le bugatti stoemp 2

And I had been salivating over the idea of a steak – so I ordered the Chateaubriand which was served with Roquefort sauce, vegetables and frites (23.50€)… and honestly… I can tell you that it actually melted in my mouth – it was SO GOOD… I would probably even go as far as to say that it might just be the best steak that I have eaten in Brussels!

Real potato ....

Real potato ….

best steak EVER....

best steak EVER….

Their menu is so typically Belgian – that you could order anything from Mussels (only when in Season) to Eels in Green sauce to Veal kidneys served with Juniper berries, a Rabbit stew or even Steak Americaine (aka Tartare).

yummy table...

yummy table…

At this point – our little bellies were full and we were happy…. and couldn’t even dream of eating anything further.

Would I go back? In a heartbeat! As already mentioned – this was probably one of the best serviced restaurants from a staff point of view – as they were friendly, engaging, multi-lingual and just the kind of folk that you want to ask to sit down and join you for a glass of wine, because they are so nice! The food was delicious (n0t necessarily cheap but definitely worth every penny)… and it is in wonderful walking distance!

LE BUGATTI

address: 4 rue Jacques Jordaens, 1050, Brussels, BELGIUM

telephone: +32 2 646 1417

email: lebugatti@gmail.com

website: www.lebugatti.eu

Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday evenings 19h00-22h30 and Wednesday-Friday lunchs 12h00-14h30

lunching at The Loft

Just prior to the Brussels Food Friends Event on Saturday 21st April… the organising team meet up for some last-minute administration and organisational discussion (i.e. drinking & eating)….

Somewhere nearby The Hotel… so that we could have a quick catch up, calm our nerves & basically just get ourselves ready for A-C-T-I-O-N!

We stumbled across a place called The Loft – which had been given rave reviews for their cocktail specials (mid-week post-work 2-for-1 kind of specials) – plus we had been discussing hamburgers all day… so having seen these on the menu displayed at the door – we were sold.

loft interior 1

We were pretty much the only patrons in the place… but given that the weather was so FANTASTIC, and that the venue didn’t offer outdoor seating – this was probably the reason that people were not there – rather opting for outdoor terraces to soak up the sun.

loft interior 2

After being ignored for a decent amount of time & then being treated to what can only be described as a certain level of disdain – our waiter deemed it appropriate to take our orders.

And then disappeared for 20min while it was being prepared (now, that I think back… maybe he was fulfilling dual roles??? :))

3 hamburgers & 2 salads….

All 3 hamburgers were ordered to be cooked medium… and I was the lucky winner…as only one of them was pink (mine)… while the other 2 were on the gray side…. Sadly – the poor buns had probably seen better days earlier in the week and mine was toasted to a level that even rice-crackers can’t achieve. The frites & side salad were good.

loft burger

I have to say that the Caprese salad looked amazing

loft caprese salad

but the poor Caesar salad have never been to Rome… with boiled eggs & tomatoes plus hardly any dressing.

loft caesar salad

I am probably being a bit on the harsh side for this review – but considering the service & amazing cube-cakes that we were served a few hours later… and then HIM and I having dating night that same day (that also provided amazing food & excellent service)… I can truly look back on our lunchtime experience at The Loft and say that I was disappointed.

Have you been there? Have you had a different & more rewarding experience?
Please leave me a comment if you have…

The Loft

address: 51 rue de Namur, 1000, Brussels, BELGIUM

telephone: +32 02 511 5211

Cube Cakes at The Hotel (with #BxlFF)

Brussels Food Friends (BFF or BXLFF as we hashtaged) hosted their first food blogger meet-up this past weekend at the magnificent “The Hotel” – and let’s just say it…. “if it was good enough for President Obama… then it was more than good enough for us!”

the hotel bar area table

name badges

We were really and truly treated to an afternoon of luxury & decadence… seated in the Bar Lounge area… 25 Belgian based food bloggers got to mingle with each other… as well as with the creative chef genius known as Pierre Balthazar (of The Restaurant) & his patissier Claudio Renzi.

Patis Claudio

Patissier Claudio Renzi

Chef Pierre Balthazar explaining the Cube Cake Concept

Chef Pierre Balthazar explaining the Cube Cake Concept

We were presented with a wide array of choices in their sumptuous Cube Cakes:

cakes 2 cakes 1 cake plate

Red = yoghurt with raspberry
Green = pistachio with strawberry
Orange = chocolate with orange
White = vanilla with green apple and white chocolate
Yellow = passion fruit with mango and white chocolate
Purple = blackberry with lemon and dark chocolate

I tried the White & Green options and have to say that I am 110% won over by the vanilla & green apple combination… DELISH! (particularly as there are hidden chocolate covered puff balls in the green apple centre that just “pop” in your mouth… Mmmm)

my plate

We were also presented with the opportunity to taste-test 3 new cube cake flavours:

White chocolate with pistachio and red fruit
Dark chocolate with kumquat and litchi cream
Milk chocolate with coconut and pineapple

new cakes set up

Of which I can confess being tempted to lick the plate of the Dark chocolate & kumquat offering… (and even as delicious as this option was – I felt that the vanilla cube still held a big part of my stomach heart!)

"kiss me".... ok :)

“kiss me”…. ok :)

If you are interested in seeing the photo’s of the entire event – they can be found on the Brussels Food Friends Facebook Page

Not only was The Hotel & The Restaurant amazing hosts for the event – but this venue continues to shine as a beacon of trust when it comes to excellence in food & service.

A gigantic thank you to The Hotel for hosting… as well as to the generous sponsors who provided items for the goodies bags… but lastly… none of this would have been possible without the actual attendee’s on the day!

these goodie bags were fan-tab-ulous...

these goodie bags were fan-tab-ulous…

I should have been a chef... cos I rock this hat :)

I should have been a chef… cos I rock this hat :)

the Fab Five organising team with Claudio....

the Fab Five organising team with Claudio….

#BXLFF bloggers....

#BXLFF bloggers…. – March 2014