The 2nd #BxlFF event was recently hosted at Hotel Bloom… (see details & photo’s on the Brussels Food Friends Website – here) and we really felt like this community is starting to grow its own set of legs with more than 35 attendee’s at the second event (almost double the size of the first event)… and interest from everyone to attend a 3rd event (likely to be held mid October).
But the main purpose of this blog post is not to promote our beloved #BxlFF - but to describe my (personal) experience when the organising team of #BxlFF returned to the Hotel – and more specifically, the hotel’s restaurant, SMOODS, 2 weeks later. (this is where I should probably put in a disclaimer that the opinions mentioned below are wholly mine…. and not of anyone elses:))
I do, however, have to start off by mentioning that I have been super busy at work for the last month, with a fair amount more travelling than normal… and that I might not have been in the best mood on the day of the visit… with this said – let me begin:
An email had been sent to the restaurant requesting a reservation for 4ppl at 7.30pm on a specific evening (no mention of the bloggers group or even that any one of us was a blogger – essentially, just a normal everyday persons request for a table). A response came through swiftly pointing out that their normal menu was not available – and that they only had a summer menu available – but that our reservation was confirmed.
I thanked & re-confirmed the reservation & also asked for a copy of the summer menu… which was sent through a week later, 20minutes before we were to arrive at the restaurant… so not entirely helpful.
When we arrived…we were told that no reservations were kept in Summer and that we could sit anywhere… thankfully, as the restaurant was relatively empty, this meant that getting a table was easy.
The style inside SMOODs is funky… different sections decorated differently & providing very different “ambiance” feelings depending on where you sit (either at the couches or the tables)
We ordered a bottle of Cava (directly from the bar as there is no table service available – although staff do meander around) and settled down to look at their Summer menu.. A concept of “Tick/Design your own” salad or pasta…
- Firstly – pick your base: Pasta (linguine, penne or tagliatelle) or salad (rucola (aka rocket) or iceberg or young leaves)
- Secondly – pick your meat/fish/cheese option
- Thirdly – pick up to 4 vegetables
- Finally – pick a sauce
All this for 10,50€ – which isn’t a bad price at all!
The 4 of us sat around, heavily concentrating while we completed our forms – feeling like we were completing exam papers (tick or cross???)… and finally peering over to each others to see what other combinations had been created! (Reminder: don’t forget to place your name on the top!)
These paper orders needed to be taken to the bar… we were unaware that we needed to pre-pay for our food with our order… so back to the table & rifling through handbags & purses to get the exact money, finally sending one delegate back to the bar… (Sadly – one of our group tried to use their restaurant luncheon vouchers to pay - which was a no… then her bank contact maestro card – also a no… and finally settled on putting 10,50€ on her credit card as she didn’t have cash).
The pasta’s arrived… we did the obligatory instagram photo shots… and settled down to eat…
Sadly… being the day it was (for me)… meant that my dish came with only half of my choices… no goats cheese… the disappointment was visible on my face & the waiter quickly returned with the goats cheese with apologies on behalf of the chef. I tucked in and realised that the garlic & coriander selections were also missing but felt even worse to “ask again”… so I left it.
after – with goats cheese
Would I return… Sadly – for their summer menu, no. I have a nearby local for a bowl of pasta… BUT I have been to their restaurant before for the normal menu & have experienced excellent service & food – so for that reason alone, I would return during normal periods (aka outside of the silly-summer season)
address: Hotel BLOOM, Rue Royale 250 Koningsstraat – 1210 Brussels
telephone: +32 (0)2 220 66 66