Mr Draper, M and I went out for dinner last night… to a wonderful little Lebanese tapas restaurant just off Flagey, in Ixelles. (Sadly, I can’t remember who recommended this place to me via twitter… and on a previous attempt to get in here without a reservation was impossible…. so this time – I was far more prepared… because I actually made a reservation!)
C’Chicounou is more than just a tapas bar (opened just under a year ago) - with a young chef of only 24years old, Georges, provides what can only be described as a delectable, mouth-watering and rewarding experience! (I am going to gush a little bit here – because this is REALLY a top contender in my books for NEW favourite Restaurant!)
We got there early-ish (7pm)… and where kindly shown to our table.
The place was empty to start with, but filled up pretty quickly after that (probably because the place is THAT good)… and the actual ambiance of the place is funk & quirky… with unvarnished wooden panels on the walls, musician faces painted on barrels… and what can only be described as an eclectic taste in music.
Our Waiter was a darling… even switched into english for us – and was friendly and super efficient.
We started off with a bottle of Syrah at 17,50€, which we considered as VERY reasonable (so much so – that we had to indulge in a second bottle!)
We opted for 3 of the cold tapas options: Moutabale (Eggplant caviar with sesame, garlic, cumin and lime 6,90€); Fatouche (Salad with toast, tomato, radish, parsley, olive oil and lime 6,20€) and labneh (Cottage cheese with dried mint, garlic, sumac and drizzle of olive oil 4,90€) – YUM YUM YUM….
and then we ordered 5 of the hot tapas options: Batata Hara (Fried potatoes, sweet chilli sauce, dried coriander, garlic and green citron 4,90€); Halloumi Grillé (5.70€), Arayess Maria (Bread (more like wraps) stuffed with spiced beef, parsley and onions. Grilled over a wood fire 6,90€), Soudjouk (Beef sausages and lamb slightly spicy fried lime and pomegranate juice 6,90€) and Falafel (balls made of dry beans & chick peas, cilantro 5,70€)
The item that I wouldn’t order again was the Arayess Maria (personal choice)… but we loved the Batata Hara & Grilled Halloumi so much, that we re-ordered second portions of them!
Would I go back? ABSOLUTELY… already trying to work out when I can take HIM! My suggestion would be to start with 2-3 plates per person (mixing both cold & hot tapas) and keep re-ordering if you are still hungry!
There is only one caution… if you are not a lover of garlic… then this might not be the place for you…. if however, you are like me and adore the stuff – then by all means… GO! And a final parting thought - that I absolutely loved about the dishes was the use of the pomegranate seeds… delicious little red jewel of sweetness bursting in my mouth … MMMmmm
address: 29 rue de la Levure, 1050, Ixelles, Brussels, BELGIUM
telephone: +32 2 644 1025
Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 12h00-15h00 & 18h00-22h30; Sat: 18h00-22h30