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.
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 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….
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)
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)
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…
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.
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.
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???
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