EAT! Brussels is Brusselicious

What a brilliant idea… and I am super duper thrilled that I got my tickets for opening night in order to meet up with fellow English speaking – Brussels Bloggers, JessinBelgium and BestofBrussels for a night of gastronomy under the stars…

Well – almost under the stars… more like under the under the grey clouds… But within an hour of arriving the clouds seemed to disappear and suddenly it was perfect outdoor weather!! (Well done to Jess for predicting this improved weather forecast!)

the clouds will soon disappear

The EAT! Brussels 4day Festival  starting on Thursday 13th September and lasting until Sunday 16th September 2012, showcases marvellous tastings from 30 restaurants in the Bois de la Cambre  – entrance is free and dishes start from as little at 6Euros.

These 7 regions were Quebec (Canada), Sichaun (China), Katanga (DRC), Budapest (Hungary), Beijing (China), Sofia (Bulgaria) & Kiev – all of which were highlighted due to their partnerships with Belgium!

smart (excuse the pun) token booths

I had pre-bought my ticket (30Euros and was entitled to 30 tokens and 2 glasses of Brut Champagne… Yippeee yeah)…

pink could become my new favourite colour, especially if it equals food and champagne!

and this is how I spent it:

Firstly, a stop at the Laurent-Perrier Champagne bar for one of my complimentary glasses of bubbles (can you see my grin from here????)

Hello my friend!!!

Second stop was to Ricotta & Parmesan restaurant stand for their delicious Risotto with crayfish & foie gras! This was without a doubt a highlight for me! I was their very first customer and they explained their restaurant concept to me (a “pick and mix” pasta & sauce concept), gave me a brochure and a voucher that can be redeemed on my next birthday… and all in all – a place that I look forward to visiting again! (Ricotta & Parmesan, 4 rue Saint-Boniface, 1050 Brussels +32 2 502 0008)

the Foie-gras on top is the PERFECT compliment to this dish!

From here, I moved across to one of the Partner Regions tents – Sichuan where the Chengdu Catering Company made me feel like a VIP! After a wonderful chat with them and a few photo’s with their chefs – I tried out their Braised Spareribs with a sweet and sour sauce… and you know what… they were more-ish… I could have stayed there the whole evening and just eaten their food and enjoyed their friendly demeanour… (www.daronghe.cn )

ribs and jasmine tea… Mmmmm

And although they don’t have a restaurant in Brussels (they do have over 30 in China) – they were brought over by the Department of External Relations for the Ministry of Brussels… how cool is that?

A walk from here, had me at the Chalet Robinson booth…. and although I have already visited them in the past for a friend’s wedding reception (as seen in this post), I can never resist the offer of Lobster/Crayfish!!! Homemade Lobster croquettes with lime… (Chalet Robinson,  Bois de la Cambre, Sentier de l’Embarcadére 1, 1000, Brussels +32 2 372 92992)

decisions decisions

Directly across the open space, I found my last and final plate of yummy food for the day… from Hirondelle d’Or, whose portion sizes were more than generous and the presentation and attention to detail had us all oohing & aahing over it (they had stuck leaves onto the dipping pots and delicately cut carrots into flowers)… and here I tried their Nems (crispy Vietnamese spring rolls)! (Hirondelle d’Or, 34 Rue du Bailli, 1000, Brussels, +32 2 644 3364)

very reasonably priced and generous portions