March 20th – I got a lovely surprise in my email inbox inviting me to join a dinner for Bloggers at Indonesian Garuda Restaurant in Brussels with the owner, Sydney Houyoux for Monday 22nd April 2013.
My first response was to smile smugly and do a little jiggle in my desk chair that I had warranted something as exciting as this (and then I wonder why my colleagues look at me strangely)….my second response was to check my diary, confirm that I was free and respond to the PR agency INOCO (because it is not only about communication :)).
And then the wait….
In the meantime, I did my research on the restaurant – looked up their website (here) and checked out restaurant reviews that had been written (preferably in English)… so far, everything looked very promising.
The evening finally arrived – and what a joy it was to meet a host of other bloggers in Brussels – from wine to style to food (namely: onfoodandwine ; Youpiwine; Cookanista and Avocado-van-de-duivel) – so 9 bloggers (plus the owner and 2 friendly folk from Inoco) sat around a table sharing our blog stories, favourite restaurants and listened to Sydney give us a run down of the concept and story of Garuda.
A fusion mix of modern with Indonesian traditional, gives the restaurant a really unique feeling – glancing around at the decor, you notice the Indonesian touches – while other items remain modern and functional. (I was particularly fond of the corridor between the front restaurant and the back which leads onto the terrace… where the floor has glass blocks, floor lighting and what I can only describe as a beautiful “gutter” filled with white pebbles – you have to see it to really appreciate it).
The back of the restaurant leads out onto a fantastic terrace (which, when the sun finally does come out to play – will be an absolute winner of a spot)… with a very deep Balinese influence…
I wont give you a rundown of the history of the place – suffice to say that you can read it for yourself on their website… because I would rather let the food pictures tell the story 🙂
We started out with an array of starters to share:
Lumpia (Vegetable springrolls served with a vegetable salsa and some dipping sauce – 9€);
Sate Ayam (chicken satay – 9€);
Sate Kambing (lamb satay – 9€);
and some Spicy Grilled Prawns (12€)
Now with our bellies starting to reap the rewards of this delicious blogger dinner initiative… we discovered that the restaurant not only makes the delicious food on site using fresh ingredients – but they also have a range of their own Indonesian cook-in sauces that can be bought, taken home and be used in the comfort of your own environment! How brilliant is that?
so while we pondered this smart brand extension, the main dishes started to appear at the table, namely:
Terong Balado/Kecap (both were presented to us, but I only have a photo of one – aubergines in either a sweet & sour sauce or spicy with tomatoes – 10€)
Gado-Gado (vegetable curry – 15€) and Gulai Kambing (lamb curry with coconut milk – 17€)
Udang Goreng Serundeng (prawns with shredded coconut – 13€)
Bebek Bakar (duck – there were also 2 options on the table, one with a peanut type sauce and the other was a spicy sweet & sour – 21€)
the latter (the spicy sweet & sour sauce duck) was without a doubt my absolute favourite… and I could have licked the empty dish… oh wait, I think I might have considered doing it and even verbalizing this thought to the rest of the table… 🙂
My belly was fully and I was happy…
But we were not going home without savouring some tea (my choice was the Rooibos with mint – which was more minty than rooibos, but still a good ending to a delightful meal) ;
along with a Pisang Goreng (deep-fried banana served with a bit of ice-cream 7€) – a smallish portion, but in reality – I honestly don’t think that I could have stuffed anything more down my gullet!
while my seated colleague opted for the Green Tea Crepes:
Would I go back? Yes – the ambiance is wonderfully relaxing and you could easily imagine that you are truly on holiday on the island of Bali (or thereabouts) and the food is tasty.
Many thanks to Anne-Sophie & Florence from INOCO for the invitation and to Sydney for his hospitality, and of course to my fellow bloggers for a fun-filled food feast of an evening!
Address: Avenue Adolphe Buyl 25, 1050, Brussels, BELGIUM
telephone: +32 2 513 0592
opening hours: Monday-Saturday: 12h00-14h30 & 18h00-22h30