GåRD Nordic Kitchen in Brussels

Last year, I was contact by a PR agency to see if I would be interested in visiting Gård Nordic Kitchen in Brussels. Normally, our restaurant reviews are by our own unannounced visits and we mostly only share a review about experiences that we enjoy – so this was one of the exceptions to accept a dinner invitation with the sole-purpose of preparing a review (and as we agreed, we would only write about it if we truly enjoyed it).

Well – we had to change the date a few times due to personal reasons (work schedules, death in the family, etc)… but finally we had the babysitter booked and HIM/I headed out for a *date night* one cold and snowy Saturday in March.

I hadn’t realized that the restaurant was at the entrance to the Courtyard by Marriott Brussels EU, but upon entering, you don’t feel like you are in a hotel, but rather that you are in a funky, inviting restaurant/bar. I particularly loved the open gas fire place and was exceptionally happy that we got a table right next to it (especially since we also had the window next to us overlooking the melting snow after a mini storm in Brussels the previous day).

Plus they have this amazing blue/white tiled big dining table which looks like it could be perfect for a big group of people (family/corporate/friends/etc)…and obviously insta-perfect!

In true Nordic fashion, the décor is functional but modern. No table clothes but decent fabric napkins!

After ordering a bottle of red wine, we shared a starter of Beetroot with figs & chestnut and a touch of Liège syrup (14€). Unfortunately, they had run out of figs but the 2 beetroot types was delicious and the goats cheese with toasted chestnut was a delightful salty compliment to the sweet beetroot taste.

For Main course, HIM ordered the Duck Filet dressed with a wild berry sauce and potato gratin (25€). He asked for it to be cooked well as he is not a fan of pink/bloody meat in any format… and they managed to cook it well without impacting on its juiciness and taste! HIM was very pleased!

I had had the Entrecote with homemade Andalouse sauce and fries (22€).

nothing says *happiness* like crispy Belgian Fries…..

With our bellies full, we were not even tempted by their dessert menu and opted to walk a bit before taking the Metro home.

Would I return? yes… it has the same laid back feel as the Vini Davini restaurant at the bottom of the Jam Hotel in St Gilles (which serves Italian food) but offering a different cuisine! It is a good location for EU employees due to its proximity to their offices, as well as for those tourists visiting Brussels, where they can be assured of a good meal at their hotel after a day of exploring the city. Win win

Gård Nordic Kitchen (Brussels)

address: Rue Joseph II, 1000, Brussels, BELGIUM
telephone: +32 2 893 0170
website: http://www.gard-nordickitchen.com/brussel/
email: brussels@gard-nordickitchen.com
Opening hours: BREAKFAST: Mon-Fri 06h30-10h00; Sat-Sun: 07h00-12h00; LUNCH: Mon-Fri: 12h00-14h00; DINNER: Mon-Sun: 17h00-23h00 plus the Bar is open from 11h00-01h00 each day.

Disclaimer: I feel it is very important to disclose that we were guests of the restaurant, although our server was not aware that we were guests/bloggers and we paid the bill at the end of our experience (and were re-imbursed afterwards). I do promise that this a 100% accurate review of our experience.


Ancho Mexican Restaurant in Brussels

M and I recently had  a mid-week girls night out… HIM was working and I had booked the babysitter for Monkey (who had already been put to bed :)). It was such a lovely outing to catch up over delicious food (without miniature interruptions) and something that I look forward to reinstating in the months ahead!

M had been itching to try out a Mexican restaurant called Ancho close to Place Stephanie and I was of course happy to oblige (especially since it was a 5minute walk from our apartment).

After ordering a beer, I checked out the multi-lingual menu and we decided to share a portion of Nachos Gourmand (11,90€ = corn chips topped with meat, beans, sour cream, cheese sauce, pico de gallo and guacamole). I have to confess that my exposure to Nachos is limited but I had expected “melted cheese” on top, not sure if that is the South African interpretation… but nonetheless theirs was very tasty and we managed to finish of the dish successfully!

M ordered Pork Tacos as her main (9.50€ for 2 or 11,90€ for 3) with an extra portion of guacamole (1.50€) and enjoyed every mouthful.

I had a “bowl” (9,90€)… essentially you can choose your base (burrito, nachos, bowl or salad) and then your topping (beef, chicken, pork, steak (extra 1€), vegetables, etc); your rice (lemon & coriander or cucuma); your beans (white or black); topped with pico de gallo (spicy or not) and finally sauce (sour cream, red salsa, green salsa or their homemade sauce). Again… guacamole was 1,50€ extra….

My bowl consisted of chicken, lemon/coriander rice, black beans, spicy pico de gallo, sour cream and guacamole… and was delicious however not spicy at all (for my palate)… so I utilized the table sauces to add an extra zing….

All in all – we left with full bellies and big grins….

The restaurant itself was not very full (but it was a Monday evening and rainy at that), but the number of bicycle and motorbike delivery men traipsing in to collect orders was phenomenal!! I think we counted over 11 in the space of 90minutes! So clearly people in Brussels prefer their Mexican chow in the comfort of their own home! Décor wise – it is simple but modern with spots of colour (mustard… which is my go-to favourite winter colour to wear at the moment so I felt like I completely blended in to my surroundings).

Staff were friendly, efficient & multi-lingual, but pretty much left us to ourselves once we had ordered and they had delivered the food. Making it feel very much like a fast food establishment rather than a fully-fledged restaurant. (Not that this is an issue at all… just don’t expect attentive waitrons)

Would I go back? Most probably….

FYI – there are 2 branches… one in Waterloo and one in St-Gilles. We visited the latter!


Address: Rue Jourdan 14, 1060, Saint-Gilles, Brussels, BELGIUM
Telephone: +32 2 463 2246
website: http://www.ancho.be
Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 11h30-14h30 & 18h00-22h00; Sat: 11h30-22h00 & Sun: 11h30-14h30 (Brussels) & Sun: 17h30-22h00 (Waterloo)

Brussels Catering Company : Maurice

HIM celebrated his 40th birthday this year… amazing, isn’t it, how he gets older each year while I remain the same age? 🙂

A more serious note – I wanted him to celebrate. As the most selfless and generous person that I know, I knew that he wouldn’t even think about wanting a birthday party. He hates having a fuss made of him and is definitely not someone who likes to be the centre of attention. Which was all the more reason for me to put together a surprise party for him!

But how was I going to organize something for 20+ people AND keep it a secret?? I tried a few restaurants, but I had to keep in mind that there would be a toddler (2 years old and a bit of an adventurer) plus an infant (<1 year) in the mix. Meaning that venues needed to be child-friendly and/or private function space. Eventually, I gave up on the idea of a late Sunday afternoon party at any establishment and decided to host it in our own apartment. This meant that everyone could be more relaxed, kick their shoes off and let their hair down.

But now I had to think about catering. How was I going to be able to cook for all these people without HIM suspecting? Plus I would be travelling for 3 days in Spain the week before. Not to mention having a little one around my legs on the days leading up to the party… ?!? Did I mention that I wanted this to be a surprise??

maurice 40

Maurice came to the rescue! Sanne who started Breakfast Delivery in Brussels expanded her weekend breakfast offerings by also offering lunchtime catering (which a fair amount of businesses have jumped on board) and with this, she has also started catering events… hence the new company name & logo.

We started off emailing ideas around, then she came over to the apartment to do a site visit with her partner. They kindly also organized the ice, ’40’ Balloons and flowers plus managed the delivery/set up on the day. All I had to do was provide the plates, cutlery, glassware & drinks. This was the most stressfree event that I have ever hosted and trust me, I have hosted many many (many ….) parties.

Lets just say that HIM was truly surprised when he walked in … and in a good way! The food was delicious – and there was MORE than enough… in fact, everyone went home with a container for the next day!

maurice cake

For Apero => there was shrimp springrolls with mango dip, Bruchetta with brie, sundried tomatoes, rucola, nuts and honey.

Maurice salads 2

For the lunch buffet portion => there was salmon tartare with fresh herbs, chicken meatballs with zucchini, Pork cheek stew, Potato salad, Greek Couscous salad, Grilled zucchini & aubergine  lentil salad with spinach & feta, plus a Tomato and green bean salad

Maurice salads

Dessert buffet was the real show stopper => a 4 layer cake with cream and berries; lavender & lemon mini cakes; individual panna cotta’s with raspberries and individual chocolate mousse pots with blueberries. PLUS gorgeous cheese platters with grapes & bread.

maurice desserts

I highly recommend using them for your next catered event!

maurice cheese


website: http://www.mauricebrussels.be

Facebook & Instagram

Vini Divini at the Jam Hotel in Brussels

HIM and I have been attempting to regain some sort of adult social life now that Monkey is 2 years old. That means that on HIM’s nights off (basically only Saturday’s), we try to go out for dinner (just the two of us) at least once a month (or every 2nd month if our schedules are too busy). That requires a bit of planning… (i.e. booking a babysitter, getting dressed up or at least as dressed up as 2 parents of a toddler can, finding a restaurant, etc)

An Italian Tapas restaurant around the corner from us in St Gilles, had recently opened up and I had tried to book a table using their online booking site, however they were full but offered to waitlist us and let us know on the day if something became available. Needless to say, we heard nothing barring a hang-up telephone call in the early evening, where as soon as they heard me anser in English, they put the phone down. I am not saying it was them… just thinking coincidence 😉 .

ANYWAY – I had walked past the JAM hotel on numerous occasions and was truly intrigued by their funky look plus having had followed them on instagram meant that I knew that they had 2 bars (one of which is on the roof with a view AND a swimming pool!). I made a reservation at their restaurant called Vini Divini … but wasn’t holding our breath for a fabulous, knock-out night out. I mean, who makes a reservation in their own city to go to a hotel restaurant???

But you know what….We loved it!

Jam hotel 1

The restaurant itself is fun, relaxed and unpretentious (no tablecloths). The staff were friendly and multi-lingual. And the Italian food offered although simple, was very tasty, with an open(ish) kitchen vibe, so you can watch the chefs at work!

Jam hotel 2

We arrived at 7.30pm when it was still quiet. Ordered a lovely bottle of wine and a Tomato/ Mozzarella salad to share. It arrived with a basket of delicious bread rolls.. which if this was a view of the pizza dough to follow … was pure heaven!

Jam hotel 3

HIM then had the gnocchi with gorgonzola & walnuts, while I ordered a pizza with Salami and Ricotta.

jam hotel 4

jam hotel 5

Our total bill was around 80euro’s and it would definitely be a place to revisit. By the time we left, it was full – mostly with big groups of young(er than us), hipster folk celebrating various birthdays/anniversaries/etc and I have it earmarked as a return-to & “group” venue.

Vini Divini (Jam Hotel)

Opening hours: 12h00-14h00 & 19h00-22h30 (Monday-Friday); 19h00-22h30 (Saturday) and 12h00-16h00 (Sunday Brunch)

address: 132 Chaussee de Charleroi, 1060, Brussels, BELGIUM

telephone: +32 2 537 1787

email: jam@vini-divini.eu or restaurant@jamhotel.be

website: http://www.vini-divini.eu/jam

Tapas Y Mas Restaurant, Brussels

Sandwiched between the university (ULB) different campus departments is Tapas Y Mas.

A reasonably priced & cheerful restaurant offering of hot & cold tapas (and delicious cocktails). A bright & airy front area leads to a more cosy eating environment in the back (perfect for dates… ask me, I should know!)

I wrote about them a while ago – but since they recently had an interior upgrade, making it more fresh & modern looking, I thought it was a great opportunity to re-write the post and update it with some better images!

The Tapas offered is a mix and match of different European favourites – all home-made and utterly delicious! Tapas prices range between 3.00€ and 5.00€ each. I recommend ordering 3-4 plates per person and hopefully you are with a few people who like to share … giving you an even wider opportunity to taste more!

HIM always (and I do mean always) orders the same 4 dishes:

  • Mousakka (4.00€)
  • Potato Tortilla (3.90€)
  • Boulettes de viande au curry et lait de coco (meatballs with a curry and coconut milk sauce 3.90€)
  • Patatas Bravas à l’ail (Fried potatoes with garlic mayo: 3.80€)

While I am inclined to order:

  • Poutine (fries with gravy & melted cheese: 5.00€)
  • Scampis diaboliques (shrimps with tomato/chilli sauce: 4.00€)
  • Something from their specials board… courgette & boursin or  a Spanish lentils dish or or or…

You can wash it all down with wine (by the glass or bottle), one of their cocktails or my personal favourite… Sangria (by the glass or the carafe… generally the latter where I am concerned).

Cost wise, you are looking at about 20-30€ per person including drinks. The service is good (probably because we know the owners….) and it is conveniently located. We visit at least once every two months… so if you see us there, smile, nod and raise a glass!

Tapas Y mas!

address: 372 Chaussée de Boondael, 1050, Brussels
telephone: +32 2 640 0025
opening hours: Tuesday – Thursday: 18h30-23h00; Friday & Saturday: 18h30 – 00h00

Secret Gourmand…sweet and savoury tarts

As HIM works in the Chatelain area – he found this boutique shop a few months ago (as you can see from an earlier instagram post)


BUT I recently got treated to a Secret Gourmand delivery… which sported not one, but TWO delicious sweet tarts!


Started in 2009 by 2 pie loving visionaries, Philippe Collignon (the pastry king) & Gérald Evers (the entrepreneur) in a workshop in the centre of Brussels with only 6 oven plates, a mixer & 2 tables – but enough passion (& taste) to get the ball rolling. In 2014, they moved the workshop to Chaussée de Waterloo and more pies were provided. In 2015, a 2nd shop was opened in Place du Chatelain (yippee yeah…), and half way through 2016… a THIRD shop was opened at St Xavier de Bue!


Success comes to those who make it… and this team is making DELICIOUSNESS…

HIM & I both adored this Cherry & Pistachio cream Crumble (11-18€ depending on size) – as we have ordered it ourselves before! A Cherry crumble with pistachio cream & shortbread crumb… with the pistachio cream reminding me of marzipan…


This was the first time that we tried the Passion Fruit tart (12-20€)… and it didn’t disappoint! Almond Dacquoise, passion fruit cream & caramel crust… it was like eating a Crème Brule tart with passion fruit flavour. YUM


These were so good – but my ultimate favourite of their’s must be the Chocolate peanut Tart (12-20€) as it reminds me of Reese’s Pieces (not that I am American or anything…) with a shortbread crust, crunchy peanut butter vanilla mousse & chocolate ganache!

AND – they not only make sweet treats – but they also have a great selection of Savoury pies (aka Quiches) as well. With interesting combinations like Salmon & Broccoli, Crab & Asparagus, Tartiflette (potatoes, cheese, etc) with truffles, and and and…

Share the love – pop into one of the 3 stores & get yourself one (you wont be sorry) or follow them on Facebook, Twitter or instagram

ENORMOUS thanks to the Secret Gourmand & the Claudia Lomma Teams for sending us these tarts to taste!

Secret Gourmand


  1. 887 Chaussée de Waterloo, Uccle: Mon-Sat: 10h00-18h00
  2. 49 Place du Chatelain, Ixelles: Tues-Sat: 11h00-19h00 & Sun: 11h00-15h00
  3. 72 Rue Xavier de Bue, Uccle: Mon-Sun: 10h30-18h30

website: http://www.secretgourmand.be

Disclaimer: Although no money changed hands for this post, we did get to enjoy these treats. All opinions & comments expressed are 100% our own & 100% honest

Eat! Brussels Drink! Bordeaux 2016 edition

That is right folks… today is the first day of Eat Brussels! Drink Bordeaux! 2016 edition – which is currently in its 5th year!


Once again it is being held in Parc Royal (which was a huge hit with me last year… read 2015 review here) – this year however, the concept has changed (sad face :() but I have been assured that it will still be VERY tasty!

Previously – you bought a package with X number of tokens and each restaurant stand would have a selection of starters, main courses and desserts with their own price (set # of tokens) – sometimes you could get a hamburger for 10tokens (10€) and sometimes you paid 12 tokens (12€) for a fancy-schmancy starter. While this year, the concept is simple – several dozen great Brussels chefs will take turns to offer you a signature dish from their restaurant each day (which is at the set price of 9tokens (9€)).

Therefore – if you buy a Solo Pass – you get 2x signature dishes along with your Wine Pass.

eat brussels 4

Which brings me to my favourite part (and the part I had to miss last year because I was pregnant)… the Wine Pass for a mere 18€ – you get an engraved wine glass, wine glass pouch (which is super handy as it hangs around your neck while you stand and eat), a tasting book for 11 wines (hallelujah!); 1 session at wine school & a Duvel beertasting! I know many people who purchased one of these and came back over the course of 2 or 3 days last year… so a REAL bargain indeed!

I know that I will be heading there on Saturday… will you?

eat 12

for more details – check out the website here (and don’t forget to pre-purchase your passes, although they can be bought on the day)

C O C O Donuts in Brussels

I had already been stalking checking out their Instagram and Facebook feeds for a while, drooling over their donuts and begging HIM to visit to fulfill my donut craving…

So finally… while Michelle of Very Hungry Explorer was visiting us in Brussels for a day… we finally made our way to Petit Sablon and settled down outside the shop on some outdoor furniture to devour their sugary goods and sip on their homemade lemonade.

coco 4

C O C O Donuts was started by 2 ladies, Chloé & Candice who thought up the idea while in Sydney, Australia. They make the most of organic & local ingredients and bake their donuts Tuesday to Sunday in their workshop.

coco 5

Salted caramel, chocolate and berry donuts for us

Offering conventional flavours like lemon, sugar & cinnamon, salted caramel, berries or chocolate to more adventurous flavours like maple syrup & bacon, pistachio & white chocolate, oreo or peanut butter & jam… there is something for everyone!

coco 2

We enjoyed them so much that we bought a box of 4 for HIM to take to work to share with his co-workers… (Image below: top left in clockwise: pistachio & white chocolate, lemon, speculoos & crunchy chocolate)

coco 3

So yes – you can pop into the shop, sit down & enjoy the sugar rush right there and then, or you can purchase to take away (either in store or order in advance via their website, email or telephone). Cost for 1 donut is 3,50€, or you can buy a box of 6 for 20€ or a box of 9 for 30€. They even offer a delivery service (for a fee)

Wondering about the name? C(hloé) O C(andice) O with the “O”‘s being Donuts… pretty clever, eh?

Visit them….

C O C O Donuts

address: rue de Sainte-Anne 36, 1000, Brussels, BELGIUM

telephone: +32 498 57 43 16

email: cocodonutsbrussels@gmail.com

website: http://www.cocodonutsbrussels.com

Opening hours: Wednesday-Sunday: 12h00-19h00 (or until they are sold out!)

Introducing… Breakfast Delivery Brussels

When people decide to pursue their love of food and start up their own business serving their local community – I am definitely one of the first people to stand up & help support (crowd funding, kiss kiss bank bank or whatever might make the most sense)

So when I saw a new concept in Brussels of having breakfast delivered to your front door… I thought the idea novel and quaint.

Don’t get me wrong – sometimes, the highlight of my weekend is going out with HIM and the monkey for breakfast/brunch somewhere… but sometimes, just sometimes – you also want to laze about in your pj’s while still enjoying freshly baked goods, soft boiled eggs, freshly squeezed orange juice and steaming hot cups of ** (whatever your heart fancies)… without actually having to go to the shops or even enter your kitchen.

breakfast delivery 3

Which is where Breakfast Delivery Brussels comes in.


A simple concept… either a Simple or Deluxe breakfast…

Simple 15€

  • coffee/tea
  • orange juice
  • pistolet (a bread roll)
  • croissant or pain au chocolat
  • Jam & chocolate spread OR ham & cheese
  • Hard or soft boiled eggs with toasted bread soldiers

Deluxe 22.50€

  • All the above
  • yoghurt with granola & fruit OR chia-coconut pudding with fruit
  • Toast with Avocado & Salmon

you always have the option to add (for an extra euro): pistolet, croissant, pain au chocolat, jam/chocolate spread, ham & cheese. And you can make it extra special by including some bubbles too! Either in 35.7cl or a full 75cl bottle

I had supported the concept via Kiss Kiss Bank Bank – and therefore got 2x Deluxe breakfasts… (suppose to include a bottle of champers but I think that this must have been mislaid – but that really didn’t matter and a delicious pot of home made rhubarb & strawberry jam)

breakfast delivery 1

What do you think? Pretty impressive eh?

There was SO MUCH food – that we ate off it for 2 days! I loved the yoghurt with home-made granola & fruit (so much so – that I “stole” HIM’s for the next days breakfast) and the salmon/avo toast was left for the afternoon.

breakfast delivery 2

Why we loved it:

  • Our delivery slot was 9-10am and I got a phone call at 8h50 to say that it would be delivered in 5minutes (which it was!)
  • Everything was fresh and tasty – even the coffee was still hot on delivery
  • So much food – real value for money!

Future improvement suggestions

  • Time slots should be in 30minute intervals… HIM starts at work at 11h00, so I would have preferred a 10am delivery time, but if I chanced it and took the 10h00-11h00 slot, I couldn’t be guaranteed that our food would arrive in time. Instead I took the 09h00-10h00 slot and it was delivered at 09h00 sharp.. which was actually too early
  • an option to add the yoghurt/granola/fruit parfait to the simple breakfast…

What you need to know:

  • Deliveries are only on Saturday & Sunday: 08h00-13h00
  • Deliveries only possible in a 4km radius from the Bourse Area
  • Payment: cash, bankcontact, bank transfer – but remember to put your proof of payment in email format
  • You can order in advance online or even phone/email on the day
  • the more you order, the cheaper it gets!

Would I use them again? DEFINITELY – but I would opt for the simple breakfast going forward! Show your support and order for this weekend!


email: info@breakfastdelivery.be

website: http://www.breakfastdelivery.be

phone: +32 493 06 78 24

Ballekes Restaurant (Brussels)

After having started a bistro (t’Bolleke) in Brussels serving traditional Belgian cuisine, it soon became apparent that the Ballekes that Francoise & Thibault were serving were an absolute hit… so the idea of providing a fast (but casual) restaurant with minimum service serving high quality Belgian meatballs, fries & beers was born! (you can read about their crowdfunding initiative in my earlier post here)

We finally got around to heading out to their newly opened shop *Ballekes* for lunch on one gloriously sunny Thursday.

Ballekes 7

The interior is fantastic – clean, funky and lots of seating (plus enough space for us to park the stroller at the end of one of the bar tables – so they get a big thumbs up for us on that one!)

Ballekes 6

They explained the concept to us – but all in all it was pretty simple

ballekes 2

  1. Select your protein – pork/beef, chicken or bio veggie
  2. Select your style – with one of their 6 fantastic sauce; in a baguette or the healthy salad option
  3. and finally… select your sides & extra’s

We all ordered their “special” – 2 meatballs, 1 style & 1 side for 13.50€

Ballekes 2

HIM & Sarah got 2 pork/beef meatballs – one in the tomato sauce & the other in the mushroom sauce – with frites & mayo (for him) & truffle mayo (for her). While I had one chicken meatball in mushroom sauce (my favourite) and one pork/beef meatball in tomato sauce with frites & truffle mayo (OMG … so GOOD!!)

Ballekes 3

At first, I was worried that 2 balls and some frites wouldn’t be enough – but we were really full…  especially washed down with one of the beers from their awesome selection (don’t judge me… but HIM and I are currently on a cider kick…)

Ballekes 8

But that still didn’t stop us from sharing a slice of their delicious carrot cake

Ballekes 5

Would I go back? Absolutely… I am thinking it might be the perfect spot for some birthday lunch 🙂



address: Chaussee de Charleroi 174, 1060 Brussels

telephone: coming soon

open 7days a week