Recommended by The New York Times: the 5 best places to eat in our capital | To eat

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Which emerging places to eat in Brussels should you definitely try this year? The New York Times asked this question to Michel Verlinden, a Brussels culinary writer and restaurant critic for the weekly magazine ‘Le Vif’ (The Walloon counterpart of Knack, ed.). “The journalist was actually commissioned to write about Paris,” Verlinden revealed to HLN. “But he insisted it had to be Brussels, and I completely agree with that.”

Brussels is the city for gastronomy: why is that?

“For me, there are four reasons why Brussels is the emerging food city,” says Verlinden. “Firstly, there is the rise of operators and chefs with a migration background. They have internalized the culinary codes of our country, but also those of their country of origin. The result is an exciting mixture on your plate. I’m thinking of places like Grabuge, Nenu, Old Boy, Anam, and to a lesser extent Anju, La Général and Ptitbeur, but also older names like Crab Club .”

“It is important that Belgium’s gastronomic heritage has not been forgotten. As a result, many Belgian quality dishes are also on the menus. Albeit with a certain twist. Just look at Spinnekopke, Bouillon Bruxelles or Manneken Pis Café. Also not to be underestimated is the arrival of the Dutch-speaking avant-garde with daring restaurants such as Aster, Kline and also Nightshop. The last reason is the arrival of a large number of French people in the capital, who brought influences from France. The best example of that? Undoubtedly Florent Ladeyn’s Klok.”

These are the top five according to The New York Times.

1. Anju

Anju. © rv

If you want to imagine yourself in Korea for an evening, you should visit ‘Anju’. The number one restaurant on The New York Times list. A Gault&Millau address in the trendy Brussels district of Sint-Gillis and the brainchild of star chef Sang Hoon Degeimbre, adopted from South Korea. Also known for his two-star restaurant ‘L’ air du temps’ in Eghezée in Wallonia.

On the map at ‘Anju’? Dishes with a nod to the chef’s Korean roots, but with touches of Belgian haute cuisine. From pajeon (pancakes filled with chopped vegetables and kimchi, ed.) to samgyetang (chicken in hot ginseng broth with rice and jujube, ed.) and duck breast bulgogi. With all main courses you also get banchan, small side dishes in the form of kimchi (fermented cabbage, ed.), rice or a spicy cucumber salad. Also typically Korean: sharing dishes. ‘Sharing dishes’ are certainly part of the menu here. Sounds delicious, unique and it is surprisingly affordable. What else do you want?

Address? 73 Rue de la Source, St. Gilles.
Price? Prices range from 9 euros for a dessert to 26 euros for a main course.

2. Aster

Aster. © rv

Another top address, according to the American newspaper in consultation with Verlinden, is ‘Aster’. Last year it was awarded the discovery of the year by the prestigious guide Gault&Millau. The barely one-year-old restaurant is a former pizzeria, which chef Túbo Logier (28) and sommelier Ydris Grison (32) built from the ground up. The two are West Flemish who met each other about seven years ago in Ghent. They both worked for Kobe Desramaults in ‘In De Wulf’. The menu of ‘Aster’ consists largely of small vegetable dishes and fish, crustaceans and shellfish prepared on an open fire. Think of mussels, oysters, Norwegian lobster, octopus and eel.

Address? Dansaertstraat 202, 1000 Brussels.
Price? You pay 86 euros for the tasting menu of six to seven courses.

3. Kline

Kline.
Kline. © rv

The next restaurant on The New York Times’ list is ‘Kline’. It is also a real hotspot on the video platform TikTok, located in the heart of the Brussels Dansaert art district. And founded by Tim Siaens, Jean-Philippe Desager and chef Nico Corbesier. Central to the menu: traditional Belgian fare with a multicultural twist. “Locally rooted and globally inspired”, as they describe it at ‘Kline’.

The starters are divided into two categories: ‘Cold & Fresh’ and ‘Hot & Heavy’. Think of Brussels sprouts guacamole or croquettes filled with béchamel and finely chopped Ardennes ham and beetroot chutney.

Address? Rue de Flandre 162.
Prices? Prices start from 4.50 euros each for a starter.

4. Nyyo

Nyyó.
Nyyó. © rv

Is Vietnamese cuisine really your thing? Then you have to go to ‘Nyyó’ in Ixelles. Founded by Linh Nam, the son of Vietnamese immigrants. He grew up in Liège and worked for Google in New York for seven years before returning to Belgium and deciding to open the minimalist restaurant in Brussels. The menu reflects the triptych of culinary influences in Nam’s life: Belgium, Vietnam and the United States, writes The New York Times.

Think of steak tartare – or as we still call it here: filet américain – but flavored with Vietnamese coriander, citrus vinaigrette, crushed peanuts and a quail egg yolk. Doesn’t sound bad, right?

Address? Rue du Bailli 38 in Ixelles.
Price? The prices for small dishes vary between 10 and 19 euros.

5. Clock

Clock.
Clock. © rv

The last, but certainly not the least, in the top five is restaurant ‘Klok’ by the French Florent Ladeyn. The chef is an avid ‘locavore’. This means that he only works with ingredients from Belgium or Northern France. So no coffee, vanilla, chocolate, lemon or olive oil on the menu here, but chicory to name a few.

This casual spot’s menu also changes often, and can include starters such as sweet potato churros, sea snail croquettes, and Brussels sprouts with fried onions and mimolette cheese. In summary: hearty medieval Belgian dishes with a modern Brussels twist.

Address? Place Rouppe 10.
Price? Lunch: starters from 5.50 euros, main courses from 14 euros. Dinner: only a fixed price of 60 euros.

Also read:

13 promising dining addresses: “Here you can eat classics such as steak tartare from a chef who learned to cook with Sergio Herman and Piet Huysentruyt”

“I celebrate my birthday every year in this restaurant in the smallest town in Belgium”: these are Dina Tersago’s 7 favorite places to eat (+)

Going to a restaurant too expensive? At these 40 addresses you can spend less than 15 euros

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The article is in Dutch

Tags: Recommended York Times places eat capital eat

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