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Chez Vincent - Brussels restaurant

Wow I haven't blogged for almost two weeks! Actually, I was in Belgium for a week - it was my mother's 70th birthday, and we surprised her by all turning up for lunch. There are six of us children in all, and she only knew that my sister was taking her out to lunch. I guess I was probably the biggest surprise of all, seeing as she thought I was in Malaysia :-) Anyway, thanks to my brother for paying for the ticket, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to go.

We had a very nice meal in a typical Belgian restaurant called Chez Vincent; it's located in the 'Rue des Bouchers' area near the Grand Place - this is a warren of small streets packed with restaurants and some bars. Chez Vincent itself is somewhat upmarket I think, but serving the standard dishes of steak, cod, waterzooi, mussels, and so on…

It has a very nice décor, in particular the murals that were done around 1920, using tiles
chez vincent brussels tile mural

The amount of work that must have gone into the tiling is huge, it has to be all planned in advance, then each colour has to be fired separately
chez vincent brussels tile mural

You enter the restaurant through the kitchen (I always find it reassuring to see the kitchen :-))
chez vincent brussels tile mural

The tiling was done by the Maison Helman, as you can see …
chez vincent brussels tile mural

It's been there for about 90 years now!

Their specialty is mussels - but I'm not such a fan of mussels. As it was the hunting season, there was some game available – “Râble de lièvre, sauce crème ou sauce poivrade” (hare stew, I think) and “Suprême de faisan fine Champagne, pommes pins” (pheasant). I chose the pheasant, with a sauce ‘fine Champagne’. It was very tasty, I had a recollection of pheasant as being somewhat gamey, but this was nice – more like turkey than chicken, but along those lines. It came with a baked apple topped with some berries.
chez vincent brussels pheasant

I dunno if it had anything to do with the game, but the knife I was given was a La Guiole knife; these are very good clasp knives, often used by hunters (those who can afford it, otherwise they get an Opinel). This one is not a clasp knife, but one made for the table, it looks the same but you can't close it.

It was not cheap, expect your dishes to start at 20 euros and go up from there, but it was good quality, very tasty, and in a unique environment. The service was fine, but the waiter got a tad confused with the orders after we changed places – I think he remembered the order by seating place, not by the person.


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eugene on :

Glad your mum had such a pleasant birthday surprise! :-)

Btw. Seeing all these pictures makes me want to travel through Europe even more... I've been dreaming of Europe for a long time, though I doubt I'll ever afford both the time and money for such a trip

julian on :

Hi Eugene, dun worry I'm sure you'll get the chance someday! Life is full of surprises, and airflights are getting cheaper all the time :-)

Hope all is well in Kelantan :-)

julian on :

Oops sorry I mean Terengganu :/

Mike on :

Wow this restaurant really look great. The visual site of this local looks really impressive. I don't know what about tasty side but I bet is not worse.

Robert on :

It is better. I used to have business in Brussels in the 1960-ies and 1970-ies. Each time I would have Moules a l' Escargot with a baguette and a dry French wine for lunch. The mussels were well laced with garlic. A morsel of bread dipped into the melted butter, gently flushed down with a sip of the Red have been exclamation marks in the writings of my life story.

julian on :

Yes, it was very good food. And you put it very nicely :-)

Laguiole on :

You can find Laguiole knives on the Officiel webstore ! ;-)

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