18 November 2008

CAFE DES SPORES - Brussels




Born in 2003, the Cafe des Spores (Saint Gilles) is a restaurant specialised in mushrooms.

In general terms, the style of the place is urban, modern, convivial and funny, and the atmosphere still keeps some reminiscences of a quincaillerie (old ironware store).

Its original concept consists in rethinking and reshaping a series of more or less traditional recipes, some of them from the very terroir style and 'mushroomize' them in order to get the best organoleptic properties from such a tasty (even if not so seasonal anymore) product.

Just behind an open counter, a quite inspired chef (not very communicative, though) manages 4 kitchen burners and an oven at the same time, achieving as tasteful results as "sautéed mushrooms with paté" (good), "a custard cream with mushrooms and foie gras (curious), "the eggs cocotte with fresh truffle" (excellent, smooth, good balance), "the caramelized Belgian endives with trompettes" (very good), a "melted vacherin cheese with sautéed mushrooms and parsley on it (quite vicing!), a more than bizarre "crumble of cèpes" (interesting contrast of sweet and salty), and other similar treats.

On the desserts side, a special mention needs to be made to the "white truffle muffins" and the (very mild) "tiramisu with cèpes and half apple in the bottom".

Apart from products of the menu (Attention ! : when I say 'the' menu I am referring at the single exisitng menu available in the restaurant in the form of distant, almost invisible wall board), the restaurant offers a more than exciting option to go for an 'eat as much as you can mushrooms-based tapas depending on the mood of the chef'.

However, the execution of what could be a unique idea proposing original, tasty and well-finished dishes is sadly overshadowed by the service of a couple of poor memory waitresses as well as by the forgotten dishes that never made their way to the table (but which appeared in the final check!).

In addition to this, due to the single menu available and the pressure of the waitresses it becomes extremely difficult to have a quiet look to the proposals before ordering.

If that was not enough, the restaurant does not provide plates on the table (unless you ask for them), wines are overpriced in relation to their quality and credit cards are not allowed !

The website of the restaurant (http://www.cafedesspores.be/) is modern, clean, visually appealing, with lots of pictures, focused on young people and with some useful links to taxi and baby-sitting services. However, detailed explanations about the concept, the origins and prices are to be missed.

Finally, a reference needs to be made to the former 'delicatessen' store now converted into restaurant 'La Buvette', just opposite of Cafe des Spores, which is the meat arm of the mushroom restaurant.

Rating : 6.5/10

1 comment:

Krls said...

Je suis complètement d’accord avec toi. C’est un resto très intéressant avec des plats vraiment réussis. J’ai adoré le vacherin et le tiramisu de champignons (rien à voir avec le tiramisu, mais très bon quand même). Le service n’est pas à l’auteur de la cuisine.