03 December 2008


Located in the popular district of Marolles (behind the Palais of Justice), this is an unavoidable must, a mythic restaurant in the world of genuine Belgian brasseries whose lively and unpretentious atmosphere makes of any guest a happy person.

Just next to the entrance, the view from the street of a crowded kitchen full of pots and pans and the restless ups and downs of the cooks (including chef Thierry Courtois) preparing sauces, mounting plates or baking 'jambonneaux' provides a hint of what we will enjoy at the table later on.

This place, which once shifted from blue plastic tablecloth to yellow paper one (considered to be a major change), is a true success story both before and after its not-that-recent reopening (a 'lourd contrôle fiscal' kept it shut for a while), and even after a younger generation (headed by Jeanine Van Avermaet-Van den Hende) took it over from the founders.

Well, my friend Olivier would argue that, apart from the change in the tablecloth, the mentioned control did provide other significant changes to the restaurant as the portions of 'jambonneau' were significantly shrinked... Our discussion on this important issue remains open...

Nevermind, the Stekerlapatte ('freshwater fish' in brusseleir, the local Brussels dialect), a restaurant to which I might have been around fifteen times (!?!), is a funny option and a good place to go when receiving guests not started with Belgian brasseries, a place where you might wish to stop before heading home after a film in the cinema, a concert, an exhibition, or simply when looking for a tasty meal without having to think too much, perhaps late on a Friday night after a stressing working day.

Every option in the menu is a great treat and the identity card of the real Belgian cuisine, that of the people, the one that really identifies and summarises the country the best.

So, do not hesitate to try any of the following masterpieces! : 'demi-poulet de grain rôti à la bruxelloise flambée à la fine champagne, crème sauce aux champignons', the 'daurade royale grillée, beurre d'anchois, olive oil and pommes nature', the 'nage aux trois poissons et scampi, pommes nature, rouille et croutons', the 'magret de canard rôti aux échalotes, à la sauce de pamplemousse, miel et gingembre', the 'côtes d'agneau, tomates grillées, sauce béarnaise, haricots verts étuvés au beurre, stoemp aux carottes, miel et amandes', the 'onglet de bœuf poêlé aux échalotes entières fondues au beurre', the 'steak tartare "minute", either prepared or not, petite salade verte, pommes frites', the 'bloempanch à la bruxelloise: large tranche de boudin noir poêlée, pommes de quartiers caramélisées'...

...even if Stekerlapatte is reknown by a star dish prepared like anywhere else and this is the famous, the unique, the great, the incredible 'jambonneau entier rôti au four, à la crème sauce moutarde en grains et pommes rissolées' a real delight and a decent gateway to culinary Belgium!

If Stekerlapatte had to disappear again, Brussels would probably remain a great place to have fun while discovering new places and eating delicious plates but I presume it would certainly lose one of its most iconic references.

Stekerlapatte is also a good place for concerts. Styles as varied as folk, jazz, cabaret, French music... are often performed on the first floor on Fridays night and on weekends.


Rating: 6.5/10


Anonymous said...


toni said...


Anonymous said...

LLASTIMA! Llàstima que no hagi vist aquesta entrada fins avui. Ahir mateix vaig reservar el restaurant per la trobada de divendres... Es "més" llàstima que no hagis pogut escollir tu el lloc. Amb totes aquestes "joies" que ens mostres al blog. La propera vegada!

olivier said...

Reitero lo del jambonneau. El lourd contrôle fiscal ha surtado su efecto.