Malt Attacks

IMG_7354As much as we love to spend an evening in a restaurant or bar, cracking open a bottle at home or somewhere else with friends can be at least just as nice. Supermarket beers — even though the offer has improved over the last couple of years — just won’t do for those occasions, of course, but luckily there are shops like Malt Attacks. You won’t be able to have a drink there unfortunately — barring special events — but you’ll surely find the ideal beer to enjoy at home!

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Pin Pon

UPDATE: Closed, and was replaced by a Broebbeleir.

IMG_7194It was about time we wrote something about a place serving dinner again, and one of the places we’ve been wanting to try for a while already, was Pin Pon, in the Marolles. Sure, we had been there a couple of times before, but only for drinks, never even having seen the restaurant space on the top floor.

This time we took the plunge and went up the stairs to try their kitchen as well. We weren’t disappointed!

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L’Amère à Boire

IMG_7249When a tasting involving one of the newest Brussels breweries popped up on our Facebook feed, we couldn’t resist and headed to l’Amère à Boire, where the event was about to take place. We had visited this bar in the Flagey area a couple of times before, so we already knew the beer list would certainly warrant an appearance on this blog.

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Le Coq

Le_Coq_IMG_7126Le Coq is one of those bars you would easily walk by without giving it a second glance, and you would probably not even consider the possibility they could have some excellent beers in there. This probably explains the lack of tourists, which is quite nice, especially for a bar so close to the Bourse.
But they actually do have a proper, well balanced beer menu here, and even regularly propose a couple of new beers for their patrons to try!

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Scott’s Bar

DSC_0531Scott’s Bar is a place we’ve been visiting every once and again for a while now. They have a nice beer selection, it’s quite nearby for us, it’s often open when other places are closed already, and when it’s sunny, the terrace is great – if you’re not bothered too much by this typical example of Brussels facadism!
Not too long ago, they installed an open kitchen next to the entrance and expanded the menu, so it was about time for us to try some food there as well.

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Dynamo – Bar de Soif

DSC_0099Dynamo – Bar de Soif  is one of the more recent additions to the Saint-Gilles beer scene, but oh, what a welcome one! Bravely, they specialise in English beers, mostly from young breweries in London, where the owners of Dynamo seem to be well connected. So don’t expect the lukewarm, flat ‘real ales’ often served in the more old fashioned English pubs, but rather the fresh, tasty beers from the newest generation of brewers!

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Update 1: There has been a change of management and name (now Ramdam).
Update 2: There has been another name change—Clair Obscur now—and a change of concept as well, so the bar as described here, does no longer exist…

l'aubieregiste_DSC_0783A bit hidden behind the Trinity church, at the border of Ixelles and Saint-Gilles, you can find a quaint, cosy bar, named L’auBIÈREgiste. The name of this bar is a play-on-words, putting bière in the middle of the word l’aubergiste – innkeeper – thereby shortening the popular phrase “A beer, innkeeper!” to just one word. However, in a bar with an offer like they have here, asking for just “a beer” will not suffice!

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Fin de Siècle

20160318 Fin de Siècle IMG_1866_webWhen you pass by Fin de Siècle in the evening, there are usually a couple of people standing at the bar. They’re not there just to have a drink, but they’re waiting to be seated. It’s a logical result of their no reservations policy, but it’s always a good sign if you see people are willing to put up with the wait, isn’t it?

We were lucky when we went for dinner there this week, we only had to wait for a couple of minutes before being shown to ‘our’ table. ‘Our’ between quotation marks, since you’ll rarely have the table to yourself here: you’ll be seated where ever there are some places left at the long, communal tables.

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Bia Mara

Façade of Bia Mara“Eat more fish” is the motto of Bia Mara. “Good luck with that”, was my first thought, when in 2013, I first walked past the now famous chippieAnd foreigners from a soggy chip country selling chips to Belgians?
I’m not a fish eater at all: in most restaurants I usually just skip the seafood section of the menu. But after the first time I tried the Classic at the lively fish and chips shop on the Marché aux Poulets, I was hooked — pun intended. Because of Bia Mara, I’ve eaten more fish in the last three years, than in the preceding thirty years!

The fish and chips at Bia Mara — seafood in Irish Gaelic — are nothing like the fish and chips you might have eaten in the UK. Simon and Barry made their own version of the classic dish, using herbs and spices from all over the world and Japanese tempura or panko for the fish, making it more crispy than usual. The chips are more like potato wedges than ‘normal’ chips, and nicely seasoned with seaweed salt. If you really want vinegar, just ask for the spray.

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