Bia Mara – Place de Londres

Bia Mara, didn’t we write about that one already? Well, the one in the centre was one of the first venues appearing on this blog indeed, but recently, they opened a second restaurant in Ixelles, mostly offering the same menu. So why bother writing another article? Because Bia Mara – Place de Londres has one thing the one in the Marché aux Poulets hasn’t: beers on draught!

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The Black Sheep

DSC_0217xThere are plenty of bars in Brussels with a foreign touch — or more than just a touch — but only some are truly international. And by that I mean a bar where you can find beers from all over the world, but very local beers as well, and where you can hear the corresponding languages spoken. At The Black Sheep, the Lanterne from the Ixellois brewery L’Ermitage, pouring alongside the IPA from the American brewery in Berlin Stone, illustrates this perfectly.

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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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