Brasseries Georges: Seafood in Brussels

Posted on Tuesday, 19th August 2008

On route back to London, we decide to detour through Brussels, Belgium, to catch up with some friends who have now made this city their home. What would a road trip be without spontaneity? At the suggestion of the friends, we headed to Restaurant Brasseries Georges. If you are looking for some oysters in Brussels then perhaps this is perhaps the restaurant to try. On the day we visited there were some 20 different varieties on the menu, including local, French, Dutch and English (Colchester) offerings and which ranged in price up to about €30 for nine. There was also a selection of different types of seafood if you have an aversion to oysters: fish, clams, langoustines, whelks, sea urchins, prawns, lobster and of course mussels!

If this appears to be a tremendous amount of choice, then you may wish to settle for one of the seafood platters to give you a little taste of everything. Some eight different types of platters were available, for one or two persons, and all starting from about €20. For the meat eaters, options were also plentiful. And for every palate, a promise of the “best french fries in the world” cooked in goose fat.

Belgian croquettes with Ostend shrimp

Belgian croquettes with Ostend shrimp

Tempting as the fries were, we decided to start with croquettes and the calamari and octopus salad. Famously, croquettes are Friday night drinking food in Holland with various different types of fillings. Much like how we might purchase the odd kebab from Maroush in London, the Dutch buy their croquettes from a Dutch fast food chain called Febo. Typically theirs contain mash potato, but our Belgian croquettes today were instead filled with a hearty, deliciously thick creamy sauce filled with Ostend shrimp that ran a dreamy line along the inside of my mouth. The salad was well proportioned, but erred more on the side of just calamari rather then any octopus or salad, but so tender that I would’ve had no qualms feeding it to grandpa even without his dentures.

Calamari and octopus salad

Salad of calamari and octopus

For mains; a fat meaty piece of cod, deliciously moist, mounted over a mountain of wonderful buttery lumpy mash potato with leek. A sole was also delightful; proving also quite meaty and with a touch of burn from the slight char-grilling. An accompanying choron sauce, a béarnaise sauce with tomato, was rich and creamy, but perhaps too overpowering for the fish so was best eaten on the side.

Sole with choron sauce

Sole with choron sauce

The setting was wonderfully French. There was an outside patio under a canopy, which on a sunny Sunday afternoon was a lovely way to dine. The interior was 1920s glam, art deco with a lovely wooden bar to relax at as you waited for your table. The service was efficient, friendly, and relaxed. Simply put, it was brasserie food done well in a buzzy, ‘social destination’ type atmosphere. If the crowded restaurant was anything to go, my guess is this is a local favourite. With the many options for every palate also on offer, perhaps a potential visitor’s favourite in Brussels as well.

Belly full, we bade our farewells with air kisses before our final stretch of the journey home. Three more days in London, and then the next part of my culinary travels begin – in Indonesia.

Brasseries Georges at:
259 Avenue Winston Churchill,
Brussels, Belgium
1180
Tel: +32 (0)2 347 2100
Web: http://www.brasseriesgeorges.be

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