I’ve just been to test the newly-opened Rutabaga, on the Chausée de Waterloo, because my plaintive* (*lazy) requests for info on the Internet came to nothing and I wanted to put it in a Brussels Guide. I’m glad I went though. It’s a cute space on the corner of Franz Merjay and Ch de Waterloo, with a nice big terrace that’s tragically under-utilised in this delightful Belgian summer. Inside it’s white and pared down with a bustling open kitchen, a big wooden refectory table full of basil plants and a jolly sort of overhead plant, um, thingy.
Greenery, watching you eat.
(Yes, these are even shitter pictures than usual but I may be saving some poor poverty-stricken journalist like myself the bother of going to check, so it’s a public service. )
It’s sort of half middle eastern and half not: you get a wee plate of pickles and yoghurt and olives to start, which is delightful, but the bread’s a decent sourdough and the pasta with spicy sausage didn’t really fit the theme (it was pretty damn good though, a gigantic chipped tin bowl of comfort food – no picture, it was massively unphotogenic).
I had the lamb brochettes, which were theatrically flamed just behind me on the open grill. They were wonderfully tender and smoky and served with vast quantities of garlicky yoghurt sauce, squeaky fresh wilted spinach and tiny purple artichokes and good grenaille potatoes. Proper. Also, more meat than I could actually eat. Perfect for a shitty 12° and rainy Brussels June lunchtime.
The sandwiches looked absolutely vast and good value at around €8. I think you would really struggle to leave here hungry.
Service was surprisingly good for a new opening – for once someone has thought to actually make sure there are enough friendly staff and they know what they’re doing, hallelujah, prices are fairly reasonable for the area and it was generally all very satisfactory. I should leave the house more often. Now I’m going for a little lie-down.
Rutabaga, Chausée de Waterloo 393 (0) 2343 4774