Chez Oki is a very original and great French-Japanese fusion restaurant with dishes you are unlikely to find elsewhere in town (foie gras sushi is a definite favorite).
The restaurant is run by Oki, a young and friendly Japanese chef trained in France who manages to successfully combine the two cuisines to offer a savory dining experience, as well as the kind of friendly, efficient and attentive service that is not that easy to come across in Brussels. The restaurant is relatively small, so book well in advance.
I have been to Chez Oki several times and have never been disappointed. However, what I would recommend above all is picking the chef’s surprise menu (omakase, in essence, but they just don’t call it like that but rather “menu yeux fermes” = closed eyes menu). This comes in three alternatives: 3, 4 or 5-course menu. The four-course menu (EUR 40) is probably the perfect choice unless you’re very hungry, as it consists of two appetizers, a main course, and dessert.
On my last visit to Chez Oki, the 4-course menu consisted of a duck amuse-gueule, a foie gras sushi entree (three pieces, which keep you wanting for more), a perfectly thin tuna carpaccio with a sweet hoisin-like sauce and a wasabi sauce (also as an appetizer), Japanese-style sliced duck (Kobe-beef like) in a lightly caramelized sauce with a variety of vegetables, and a soft and original dessert cake, which was something of a mix between Japanese pound cake (much lighter of course) and a soft cream cheese. All four dishes were excellent and achieved a true fusion between Japanese and French cuisine – hard to explain how, you’ll just have to try it.
Of course, for those who are less adventurous or have specific diet restrictions and want to know what they’re going to get in advance, it is always possible to order from the menu, which changes every few months.
Check Oki is located on rue Lesbroussart 62, between Place Flagey and Avenue Louise. Closed on Sundays, and Sat+Mon for lunch.
If you’re looking for more traditional Japanese restaurants, check this previous post.
UPDATE (Jan 2009) – Chez Oki still offers an interesting dining experience but the quality seems to have declined somewhat, as Chef Oki increasingly does less of the cooking himself…