Life in (and around) Brussels…

Random tips on things to do and places to go in Brussels and beyond


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WY restaurant at the Sablon

I finally got around to trying this restaurant which has been nestled in the Mercedes House Sablon corner shop for many years now, boasting one Michelin star already from early on (chef Bart De Pooter is a two star chef as noted on the restaurant website, but this restaurant only has one star.) 

One of the highlights was the staff, which was very friendly and accommodating and the service throughout the meal was excellent.

Now, to the food: Besides ordering à la carte you can pick from the six-item menu (two appetizers, two main courses and two desserts) to have a 3-course lunch for €47, or pick 4 courses for €63, 5 out of the 6 for €78 or all 6 of them for €93. 

Let’s take a look at the meal:

We were greeted by a set of appetizers: coconut milk woth shrimp, curry for the breadsticks, and a seafood waffle

Nice presentation but not much quantity

Close-up shot of the bite-sized waffle

While waiting for the order, this soy-flavored seafood amuse-bouche was presented. Unfortunately it fell apart so I did not experience the mix of flavors in a single bite…

More to make the wait more amenable: bread with herring mousse and lightly salted butter

Smoked Holstein beef with mushroom salad and ice cream

Grilled squid with aubergine dip and peanut crunch served with a pepper sauce. The squid was a bit harder than it should have been and I found the red pepper overpowering . Still enjoyed it though.

Lemon sole with butternut, shellfish, barley and a light parmesan sauce. Nice combination but short of spectacular. The fish failed to melt in my mouth they way it does at Kamo or Chalet de la Foret, for instance. Still an enjoyable dish.

Chocolate mousse with mixed nut crumble. I wish this had been more than just a few bites.


I wouldn’t say the meal was great value as the portions were on the small side, but it was an agreeable lunch with good (albeit not amazing) food (my dining buddy was surprised to hear this had one Michelin star as there are other amazing places that have none but offer a wow experience). The restaurant acoustic was less than ideal for an intimate meal, as was the table layout which seems more appropriate for people watching (we were indeed watched and were watching others throughout the meal). The lighting also felt spotty and a bit of an annoyance for picture-taking (but we won’t hold that against them of course – just a heads-up if you’re taking photos of your food…) 

Overall, it was a nice meal but short of being a life-changing, memorable experience. I might go back for a business lunch, but if I’m the area, would probably choose instead to go to the nearby San Sablon for a much more moderately priced lunch, which my tastebuds also found a bit more refreshing. (Different customers too… the WY crowd was probably on average 15 years older than the San Sablon crowd, which also explains the difference in pricing.) 

Open for lunch and dinner from Monday to Saturday. 

Rue Bodenbroek 22-24 (Grand Sablon)

Book online 


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SAN Sablon – Relish in this fantastic Michelin-Chef creation for €28

I have a new favorite lunch spot in Brussels, and those of you who have been following this blog will know that’s a pretty serious statement. 

SAN Sablon serves an amazing lunch for an unbelievably well-spent €28. This is what happens when a great chef – Sang-hoon Degeimbre from the two Michelin star L’air du temps – decides to open a restaurant in the city just for fun. (This is his second restaurant in Brussels, the other one being SAN Bruxelles on rue de Flandre, featuring the same concept). Although Chef Degeimbre is not in the kitchen, he oversees the creation of the dishes, which are then beautifully executed by his team (of which we saw three kitchen staff and two waiting tables).

Lunch is simple and relatively fast, as summarized on the website and menu (drinks other than the juice and coffee are not included in the €28 and I’d recommend choosing the dessert and the soup as menu options rather than the drinks): 

But let’s take a look at the photos for a more pictorial (and mouth-watering!) review: 

The restaurant offically seats 40 people (although it was only set up for 30 when we went) and has an elegant, modern and stylish decor

SAN Sablon is on rue Joseph Stevens, just off the Sablon and on the same street as the popular Pistolet and Brussels classic Skievelat

The concept: the meal is served in bowls and eaten with a spoon

Bread and butter to greet you and make the (short) wait more amenable

 

All bowls (except the one with dessert) are brought to the table simultaneously. The menu changes every month (if I understood correctly).

Salmon with greek orzo pasta and mushrooms in a deliciously light and refreshing citrus-based sauce

Hake tempura

This is what the delicious hake tempura looked like inside. The tempura was light and crunchy, just like it’s supposed to be

Lacto-fermented vegetables

This was a smooth and delicious lamb cream with crunchy vegetables mixed in

Kumquat madeleine accompanied by a granita of clementine and other fruits

View of the kitchen and bar seating

Drinks menu

Wine list

A few remarks especially for business lunches and families with children: 

  • As promised, the main part of the meal was served quickly and we were done in 30 minutes. However, dessert took a bit long to get out, maybe because the restaurant was filling up, so in the end it took almost an hour for the lunch.
  • Book a table for noon (opening time) to get faster service.
  • The food is delicious but probably not appealing to most kids (other than the dessert), but the staff is friendly and have no problem letting you order just for the adults.
  • They don’t take credit cards so make sure you carry enough cash.
  • The open kitchen doesn’t have the best ventilation system so your clothes will smell like food after your meal… Something to keep in mind if you’re having a client meeting in the afternoon.

All in all, this has been a fantastic find, and I’m already planning the next meal there (need to check on consistency of quality of course… But I could easily make up another excuse to go back! ;))

SAN Sablon – Rue Joseph Stevens 12 – 1000 Brussels 

Reservations online or by phone tel:+32 2 512 42 12

Open from Thursday to Monday. Closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. Lunch menu served only on weekdays. Evenings and weekends only €55 menu available.