I am an avid reader of food magazines; Olive, Delicious, Good Food, Elle a Table, Essen und Trinken, you name it. Be it English, French or German I’ll buy it and read it in one go. I had my attempt at Italian cooking magazines as well, but they are little more difficult to follow and I usually want to get my ingredients right.

Olive is a regular read (which reminds me, I have to buy the June issue) . Of course there is the disadvantage that the magazine relates mostly to the UK, and not all products described can be bought in Belgium. The wines tend to be different, the restaurants  located in London etc.

One of the column I love reading is the Pro vs Punter. I like reading on the restaurants (who knows, one day I might get to eat in one of them), and I like the way the column is structured. Hence I will try to use the same format for the restaurant reviews on this blog as well. Starting today!

The story so far
Place St. Catherine in Brussels is known for its specialized fish restaurants. It seems all the best (and pricey) fish restaurants in Brussels decided to open in Place St. Catherine. One of these restaurants, and the last one we tried, is Vismet.

First impressions
Unlike many fish restaurants in the area, Vismet has a very modern and fresh feel to it. It is considered to be a hip and trendy restaurant, and once you enter, you are not disappointed. The restaurant resembles a canteen, with plenty of wooden chairs and tables and an open kitchen in the back where you can see the chefs at work. The whole layout is simple and modern, inviting you to focus on the food rather than the décor.

The food
The choice of food can satisfy both meat and fish lovers. There is a choice of over 10 starters, same for mains fish, and 3 choices of meat. There are a couple of desserts on offer, and a friend swears on the mouelleux au chocolat (a dish that takes about 20min). Prices for starters vary between 9euro and 16euro, mains fish are between 16euro and 26euro, main meats between 15euro and 22euro and desserts are all 9euro. There is also an extensive wine list of white and red French wines. Prices for wines range from 19euro for a house wine and 50euro for a Chateuneuf du Pape 2003.

Whilst everyone opted for the fish soup as a starter (11euro), I had the hering with a yoghurt sauce and red beat salad (9euro). As I am not a big fan of fish soups I can only rely on the reviews of my friends who thought it was delicious. I can vouch for my starter, which was fresh and very tasty.

As a main I had pollock with rosemary, capers and anchovies and steamed vegetables. The dish itself was very tasty yet I lacked the ‘wow’ element, the impression it is a stunning fish course.

For dessert everyone opted for the chocolate pudding (9euro), yet again personally it was a disappointment. I love my desserts and I thought that 20min of cooking will give us the best chocolate dessert ever. Yet the outside was quite dry, and the liquid chocolate too sweet.

Service with a smile
Service was efficient and helpful, with a good knowledge of the menu. The highlight of the dinner is of course sitting close to the kitchen watching the chef cook up the dishes ordered.

The verdict
It stays a very good and nice fish restaurant. If I would ever go back? Perhaps if it will be a joint decision. As a personal choice: no. There are a lot of other fish restaurants at the same price which I would like to try out, and Vismet did not impress me that much to go a second time. Yet it seems it is one of the favourite restaurant of Jonny Dymond, the Brussels based BBC correspondent – so maybe worth another visit just to spot him out!

Vismet: Place Sainte-Catherine 23, 1000 Bruxelles

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