I don’t even remember the first time I went to Malte. A long, long time ago, most likely. Seems I know this restaurant since, well, forever. Did it change much? Probably not. Although it must have changed (progressed?) as the restaurant seems as busy as ever.
The story so far
Malte is one of those hidden treasures. Not too hidden, but not too obvious either. People living in Brussels for years have not been to Malte, nor have they heard of it. Strange, as the restaurant is quite central (just off Place Stephanie) and always full.
Difficult to say. Sort of 1001 nights meets Brussels. An interesting mix of oriental art, huge chandeliers, and flee market style tables and chairs. Everything seems thrown together to create a feeling of an artsy place, a mystical oasis you would not expect in town. I always have this strange feeling of entering a fairytale. Or something like that. I expect Bedouins coming from nowhere, women dressed in long and colorful dresses wearing lots and lots of jewelry coming to sing and serve food. Difficult to explain but you’ll see what I mean once you try it out.
Now as much as the restaurant is trying to create a feeling of the far away, the unknown, a mysterious nowhere land, the food is an eclectic mix of just about everything. There is no trend, there is no style: Italian pasta, Senegalese dishes, Thai food, and French bistro. Basically a little bit of everything.
Starters range from 9,00-16,00euro. Pasta dishes from 13,00 to 20,00euro. Salads from 12,00 to 16,00euro. Meat and fish dishes from 12,00 to 21,00euro. There are two vegetarian dishes on offer. And desserts cost around 7,00euro. Wine card starts at 15,00euro. The lunch menu offers a vast selection (there are 10 dishes on offer) all at 10,00euro, coffee included.
With so much chaos you would expect some of the dishes to lose in favor of others. Well, somehow the chef pulls it off. Granted we went there for a (working) lunch, but the quality of the food was absolutely spot on. First the bowl of bread and butter. (In Belgium you will always get a basket of bread and butter while waiting for your lunch/ dinner.) The bread was absolutely gorgeous. I doubt they make it / cook it at Malte, so I would love to know where they buy it from. The butter though was just out of the fridge, so a little hard.
We ordered Italian, French and Senegalese dishes and all proved to be delicious. Very tasty food. The tagliatelle was perfectly cooked and the mix with bacon and champignons worked perfectly. Same for the cavetelli with aubergines and parmesan. The beef ‘a la Malte’ also looked delicious, although a little too well done for my taste. And my chicken yassa was simply delicious, and originally served in a terracotta bowl.
Service with a smile
Very much so, although do not expect prompt or sharp service. Our waiter took his time with both the wine, the second serving of bread, and did not know that lunch also includes coffees. A little on the chaotic side, but then again a) he could have been new and b) there is no rush about the place so it all fitted in just perfectly.
Fair to say, I don’t seem to go often enough to Malte. There is no explanations besides the fact that there are so many other restaurants to try out. Really, it is a nice and cozy, really artsy place, where you can spend hours over dinner a deaux, or in a group. They also make some mean cocktails in the evening which are worth a try.
disclaimer – all the photos except cover photo are from Le Malte instagram account
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