La Fin de Siecle


Were I to tell you ‘cult restaurant’ what do you first think of?

Say ‘cult restaurant’, and I’ll think of La Fin de Siecle. Or Athenes. Those restaurants that you just know are great no matter what, that you love going (back) to and selfishly, you want to keep to yourself. Hidden on the restaurant radar. I already hear you ask why then share this cult restaurant with you, publicly, on the blog? The truth? I have no idea!

Probably because a cult restaurant is meant to be shared and enjoyed by like minded foodies. Or maybe because in return I want to hear all about your own cult restaurant? You pick.

The story so far
It’s been so long since I first went to La Fin de Siecle (The End of the Century), that I ignore when, who with, or why we went there. It must have been with friends I trusted, friends who knew more at that stage about hidden Brussels than me.

First impressions
I remember entering La Fin de Siecle for the first time and being slightly taken aback by the buzz, the movement, the imposing, scary?, personality full Greek owner, the overall chaotic feel of the restaurant. The lack of ‘system’: what, no reservations? Only to be confirmed by the fact that there are no ‘private’ tables, and everyone sort of sits together.

I fell in love with the place there and then!

The food
Ok, a slight exaggeration … but I think I know the menu by heart. It didn’t change in the last, oh, I don’t know, 10 years? I don’t want it to change either. What they cook, they cook really well. There is a little mix and match of everything. There is a nod to Asia, a nod to Africa, a European touch here and there. Spare ribs anyone? They serve that too.

By now I must have tried all but 1 or 2 of their dishes. Loved them all but I have to admit my favorites must be the merguez and cous cous, the shrimps with baked potatoes, and the moussaka. Prices range from +/-10euro to +/- 16euro for mains. I think they also have desserts, but usually the ‘buzz’ takes over – conversation, wine, laughter, noise, food, coffees, etc – that we never make it to dessert.


Service with a smile
Yes, I think. The service blends in so well with the rest of the atmosphere at La Fin de Siecle, that it’s difficult to tell: are they serving us? are they joining us for a drink? are they maybe, like us, customers? A slight (I am sure though efficient and organized) chaotic serving but food always comes on time, orders are never mixed and everything is spot on. Which is what you would expect of any restaurant, just not La Fin de Siecle. There you go!

The verdict
See you there next time?

Last thing (… and you thought I forgot …) – what is your cult restaurant? Be it Brussels or abroad.

La Fin de Siecle: Rue des Chartreux 9, 1000 Brussels

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