The story so far
If you have been following this blog for a while you noticed our reviews are a mix of trendy brunch places, established Belgian brasseries, exotic restaurants with everything else in between. We like a bit of everything.
Which is why sometimes we go for the traditional and a bit old fashioned, the one that doesn’t make the blog rounds … like the long established Brussels fish restaurant Bij den Boer.
The restaurant, run by Geert Heyvaert and Marnic Malaise, is located close to Saint Catherine, where the old Brussels fishmarket used to be. True to its past, the décor has probably not changed too much since the fish market was operational … so don’t be surprised that upon opening the door of Bij den Boer, it feels like stepping back in time. A mix of brasserie with the obligatory marine / fish inspired decoration makes the restaurant feel cosy and familiar. Which in return explains its continuous success.
The menu is very much centred around fish. Like many other restaurants in the Saint Catherine area, Bij den Boer offers a great quality/ price set 4 course evening menu at 29.50e. We went for a family dinner out so naturally kept it simple and ordered the set menus plus several bottles of wine – which are almost all French.
However in addition to the set menu there are also different fish soups on the menu, hot and cold starters, a lot of fish dishes to chose from, the traditional Belgian dish of green eels (… still haven’t mustered the courage yet to try it …), 7 types of mussels, and yes … some meat too. But really you are not going to a fish restaurant to have meat, are you now?
The food was delicious despite its (very) old fashioned appearance and the fish was cooked to perfection. I can see where the attraction lies though in having a solid menu, that has probably not changed much over the course of time. Quality and consistency is what attracts a great number of regulars back to Bij den Boer, as well as a high number of tourists looking for a taste of Brussels.
Service with a smile
Yes, although the restaurant was very busy we were tended to on time, correctly served and bonus point? The waiter also spoke English so half of our table felt right at home.
Bij den Boer is very much what it says on the label – a fish restaurant where quality fish is served to the Brussels clientele for many years. The food was great, the atmosphere was bustling and although the restaurant is miles away from the more hipster places in the centre of Brussels … sometimes it is nice to step back in time and enjoy a non-instagrammable meal. Definitly a must if you have friends or family visiting who like fish (or mussels) and want a taste of authentic old school Brussels.
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