Our love for Belgian brasseries closed in 2017 with a visit to the centre of Brussels, specifically to Brasserie Scheltema. If you are looking for a truly original Brussels restaurant, serving great seafood and fish then this is an address you need to bookmark. Read on.
The story so far
Brasserie Scheltema falls into the category of what we like to call a Brussels ‘institution’ type restaurant. Located just off the Grand Place, the brasserie was set up in 1972, and has been a reference for seafood and fish lovers ever since. The decor is part of the attraction with an oyster bar located along the middle of the restaurant and dark green leather seats aligned along the wooden panelled walls. Maybe not trendy … but for sure screaming of ‘brasserie’.
To be honest all I could think of was ‘thank God’ we reserved. The restaurant was packed, buzzing with groups chattering in all languages, waiters screaming orders and towers of seafood being balanced to the tables. Brasserie Scheltema is everything we love in a traditional type brasserie! And the spectacle only continued once we were seated at our table overlooking the restaurant.
You don’t go to Scheltema for meat (which in case you are wondering where to go to in Brussels, is served perfectly across the street at sister Restaurant Vincent). Brasserie Scheltema is all about seafood and fish. Starters range from fish soups to freshly marinated sardines, shrimp croquettes (a must try is you are new to Belgian cuisine) to ravioli of crab with a lobster sauce. We loved the sardines and the ravioli which, being the end of the year and all, we paired with 2 glasses of champagne. We continued with 2 more fishy classics cooked to perfection – the sole meuniere and the house bouillabaisse (fish soup). And to finish it all off we ordered the house apple pie (to. die. for.) and a floating island (a bit meh if you ask me). In between courses we were entertained by our server, the glasses were filled, stories of tourists told, and honestly … we couldn’t have asked for a better night out.
Service with a smile
The best thing about going to truly classic (Brussels) restaurants, which have been in services for years and years is … the service. Faultless, yet cheeky, a bit crazy, but friendly, all you can wish for from a brasserie. And as the menu (and waiters) pretty much drill it into your head ‘a tip is in no way mandatory’ … but highly appreciated!
We couldn’t have asked for a better way to end 2017! After having tried our fair share of stared and local restaurants (hello 2018 diet!) it was great to go to a simple, yet high quality, restaurant which is serving food to the Brussels locals and tourists alike since the 70s. Brasserie Scheltema, we will be back!
I would like to extend our thanks to Brasserie Scheltema for inviting us to review their restaurant and organizing this dinner and to their staff for hosting us and dealing with our endless questions and cameras with grace.
Disclaimer: as always, all opinions written are our own.
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