Monday, 4 May 2015

Les Marmites du Monde (rue St Boniface)

Some areas of central Brussels are a bit low on decent restaurants, but the St Boniface district is not one of them. After a morning wandering round Etterbeek and Ixelles, the Firestarter (an occasional presence on my old blog), his fiancée (congratulations!) the Perfumer, and I were faced with far more choice than we needed. In the end curiosity won out, and we decided to try Les Marmites du Monde, which claims to serve cuisine from Belgium and Mauritius.
In fact, as happened with my previous visit to a Belgian-Thai hybrid, there were barely any dishes that actually united the two cultures in question, but I can see the sense of combining an eye-catching concept with a menu most people won't need to be brave to order from. For good measure, there's also a significant Italian section. Either way, we were struck by the smart and cheerful styling of the restaurant's inner and outer spaces, as well as the good value set lunch on offer (11.50 for two courses, 13.50E for three).
Having picked this option, the Firestarter and I were faced with a starter of mozzarella and (hot) smoked salmon on toast. The bread itself could have been more charred, but this was otherwise an impressive little dish, with decent cheese (for a non-specialist restaurant, at least) and the flavour of the cured fish lifted with judicious seasoning. I was also impressed by the attention to detail on show: smart crockery and impeccably plated food, and warm, fresh bread (with butter that I suspect wasn't from cows' milk - unfortunately I forgot to ask about its origins).
Meanwhile, the Perfumer's cannelloni with ricotta and spinach (13.50E) were stuffed to bursting and drowned in a rich sauce. My brochette de scampis were on the non-European side of the menu: the texture of the prawns faintly hinted that they might have come straight from the freezer, but they had been cooked to a fine, juicy consistency, and came with a mild but fragrant curry sauce. The nicely al dente vegetables that came with them gave this dish of protein and rice a little more completeness. The Firestarter's émincé de volaille was also thoughtfully put together and he especially enjoyed the contrast between the chicken and the salty ham it was wrapped in. 
It's possible that you might find a slightly better version of each of these dishes at a mono-cultural restaurant, but on the whole we were very impressed by the versatility and attention to detail shown at Les Marmites du Monde - and less than 15E for a filling (we couldn't manage dessert) lunch in the shadow of St Boniface felt like a very good deal.

Les Marmites du Monde 
Rue Saint-Boniface 4 
1050 Brussels



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  2. Hi Katie,

    my name is Charlotte, I'm belgian and I currently live in Bxl. I came across your blog reading an article about your experience as a trainee in a EU Institution. It was very interesting so thanks for sharing!

    I found out today that I had been pre-selected for a traineeship at the Committee of the Regions, it's a first step and I'm pretty excited about that :)

    I might have a few questions to ask you if you don't mind and in exchange I could tip you off to a few nice places to brunch and eat around here (although I see you've already discovered quite a lot of them)!



  3. Hello Charlotte - thanks for your message! It's probably best if you e-mail me at