Monday, February 8, 2010

Bizarro Bazaar

Bazaar has been on my list for ages - since I was last there, actually. I visited the nightclub half of Bazaar on a Saturday night shortly after moving here. For some reason we ran upstairs to see the restaurant, which was packed with people and looked swank and crazy and I couldn't wait to go back (see photo). It only took me 5 years.

Our January visit had quite a different air. It was a Tuesday and the place was nearly empty and a little lacking in heating. But the crazy decor was just as I remembered. The place has the feel of a Moroccan tent, with a gigantic hot-air balloon over the bar, and now featuring huge headshot photos of be-robed people.

But all that I had seen before. It was the food that was new. The menu is quasi-mediterranean, and I must admit we started out with some disappointments. I ordered the mozzarella and grilled eggplant; based on that description alone, I expected a warm dish. I was wrong. The dish was clearly pulled from a refrigerator moments before being brought to the table. While the dish could work in a not-warm format, having it flat-out cold really limited the flavors. Gidon, on the other hand, ordered marinated sardines, which turned out to be herring. For herring, they were good; for sardines, they were a flop.

On to the mains: we were now in much safer territory. Feeling fishy, I took their no-frills grilled salmon - even after the waitress advised that between the seabass and the salmon, she preferred the seabass. No mistakes here, though. The salmon was grilled beautifully, with crispy skin; really a delight. The rest of the plate - vegetables, etc - was nice but forgettable. Gidon opted for tuna, which was also a big hit. And our friend Richard had a beautiful and quite sizeable vegetarian risotto. Three for three on the mains.

Stuffed, we ordered one dessert between the three of us. After much negotiating, we settled on the chocolate cake "moelleux" with ice cream. "Moelleux" seems to range from "normal cake" to "gooey melty filling" and this cake - to my great joy - fell at the latter end of the spectrum. Not the easiest for sharing three ways once it started oozing all over the plate but you didn't hear us complaining.

Rue des Capucins 63
1000 Brussels (Marolles)
Tel. 02 511 26 00
Open from 19h30 Tuesday-Saturday

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