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Le Jardin de Catherine
Le Jardin de Catherine
Place Ste Catherine 5/7
Wednesday 2nd April 2003
Le Jardin de Ste Catherine is right by St Catherine's Cathedral, not far from the Grand Place, and opposite the Metro station (which will get me back to the hotel in one shot!).
My Wife and I had Stayed just across the road last year on our European tour and we failed to find this little gem of a restaurant. If we had found it we would have had an altogether better opinion of Bruxelles!
I had been walking around for a while looking for somewhere interesting to eat, and had walked past the several sea-food biassed restaurants around the corner (including a Sushi bar) but I was quite taken by the look of this place.
This was confirmed as soon as I entered, with immediate attention from a waiter. He asked if I had a reservation, so my heart sank as I said, "No". No matter, he finds me a table.
The restaurant is not full, but there are several couples, a single gent next to me, and a table of around eight businessmen across from me.
Start with a biere which was served with a couple of hors d'oeuvres (garnished tuna paste on a small biscuit) while I scan the menu.
I select the 27.00 Menu:
First course: Carpaccio Requin (Shark). Sharp and no evidence to me of the truffle oil it was supposed to be 'perfumed' with. Nevertheless tasty and good texture - colour was pale pink & transparent and a very generous helping. Good Parmesan & Rocket.
Main course: Carré de Cochon de lait a la graine de Moutarde (Suckling Pig with a Mustard grain sauce). This dish was simply excellent with the pork tender and succulent and with a crisp edge. The mustard was only just discernible - just as it should be!
The vegetables were done perfectly and the service exemplary: efficient without ostentation.
1/2 of House Red (very acceptable vanilla-laden, Smokey).
I noticed that even though there were quite a few smokers I was not troubled: the ventilation did it's job well! Even the guy on the next table who was smoking a cigar did not cause me any discomfort.
Very nicely decorated - dark red, cream and mirrors. Discreetly lit. Very discreet background music. According to their web site, the "eighteenth century house was inhabited by the well-known painter Vincent van Gogh".
Extensive Bar, Well-heeled Clientele.
For dessert, Poire Helene was also superb; I normally eschew dessert but as it was included I couldn't resist. Lightly poached pear in a biscuit basket with chocolate sauce, cream and ice cream garnished wiIh fresh mint - Delicious!
A really enjoyable evening, even though I was dining alone. It contrasted vividly with the "tourist" restaurant I endured the previous night! (Le Bourgeoise)
It's experiences like this that make business travel bearable! If I had only experiences like the previous night's to look forward to, I might well refuse to agree to going on these trips!
Finish off with coffee & cognac (Remy Martin)
Bill came to 49.80 (made up to 55 for tip)