C’chicounou just off Place Flagey is a gem of a place serving top quality Syrian-Lebanese food. Chef Georges Baghdi Sar is only 24 years old but definitely has a great future ahead of himself. Given he has been on a traineeship at the Brussels institution: Comme Chez Soi, you expect great things.
And you will not be disappointed. The food served is of exceptional quality, the prices are incredibly reasonable, it is no wonder the place was packed the two times we visited in recent months. All dishes are given a special touch with a scattering of pomegranate seeds which adds freshness and colour.
The interior decor is a bit quirky and might have to be avoided on a hot summer’s day given it is completely wooden though it does give the restaurant a warm feeling.
This is not your normal tapas place. The selection on the menu is great and there are also two menus which allow you to taste various dishes.
There are traditional Middle Eastern staples like Hoummos, a chickpea dip with sesame seeds, garlic, cumin and lemon, the Moutabale, a caviar of aubergine with sesame seeds, garlic cumin and lemon as well as the Tabouleh (a parsley salad) and Fatouche a salad of grilled bread, tomatoes, radish, parsley and olive oil.
Hot starters include excellent Falafel, different home made beef sausages, a superb broad bean salad with a sesame cream, lemon juice, tomatoes, fresh mint, cumin and olive oil.
The main dishes are mainly grilled meats which are simply grilled but seasoned to perfection and incredibly tasty.
This is a perfect place to go with friends but there is also a very generous menu at 35 euros for two people which includes a choice of three cold starters, two hot starters, a choice from the grill as well as a salad. It is also an ideal place for vegetarians, the choice of meat free dishes and salads is very large.
The only criticism for a wine lover is the wine-list which needs some work. The wines are from the same wine house in Languedoc, Les Vignobles Montagnac. The quality price ratio is excellent but one would expect a better choice though this is probably what keeps the prices reasonable.
Open daily except Saturday lunch time and Sundays, I would recommend you book well in advance given how busy it was on the two evenings we went.
Address: 29 rue de la Levure, Ixelles
Verdict: Book now and go as soon as you can. I guarantee you will return back time and time again. You might also be tempted to drop by and get a takeaway. Follow this chef, I am sure we will hear more about him in the near future. He has a passion for food and prepares everything himself including all the beef preparations and mortadella.