La Paix in Anderlecht has been on my to do list for many years now. But the opening times (Monday to Friday lunch and Friday evening) meant that it was never easy to visit this restaurant and that was the case until a few weeks ago.
The restaurant is located in a Brussels neighbourhood that is most famous for its football team and the ‘Abattoir’. With a location opposite the most famous meat market of Brussels, there is no question that the restaurant La Paix, a brasserie since 1892 is famous for its meat.
I’ve known and read about chef David Martin and had tried a few of his dishes in previous events around Belgium but had never actually visited his restaurant until a few weeks ago.
That was indeed a pity as I discovered when I visited for lunch in September. It is one of those places which keeps getting mentioned whenever I meet chefs and ask them where they like to eat so a visit had been on the cards for a while. It is a case of better late than never. It is a restaurant that needs to be revisited not only because of the interesting a la carte menu (including the renowned meat dishes) but also because the chef is known for creation and innovation with seasonal produce and vegetables.
You cannot expect anything different from a chef that has worked with Alain Passard in Paris, apart from at the Jules Vernes in Paris or Bruneau in Brussels.
One of the impressive things about the restaurant is not only the open kitchen where you can look at the chef and his team cook but also the ample space between the different tables.
We chose a lunch menu which included two amuse bouche. The first was a light almond foam with mussels and this was followed by the seasonal butternut squash with a courgette cone and a goats cheese mousse which was a perfect combination of flavours.
The first course was not only pleasing on the eyes but was also a match made in heaven. A salty cheese cake with ricotta and parmesan was combined with slow cooked (over 24 hours) tomatoes and nectarines. The sweetness and acidity of the tomatoes combining perfectly with the cheese cake.
The main course was a perfectly slow cooked lamb dish with lamb jus, masked potatoes and seasonal vegetables.
The dessert was a perfectly executed mille-feuille of apples with madelines and yuzu ice-cream.
This Michelin star restaurant is really worth visiting. Here, the focus is on fresh ingredients, slow cooking and showcasing natural flavours in the best possible manner. The presentation is exceptional as you would expect from a chef of this kind but what is more stunning is the simple approach to bringing the best out of ingredients, using slow cooking techniques to enhance the flavours. It may look simple but it reaches levels of perfection.
Restaurant La Paix: r. Ropsy-Chaudron 49, 1070 Anderlecht