Published on April 2nd, 2017 | by Brussels In View


Martin Banks never seems to lose his appetite. And here’s why…

Au Vieux Saint Martin Grand Sablon 38,  Brussels. This lovely brasserie occupies a prominent place in probably the city’s most up-market square and it comes with a history to match. First opened in 1968 by art collector Albert Niels, it is now run by Albert-Jean (son of Albert) and Frédéric Niels (Albert’s grandson).

Joseph Niels, another relative, invented the recipe of the famous filet American which is, today, one of the best sellers and perennial favourites on the menu here.

In fact, it’s one of the traditional Belgian dishes for which it’s become famous and which has just won it a prestigious “Brusselicious” award, given only to those Brussels restaurants serving authentic Belgian cuisine.

The Belgian specialities on the wonderful menu include chicken vol-au-vent and shrimp croquette. Boudin, black and white, Ostend sole, pork kidneys and chicken gratin are also popular and delightful.

But there’s a great range of other, equally delicious dishes from which to choose. These even extend (perhaps with its British customers in mind) to roast beef and fish and chips.

The terrific a la carte menu is fixed throughout the year, while there’s also a fine suggestions list updated seasonally.

Considering the excellent quality (and wonderful location), the prices are very reasonable too, including the €19, 3-course children’s menu.

Much of the produce and ingredients are sourced from small, carefully selected Belgian artisans and the service is fast, efficient and friendly – everything you’d expect from such a highly successful brasserie.

You can sample the indisputable delights of this Brussels institution just about all-year round – it’s open 7/7 and closed just two days each year – and there’s also a pleasant, heated terrace.

Under Frederic and Albert’s expert tutelage, this fine brasserie is now introducing countless other nationalities (and Belgians themselves) to the wonders of the country’s culinary creations.

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