Published on September 8th, 2022 | by Brussels In View0
New chef aims to make his mark at lovely eatery
We’re all familiar these days with being able to post online comments on a meal. Indeed, some places to eat stand or fall on the strength of such postings.
Well, the owner at one restaurant/bar has thought of another way to gauge customer reaction. David Wyns, its Belgian-born owner, allows diners to scribble their remarks on the many mirrors that encompass the charming interior of Charlu in Uccle.
Within reason, you can put whatever you like (the owner is also looking for constructive suggestions/criticism where a customer feels that might be warranted) but you can be sure your message will remain for others to read.
As it happens, you’d find it hard to find anything other than very positive postings, such is the quality of the food here.
The idea is, in fact, a tradition at Charlu and the customer comments are now as much a part of the classic French bistro-style which includes an impressive bar counter made from zinc. The whole place really does ooze warmth and authenticity.
There is also a delightful small terrace outside seating up to 40 people,that gives you a chance to enjoy the calm surroundings. An upstairs room can accommodate up to 20 people and is ideal for parties or functions.
Charlu is located just off the pleasant main square at trendy Saint-Job but, such is the peace and quiet of the locale, you could very easily think you’re in the middle of nature.
Neatly tucked away from the busy streets nearby, this charming eatery, a Gault& Millau 2020 entry, is surrounded by woodland which further reinforces the sense of being in the Great Outdoors.
You have to pinch yourself, therefore, to realise that you are, in fact, very close to Brussels, with tram/train/bus connections within a very short distance. There’s also good parking facilities either directly at the front or 50 metres away.
And, if the location is great, the good news is that the food is just as good. The menu always features a nice mix of fish and meat and all at very affordable prices (a pleasant change from many such restos in the city centre).
Diners also have the opportunity to share starters and you have a choice of items such as crispy chicken,ham terrine and clams. You also have a suggestions list to choose from.
Starters might include “old style” tomates with pesto and creamy mozzarella, duck foie gras, gambas and shrimp croquette. For mains, you’ll find nice fish dishes along with pork, steak, duck leg and sweetbread (which is quite rare these days).
After arriving a few months ago, Breton-born head chef Pierre Gascoin’s aim is to impose his own personality on the cuisine and he works closely in tandem with Antoine Salviat (the pair, in fact, first met some 20 years ago), who is also from France, having been raised and brought up in Parisian brasseries.
Antoine, who first came to Brussels in the 1990s, expertly explains both the dishes and wines and also the history of the place.
In case you wondered, the name “Charlu” comes from a previous owner (he named it after his son). The place is popular and can get busy so booking ahead is recommended.
Don’t forget: if you eat here (or just have a drink on the terrace) you can leave a message about your experience.
676 chaussee de Saint-Job, Uccle 118
T. +32 (0)2 374 2610