Restaurant review #89 – Bistro Belle de Jour is a small place in one of the quiet streets of the city center, at the back of cultural centre De Grote Post. (update: new location 2019 see below). It’s a two minute walk from shopping street Kappelestraat, I had inquired some time ago whether vegan was possible, and that was said to be no problem.
So when making the reservation, I requested this again. Communication on the phone didn’t go very smooth (the lady answering didn’t seem to understand Flemish very well), so we were a bit anxious to go. But we were quickly reassured upon arrival. Chef Els came personally to give us some vegan suggestions, based on the vegetarian dishes of the day (listed on the chalk board) and what’s available in the kitchen.
We were seated at a little table at the window, with antique glass vases on the windowstill. There is one large table in the middle, sharing space with others. When we make a reservation again, I would definitely ask for a private table, like we had now. Although we do go dining out in non-vegan restaurants all the time, I would not feel confortable to be confronted with the pieces of meat and fish right next to me.
We had some appetizers, and then dinner followed shortly. A colourful and varied salad, with yellow beets and a dish with wild mushrooms and lentils (instead of polenta which was listed on the menu – because that was made with butter).
We had a very lovely meal. Everything freshly prepared, varied and original! 20€ is not cheap, but we rather spend 20€ on this than 12€ for an inspirationless ‘pasta with stir fried vegetables’ (again, and again, and … ). There were no vegan desserts available (although the waiter did suggest to give some fruits and maybe see what else was possible), but we were really stuffed. Service was very friendly and knowledgeable.
Bistro Belle de Jour seems very popular, because the place was packed the evening that we were there! Maybe it’s because of the old stone floor, but accoustics were very bad and it was a crowded atmosphere. Chairs are also very unomfortable (they are old basic pub chairs).
Toilets are downstairs (clean) and I loved the old water bassins and tiles!
Despite the above mentioned minor points on comfort and accoustics, we defintely want to visit Bistro Belle de Jour again. The menu changes every couple of weeks, so would love to try a new vegan creation!
Belle de Jour, location
0479 360 905
UPDATE: new location since February 2019: Madridstraat 9-11, Oostende