The area around Place Chatelain in Brussels is one of my favourite places to just walk around, just sit down for a drink or eat. It has a superb ‘village feel’ with many boutique stores which are a breath of fresh air in cities that are starting to look the same with the common branded high-street stores.
It is one of the first areas of Brussels I discovered when I moved to this city nine years ago. And it is constantly evolving though it hasn’t lost any of its charm. Old places which have stood the test of time are complemented by new establishments which open from time to time and which hope to also become regular fixtures of the area.
Recently we stopped for a quick bite at Knees to Chin, a newish place on Rue Livorne, in between Avenue Louise and Place Chatelain.
The concept is very simple but effective. If you are looking for a quick and healthy lunch this is the perfect place. They make rice paper rolls which you find in Asia. Using fresh ingredients these rice paper rolls are extremely good particularly on these warm summer days.
At Knees to Chin they make six different rice paper rolls with a great choice of fish, meat and vegetarian rolls. You can also opt for the lunch menu with a choice of either two or three rice paper rolls and a bowl of rice finished with a great peanut sauce and sesame seeds or a salad.
The place is very small but has a very welcoming interior design, I liked the display behind the counter with white and green ceramic tiles and the use of upside down colourful jars as hanging lights.
The rice paper rolls I tried were the prawns with mango and fresh mint topped with an avocado sauce, the chicken with pears and rocket served with a peanut sauce and the duck with green apple and caramelised onions served with a sesame sauce were all fresh and very tasty. The bowl of sticky rice was excellent.
The great thing about Brussels is that more and more great spots with interesting concepts are opening. These places thrive because of good service, excellent food and word of mouth. If you are in the area you should give it a try.
Verdict: the concept is good and unique for Brussels. The produce is fresh. For a quick and healthy lunch don’t hesitate to go if you are in the area.
You can find Knees to Chin in rue de Livourne 125, Brussels. This small restaurant is closed on Sundays. Check out their website for opening hours since these will change after 31st August.