Fin De Siecl, Brussels 03-2018

I wasn't overly enamoured by local Flemish cuisine during my last stint in Belgium (back in 2012). But I thought it was worth another go. Fin De Siecl is a ridiculously popular (both local and tourist by the looks of things) place to sample local food and I was lucky that on this particular Monday evening the queue wasn't too long. Maybe it was because of the combination of being Monday and 0C temperature but I probably only waited for about 15-20mins for my table for 1.

The menu is written on boards on the wall which was perfect for my table's vantage point but less so for others seated around the room.

The main attractions seem to be jambonneau (a massive pork hock), lapin a la kriek (rabbit in cherry beer), and carbonnades. There's also stoemp (sausages on mash) which I fail to see how can be that exciting. I had kriek cherry beer which was nice, sweet and light and thus the only beer in the world (other than ginger "beer") I can actually stomach.

I asked the lovely waitress between jambonneau and carbonnades. She said are you really really craving a lot of meat? No - therefore go for the more traditional carbonnades. And I'm glad I did. It didn't look overly impressive but the carbonnades a la chimay €14.32 was near meltingly tender beef shin in a sauce that was minimally salted, but beautifully flavoured by the natural beef. It was really excellent. The sauce was mopped by smooth mash or the slices of baguette that was complimentary.

I wandered past on Friday night and the queue went out the door. Highly recommended if you're prepared to wait a little.