In Korean, Maru means “The skies above the mountain and the clouds”. Kyky, the superwoman behind the restaurant designed the place as a feel-good nest. And one does feel the zen atmosphere. The bamboo tables and the wicker chairs give are cosy and I just love the Corbusier-Blue painted wall. Their tableware comes from Korea and is absolutely breathtaking. Well, when you know that a pair of metallic chopsticks cost 70 euros, it’d better be! (So no taking them home with you!)
Korean cuisine is healthy and varied and more exhuberant than the Japanese one, which is more austere in its flavours. Korean cuisine is somewhat spicier and more colourful. Whatever you order at Maru, you’ll try their kimchi (marinated cabbage with kochujuan, a typical Korean hot chili paste) which is served together with spinach and soy sprouts. I have to say Maru is one of my favorite spots in Brussels. The food is absolutely delicious, delicate and very particular. They have a large menu with soups, salads, a ton of appetizers, BBQ and noodle-dishes. I tried the pan fried dumplings (what I usually call gyozas) and they’re probably the best in town. I also loved the Pajeon, a delicious sizzling Korean pancake that you can have with seafood or veggie only and I definitely recommend the Jabchae, stir-fried sweet potatoe noodles with veggies, beef and soy sauce. My partner in crime had the spicy beef soup and really enjoyed it as well as the sliced duck.
Maru’s meat comes from Hendrik Dierendonck, one of Belgium’s most celebrated butchers. Why is this relevant? Well, I believe one should eat as little meat as possible. But most importantly, when one does eat meat, it should be high-quality meat from animals that lived and died decently. The cows at the Dierendonck farm are reared for six to seven years before they’re slaughtered, which is is longer than necessary under organic farming regulations. Their animals are from a special breed, dubbed the Belgian Reds. They are are grass-fed and treated well. They can even decide whether they stay in or go outside.
Maru’s wine selection is quite something although I drank brown rice tea. On Sunday, we paid something like 40 euros each for lunch, but during the week they have a 16 euros lunch menu which I plan on trying next week with my blogger pal Milena from the super witty It Takes Two to Polka.
Maru, Chaussée de Waterloo 510, Brussels. T: +32 2 346 11 11 – Open Tuesday to Sunday from 12.00-14.30 and from 19.00-22.30.