For a wholesome lunch or a sophisticated dinner far from the city buzz and tourist flocks, head to Le 203 in Saint Gilles. Rub elbows with fellow diners in the front communal wooden table, sit in the central area in front of the Aussie chef and watch his pans swirl and fume or head back and pick an intimate table for two. Richard’s cuisine is self-assumedly French with Vietnamese and Thai influences (read plenty of lemongrass, ginger coriander and coconutty flavours). But the chef intends to bring the tastes from his Native land to the table and guests should expect smoked dishes and a garden barbecue come summer.

The menu at Le 203 is purposefully sober with no more than 2 starters, up to 3 main courses and one or two desserts. And prices are very mild, too especially at lunchtime. Mathilde is Richard’s other half and takes care of the table service with kindness and precious advice. They use organic veggies and high quality meats and always favor local artisan products. Their velvety butternut soup was heavenly and their chicken and thyme terrine with grilled polenta and romesco sauce got us (almost) licking the plate clean. For dinner, expect more elaborate dishes, like pink risotto with chioggia beet or labneh and candied onions.

The restaurant is housed in a renovated Brussels home whose interior is cosy and warm with bare brick walls and nestled light bulbs, wooden tables and fresh flowers aplenty. The perfect spot for a romantic dinner or a lunch with friends. I’m definitely coming back soon.

 

Le 203, Chaussée de Waterloo 203, 1060 Saint-Gilles, T: +32 2 539 26 43. Open from Tuesday night to Saturday night 11:30-14:00 / 19:00-22:00.