As an expat it’s rather easy to forget that Brussels has 19 communes and not venture beyond Ixelles, the EU district and downtown. With a few friends now living in Uccle, we’ve spent more time in the area lately and have tried several restaurants, not always with the best results. One exception is Guignol.
Like many Brussels restaurants, it has a slightly kitsch interior with marionettes hanging from the ceiling and walls. It’s named after Guignol, the main character in a French puppet show who was originally created in the 18th century (yes, I had to look this up :)). Whether you’re a fan of puppetry or not (I have to admit they kind of scare me), this restaurant is worth a try.
Guignol is a true brasserie serving up straightforward Belgo-French cuisine. The menu is huge, including dishes like stoemp (mashed potatoes with veggies), croquettes de crevettes (deep-fried tiny shrimp inside bread crumbs), soupe de poisons (fish soup) and jambonneau (massive leg of ham). There are a couple of miscellaneous ‘ethnic’ dishes thrown into the mix like chili con carne, ossobuco and curry chicken. For some reason many Belgian restaurants like to do this. Hey, I guess you can’t eat meat and potatoes every day (however my Irish husband would strongly disagree).
The onglet à l’échalote (slowly cooked beef in shallot sauce) is one of my personal favorites that I have tested at many locations around Brussels. The one at Guignol ranks pretty well by my experienced standards. This is definitely not the place to go if you’re on a diet, as you’ll want to have frites with your main course. There are loads of desserts to choose from, but it is best to keep it simple. I would go for the dame blanche (vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce) or tarte Tatin (upside-down apple cake).
The service is friendly enough and the prices reasonable. Expect to pay around €30 per person for dinner. They also have a €9 lunch special on weekdays. You don’t necessarily need a reservation, but I would recommend one on a Friday or Saturday evening. If available, I prefer to sit in the back room with wrap around glass windows instead of upfront near the bar. There is also a large terrace open in the summer. And if you’re not in the neighborhood, there is a second (original) location in Woluwé-Saint-Lambert.
334 Chaussée de Saint-Job, 1180 Uccle
Tel: 02 374 17 38
Open Monday to Sunday, 12-2:30pm and 6:30-11pm (closed Saturday lunch)
Images via Guignol.