Back to the Basics - Chez Fleur
I started writing this post a while ago and then the nice weather arrived, I enjoyed it and never posted my article...You know how it goes when Spring is finally here: Apéro, terrace and lots of fun! But it's also a really nice season to go to your favourite restaurant and taste their fresh dishes outside (when possible). One of my favourite places to enjoy Viet-Thai food is Chez Fleur and to be honest, I haven't quite found another place serving the same quality. It mainly comes from the fact that restaurants, these days, europeanise food a lot and that owners are foreigners...
When you visit Chez Fleur, you can expect Vietnamese staff and owners, few exceptions in the kitchen but the main staff is from Vietnam. This family business capitalised on making the right choices and it worked: cosy and rococo atmosphere, right location (next to the ULB) and typical Vietnamese/Thai food.
We don't go that often to Ixelles now that we moved to Evere but once in awhile, we like to pay a visit to Chez Fleur and its manager: François. He is a really nice guy, looking after his clientele and easily becoming a real friend. So as you can imagine, we were happy to be in Ixelles that night and to catch up with François as well as discover the novelties on the menu!
My love life with Asian cuisine brings me to often order seafoods, Bo Bun, eggplant and soups. So that night when I got the chance to try for the first time a shrimp carpaccio I didn't hesitate. I was quite surprised with this starter...It was a bit chewy and as you can guess raw shrimps don't have much taste so the mix of herbs as to be right to make the dish a success! Our second starter was stuffed baby cuttlefish sauteed with onions, it's one of our usual starters because we love it so much.
We chatted a lot before ordering our main course, it gave us enough time to choose what we would like to eat although, my choice was 99% already made!! I really wanted to eat a good Bun Bo (vermicelli, nems, beef with fresh citronelle and sour sauce). The BF on the other hand had no idea what to take but ultimately he settled for a sour fish soup. I am not sure of the name on the menu or if this is even on the menu because you can always ask François for variations or just let him surprise you!
This is one of the strengths of Chez Fleur I guess, you can trust the chef to surprise your taste buds with something that is not on the menu :) I wouldn't say they do it systematically but it is worth asking for.
If things haven't changed, I can safely state another strengths of Chez Fleur and it is the fact that Nems, Spring Rolls and the likes are prepared on site every day. Lately I believe you can also find pork free variations of many starters :)
One downside though...Chez Fleur suffers from its popularity so come early or make a reservation because otherwise, you will find yourself waiting for a table.
Happy news for those who don't want to move during this crazy warm weather...Chez Fleur delivers! So head to their website and check the menu if you want to stay home or avoid crowded places!