Peï & Meï, the gastronomic bistro experience
Are you looking for a culinary experience while discovering the historic streets of Brussels? Then I suggest you head to the stunning Sablon and make a stop at N°15 Rue de Rollebeek. Behind a typical Belgian narrow facade, you'll find Peï & Meï a jewel of authenticity and belgitude.
The name Peï & Meï wasn't chosen by chance as in Brusseleire (dialect) it means a "guy & a girl". This definitely refers to the duo who launched this restaurant, two well-known names on the Belgian food scene: chef Gauthier De Baere & Melissa Triantopoulos, wine expert. With these two working together, we could only expect good things and indeed, the mastery displayed in every dish is impressive!
Visiting Peï & Meï was part of my Marketing Team Building last June and I was very happy to hear the news! I had meant to try the menu for some time now and yet never did...A lot of restaurants are stuck on my To-Do list indefinitely... So this was the perfect opportunity to be mind blown or so I hoped.
The first thing that will be blindingly obvious after passing the front door is the very clean decor, a Scandinavian mix of brick and white with an open kitchen and a few tables & banquettes. We decided to sit close to the kitchen, a perfect spot to watch the preparation, here nothing is hidden! The menu itself is quite simple and offers several formulas to fit every appetite:
Most of us chose the Main course + Dessert (42€) so we could try as many dishes and sweets as possible :) In the end, 2 main courses won our hearts: the Cuberol de boeuf “Holstein” rassis 5 semaines and Le poisson du jour. To be honest the whole process was splendid to watch...The preparation of the fish and the meat, both stunning huge pieces chosen with care, was taken care of meticulously by Gauthier and his help. You could see the precision in every move, cut and seasoning, even in the plate presentation. I wouldn't expect less from Peï & Meï but still, with only two staff working the kitchen, it takes brio to achieve such level of quality.
If you are a connoisseur you will realize that the menu hides many gems, synonyms of quality: purée à la Robuchon, a merveilleux from Wittamer or the Holstein beef.
Taste wise, my vote went for the fish that was absolutely delicious. Every aspect of the plate was interesting, from the seasoning of the fish to the olive coulis and veggies, and formed an amazing culinary experience with every bite. I must admit that I couldn't finish my plate, the piece of fish was quite big, bigger in fact that in restaurants and as for the meat, the portion was also very generous and melted in the mouth!
The dessert was another interesting challenge with a Merveilleux from Wittamer, a guarantee of quality, an Irish Coffee and a Sablé Breton. I took the Merveilleux thinking it would be too much for me and in the end I ate it all because it was so light and airy. Nothing less expected from Maison Wittamer, the master of desserts! The Sablé as also very well done, this time by Peï and Meï and the Irish Coffee received quite a few praises from those who tasted it! One of them is quite harsh on how an Irish should be made, however she was quite happy with the result ;)
Overall, we had a good time at Peï and Meï and enjoyed every plate and every bite we ordered, something that can be tricky when you are a table of 8 people...Usually not everyone ends up happy but in this case satisfaction was shared! I also noted that portions were generous and "justified" the price asked, which at first might seem extravagant (31€ for the fish, 39€ for the Holstein). The formulas are also interesting in some cases and allow you to try more food for a cheaper price, like if you take the Holstein and a dessert. You would then pay 42€ instead of 49€.
The 3 tastings lunch menu at 19€ is a great bargain too and perfect to discover what Peï & Meï has to offer! However, make sure to book a table as the restaurant is usually crowded! I experienced it and didn't read one review that said otherwise. Now, I can only recommend that you try this place next time you visit the Sablon!