Have you ever been to Alsace? It’s a beautiful region in Eastern France famous for its picturesque villages, castles, Christmas markets, wine and local specialties. Brussels may already have its fair share of French cuisine but the arrival of Hopla Geiss was a really welcome addition.
Opened by Nicholas Scheidt, the owner of La Buvette and the Café des Spores, Hopla Geiss specialises in Alsatian cuisine and more particularly, tartes flambées or flammekueche, as the locals call it. The name literally means “flame pie” as a flammekueche was originally used to test the temperature of wood-fired ovens. I think of it as the French answer to the Italian pizza: thin, crispy bread dough covered with sour cream and sprinkled with lardons and sliced onions. Hopla Geiss has a short yet delicious list of traditional dishes on the menu. On our visit my partner and I decided to share a tarte flambée with mushrooms, snails in garlic butter and sausage with a side of potato salad. It was all delicious but what really stood out for me was the flammekueche. I would definitely go for a sweet one too if I wasn’t so full. My tip? Buy a few to share or takeaway and enjoy at home. Hopla Geiss also makes their own sourdough bread that you can order in advance for takeout. I tried it too and found it really tasty.
While the food is authentic, the decor is nothing like a typical Alsatian restaurant but that’s not a bad thing by any means. Interestingly enough, the interior is quite minimal and follows the opposite structure from any other restaurant as you first enter the open kitchen before reaching the actual dining space. The atmosphere is relaxed and informal, so this is a great place for a quick dinner or a casual dinner with friends. Special note must be made to the small garden terrace in the back; not only will it be perfect during summer but the walls are decorated with elaborate graffiti, true to the street art culture in Brussels.
|Address: Chaussée d’ Alsemberg 108, 1060 Saint-Gilles, Belgium|
|Telephone: +32 2 5441422|
*UPDATE Aug 17: Unfortunately, Hopla Geiss is now closed.*