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Brussels is full of foodie spots offering all kinds of international cuisine, from Greek and Japanese to Tibetan and Middle Eastern. As much as locals and visitors fancy experimenting with different flavours though, nothing beats good Belgian food. That’s why I couldn’t possibly turn down an invitation to try Madame Chapeau, a new restaurant in the centre of Brussels that celebrates stoemp (i.e. mashed potatoes with vegetables), a much loved local specialty.  

Let me start with the basics: who is Madame Chapeau? The restaurant is named after a fictional character from Bossemans et Coppenolle, a Belgian theatrical play that pays tribute to “zwanze”, the Brussels’ sense of humor. Madame Chapeau is an old lady typically played by a man and there’s even a statue in her honour on Rue de Midi created by Tom Fratzen. Not too far you can now find traditional Belgian specialties in a modern setting. The interior of Madame Chapeau is bright, minimal and very inviting but what will make you come back is the food!

The menu was created by Gauthier De Baere, the chef behind Pei & Mei, which happens to be one of my favourite restaurants in Brussels at the moment. At Madame Chapeau you can create your own dish by picking your stoemp (carrot, leek, chicory or spinach), your protein (sausage, chicken, fish, lobster plus an option for vegetarians) and last but not least, your sauce (tartare, thai, salad dressing, gravy). If you feel like trying something other than stoemp, you can always go for the specials which also looked pretty tempting. As you can see, I had the lobster with leek stoemp which was delicious: the meat was tender and went really well with the creamy stoemp. Next time I’ll definitely go for the sausage though as it’s a more traditional combination.

The portion was very filling indeed but I couldn’t resist having dessert – the things I do for this blog! The speculoos ice cream is simply amazing (you also seemed to like it on Facebook and Instagram) and I also had a bite of the Cuberdon ice cream which was also excellent. Madame Chapeau is a good option if you’re looking for a comforting Belgian meal in a modern ambience. I won’t lie, it’s not the lightest meal I’ve had but was worth very calorie!  

Address: Rue du Marché au Charbon 94, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Telephone: +32 2 5144044
Facebook page

*UPDATE: Unfortunately, Madame Chapeau is now closed.*

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Sandy (@smarksthespots)