Area codes: Damien and Bénédicte’s Brussels

 Having just recently been named Brussels’ best young chef by Gault Millau, Damien Bouchéry and his partner Bénédicte keep to a busy lifestyle. Spending the week in their unique restaurant, sourcing and preparing local produce and whipping up some of the most exquisite and innovative dishes in the city, Sunday is their dedicated day off, and this is how they spend it…

Catch Bouchéry’s tribute to Brussels in our latest edition, which you can order here

To start the day at a good note, we like to have brunch at Garage à Manger. The food they serve is super, the interior is inspiring and the atmosphere is lively and inviting. ICI is also a cool place for brunch; the vibe is equally nice. We like to go to other restaurants, to have a look at what the others are doing. Since a lot of our friends are in the same business as we are, we like to pay them a visit from time to time. One of our favourites for dinner is Maru, a Korean restaurant in Ixelles. The dishes are executed to perfection, and they have a very good wine and beer menu. We visit almost weekly: it’s that good. For fish and seafood, we recommend Toucan sur Mer. When we’re in need of our dose of iodine, we stop here for a selection of excellent oysters. Another true favourite is Chez Max, coiffeur pour hommes, which is actually not a hairdresser’s but a very nice bistro. He serves outstanding French cuisine, topped with a keen selection of natural wines. When we’re in need of a drink, we like to stop at Titulus for a bit of wine tasting. Their wines are natural, original and they offer tasty little side dishes. For the stronger stuff we tend to head to Hortense, a somewhat hidden cocktail bar in the city centre. It’s located in a basement, which immediately adds a mysterious and unusual touch. Their cocktails are really something else, and show some audacity. Sometimes we also get away from restaurants, food and wines. UGC Toison d’Or is where we usually head for a night at the movies. To clear our minds and stretch our legs, we do a Sunday run at the Forêt de Soignes. It’s really an asset – and incredibly convenient – to have such a pretty forest so close to the city. As a girl, relaxing also means shopping to me. Cachemire Cotton Soie is one of my favourites stores. They have a collection of very nice brands, so there is always something I like. I also stop at A.P.C., a brand that has excellent basics but always with a special detail or twist. Senteurs d’Ailleurs is especially good for perfumes. Their range of scents is truly exceptional, and the quality is even better. When I’m in need of some pampering, I book an appointment at Adrien Coelho. He’s a great hairdresser and knows exactly what to do. Since I do the service at the restaurant, I think it’s important to make a good impression. L’Institut in Ixelles is where I go for a manicure. Marie is the girl who does my nails there, and she does it like an expert.

Garage à Manger
Rue Washington 185 (1050)
garage-a-manger.be
 
ICI
Rue Darwin 35 (1050)
 
Maru
Chaussée de Waterloo 510 (1050)
 
Toucan sur Mer
Avenue Louis Lepoutre 17 (1050)
toucanbrasserie.com
 
Chez Max, coiffeur pour hommes
Rue Lesbroussart 118 (1050)
chezmaxrestaurant.be
 
Titulus
Chaussée de Wavre 167 (1050)
titulus.be
 
Hortense
Rue des Sablons 7 (1000)
 
UGC Toison d’Or
Avenue de la Toison d’Or, 8 et 17 (1050)
ugc.be
 
Forêt des Soignes
foret-de-soignes.be
 
Cachemire Cotton Soie
Rue Franz Merjay 53 (1050) 
cachemirecotonsoie.com
 
A.P.C.
Rue Darwin 61 (1050)
apc.fr
 
Senteurs d’Ailleurs
Place Stéphanie 1A (1000)
senteursdailleurs.com
 
Adrien Coelho
Rue Tenbosch 74 (1050)
adriencoelho.com
 
L’Institut
Rue Washington 57 (1050)