Born and bred in Brussel, Philippe Coicou aka DJ Kwak is a local promoter, DJ, journalist and radio host. More than anything though, he’s a family man. And, as his rather packed schedule keeps him home or at work more often than not, he relies on a selection of first class addresses between Schaarbeek and Flagey to get the most out of his precious spare time.
Catch DJ Kwak talking about Brussels in our latest edition, which you can order here.
I have my Back to Niceness radio show on Saturday evening so I need a big plate of food to get started and be ready, to have enough energy for the entire length of the show. One place I love to go is Le Delecta. My radio station, FM Brussel, is on Place Flagey, so it’s really close. It’s a burger place and one of the owner and I used to be together in a thing that was called Brussels Possee at the time. We used to go in the early ninetees to hardcore and punk shows and mosh the place up! Viva Mboma (Rue de Flandres 17 Vlanderenstraat 1000) on Rue de Flandres is also a regular address. But it’s not a secret anymore: you have to book way in advance to go there. The food is awesome, the service is friendly and they have good wine too.. I really love it. On my own I like to go to Le Bar du Gaspi (309 Chaussée de Haechtsesteenweg 1030): since I work from home I like to go there just to take a break and read a paper. They have a lot of very good tapas and more than anything an exquisite home made pesto, with lots of garlic! These days though, I’m more of a family man and being a father of three kids I usually don’t bother going out to eat with the whole family. There’s a very good restaurant called La Medina (2 Avenue de la Couronne Kroonlaan 1050) that makes deliveries: they have a very decent couscous and it comes in huge quantities so we call them from time to time. Now that I spin a little bit less I also take the time to see friends. I like to organize dinners and my wife is an excellent cook. We often rely on our weekly Panier Bio from Namasthe (25 Avenue Louis Bertrandlaan Schaerbeek 1030) on Avenue Louis Bertrand for the cooking. I also pick chocolate, wine and some of the great coffee they have there. For the wine I often grab a bottle at Tonton Marcel (Rue du Bailli 106 Balijuwstraat 1050) at the end of Rue du Bailly. He has superb wine taste and choice, along with a solid selection of rum – and I’m a rum fanatic. Boire et Fumer (Avenue de l’Université 38 Hogeschoollaan 1050) at Cimetière d’Ixelles is another good place for rum. Some of them you wouldn’t find in other places in town. Most of the friends that visit me are Djs or musicians and come for the music stuff so they will definitely want to go to the record store. If they wanna go for reggae, Arlequin (Rue du Chêne 7 Eikstraat 1000) might be a good place, especially Arlequin St Gilles. If they wanna go for Latin stuff, or jazz, I recommend Le Collector (Rue de la Bourse 26 Beursstraat 1000). For more rock and roll and psych we would go to Veals and Geeks (Rue des Grands Carmes 8A Lievevrouwbroersstraat 1000). If they’re looking for really collectable and more expensive records, we go to Juke Box (165 Boulevard Anspachlaan 1000). The former manager Jean Pierre had an incredible knowledge in music, especially in French pop and the likes… Finally, for the new stuffs and the reissue we go to Caroline Records (101 Boulevard Anspachlaan 1000). I just somehow regret that there’s no specific funk and jazz records shop in Bruxelles. There use to be but it’s now close. On Sunday, I’ll bring my kids and family to the Parc Josaphat (1030 Schaerbeek), round the corner from my flat. It’s such a beautiful place! On the way, I’m always amazed at the perspective there is on Avenue Louis Bertrand. It’s absolutely stunning. The view on the parc , especially when it’s sunny outside, when there’s light … I never get tired of it. I often stop by Cocozza (Avenue des Azalées 8 Azalealaan 1030) going to the park: their ice cream is very good, they have excellent waffles and their hot chocolate is top notch. And for the kids, that’s what works! Sunday is also an opportunity for me to catch up on my reading so I go either to Cent Papiers, next to my place, or for more international stuff to Ptyx (39 Rue Lesbroussartstraat 1050), near Place Flagey. These local shops are really serious about what they do. They work hard on reading the books they sell so they know what they are talking about. This contact with somebody who knows your taste is really important. That’s what you don’t get when you buy your books or records on the internet or Amazon…
Portrait ©Paul K.