Sunday, August 25, 2013

Noordzee Mer du Nord - (Brussels)

 This shop’s name literally means North Sea which historically encompassed the Flemish region which covers modern day Holland and Belgium and more.  I was really glad that I was referred to here again by the lovely people behind who live in Brussels.   I was told in unconditional terms,  their Fish Soup here is likely to be the best in the city and it can become super crowded during lunch rush hours.    Apart from the astonishing  Liege-style waffles which I have just posted previously at (Elisabeth Chocolatier),  this was the 2nd food I tried here which was also so amazingly done.   Seafood bouillabaisse from Marseille in France or a Suquet de Peix in Spain are also popular but they are assisted slightly by respective Crustaceans and Shellfishes input and perhaps Saffron.   The version here was purely fish based for once,  but it was equally naturally sweet if not more sophisticated and therefore become much more appreciated…   




Menu, Ordering whilst Standing Up -
Brussels isn’t cheap on average,  but this place was well priced.
No wonder both locals and travellers flock to here for a quick meal..





Scampi Fritti – Euro 7,0
I ordered these thinking they will be Fried Scampis,  the type you associate with the white clawy hard-shelled crustaceans in the Mediterranean Sea,  Atlantic Ocean or in Australian-New Zealand region.   These turned out to be just fried prawns and apparently that’s how they are called here – don’t shoot the messenger.   Decent enough and very crunchy and fresh bar the misinterpretation in namesake by international standards.  Served with ok tartare sauce   ~  8/10




Fish Soup -
Plenty of aromatic vegetables base with boiled fish(es) flavour.   I don’t become impressed too easily but this was honestly one of the best fish soups I have ever tried by a great margin -  and I think it wowed me so simply because it was naturally sweet with heaps of fish flavours all compacted together and at the same time those aromatic vegetables flavours remained clearly present throughout in the background.   All of these delicate flavours were there without the help of Crustacean cousins…   If you look to the right side, the baguette bread is topped with what amounts to a Rouille spread,  or to me an attempt at reproducing the Marseille’s famous version when it accompanies a Bouillabaisse stew by default.    In my head instantly,  I thought phew this was another rip-off version and plagiarizes from another city.  On the other hand my taste bud tells me this fish soup and not a stew version is simply too good to be true as I haven’t had better yet anywhere ...   ~  12/10





All Fish and Vegetables Based -  no Crustaceans Input
It’s freshly tomato-ey and fresh fish flavour balanced,  with judicial amounts of aromatic vegetables.  Strong in their independent flavours which sung individually but never murky.   Good old recipes cooked very right in this city,  or more accurately at this seafood shop.





They also serve as a Local Seafood market shop -
Which probably explains for the super freshness of the seafood!





Some Local Belgian White Wine to accompany it all -




Lunch Time -
This was one of my cheapest meals in Brussels.   Money issues aside,  the taste factor somehow registered to become one of my most memorable meals on this planet  (not that I have visited the other billion x billion stars anyway).    Yet to this day I still cannot believe how that normal in appearance and clear seafood soup was so packed with fresh fish sweetness,  aromatic vegetables influence and fresh tomato flavours and herbs, so homely but yet so well structured.    Yet within that same bowl of soup,  some really succulent pieces of fish meat can be spooned up and eaten and were not too broken flakey.  I think there is a secret recipe hiding in there somewhere!   And all only for Euro 4,50 !   I can have this Fish Soup everyday honestly..  Amazing stuff that you take for granted but can’t usually find.   Will miss here definitely so much indeed!!




Price:   Euro 15,00
Ease of Access:  3/5
Food:  ♕♕♕♕♕ 1/2  (I will ever only mark down this score,  until that day when someone shows me a better fish soup and that isn’t Crustacean or Shellfish influenced.  All of the elements really sung in solo here and were easily detectable in different layering of depth.  Sublime for the overall package!)

Address:  45, Rue Sainte Catherine, Brussels 1000, Belgium
Ph: +32 (0)2 513 11 92

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