For me, the Sablon, is a rather posh area, with expensive antique shops and white table-clothed restaurants. I was always, therefore, a little bit hesitant to try the Soul restaurant, which is right behind the Sablon, despite everyone’s raving reviews.
I finally made reservations for dinner with a good friend last week. I parked the car at the main square and walked to the restaurant. The mere process of walking to the restaurant already softened my prejudices. It is located in a tiny little street behind the Sablon, a street where everything looks like time has stopped last century, with little well-preserved houses, and nothing modern or ugly to distract.
The restaurant itself is cozy, with gorgeous original tiled floors, wooden tables and chairs and soft lighting. The walls are decorated with beautiful PHOTOGRAPHS. The whole decoration is casual and feels very intimate. In fact, when we went there, most tables were taken by straight and gay couples.
The food is fully organic (bio) and offers several meat, fish and vegetarian options. Most impressively, they also offer lactose and gluten free dishes, which is rather unique for Brussels standards! The most interesting part of the menu, for me, were the fixed menus, which are set according to a desired heath objective, i.e. a DETOX, HDL, vitamin, strength and energy! Again, this is very special for Brussels standards.
I had the Detox menu and my friend opted for the HDL one. In mine, the starter consisted of layered rocket salad, avocado, ricotta with basil, mango and seasonal green vegetables with pumpkin seeds. While I was a bit hesitant of the combination at first, all the flavours worked perfectly together and it was refreshing and appetizing. The main dish was baked sea bass filets served with coconut milk & coriander sauce, steamed broccoli, pilaf rice and green salad. The sauce was on the side so that I could use as much as I wanted, which is the best way of serving a sauce. The bass was cooked to perfection and the whole meal was a joy.
My friend had the HDL menu with a beetroot, APPLE, feta and rocket salad which was delicious, with the beetroot juices covering the whole of the dish. For the main dish she had a lentil burger, grilled zuccchini, avocado mayonnaise, sweet potatos, feta tzatziki and green salad. The burger was spiced with cumin, which is the ultimate accompaniment for lentils.
We had a dry sparkling wine to drink which was surprisingly good for a bio brand!
The food and the wine were spectacularly good. They were fully bio and they gave the sense of goodness and purity. The kind of food you eat, not just to enjoy, but also to enhance your health and well-being. At the same time, the food was full of flavor and the presentation was very refined and stylish.
We stayed at the restaurant with my friend for almost 4 hours, eating and drinking slowly and chatting. The space, with its soft decoration and lighting, the discreet waitresses, made us relax and escape from the mad pace of every day life. It made us sink into a slower rhythm and enjoy the simple things in life, like pure food and wine, and good company.
The restaurant is very popular with the lesbian community and is ideal to go there on a date or with your partner or a good friend.
It is very strongly recommended for all possible reasons. I have vowed to return to Soul again and again as often as I possibly can!
Soul, Rue de la Samaritaine 20, 1000 Brussels. Open from Wednesday to Sunday in the evenings.