La Figoule, Brussels - Spanish Cuisine with a Modern Twist
New year, new spot. La Figoule, located quite towards the end of Avenue Louise, not far from Bois de la Cambre, is a new restaurant that popped up about four months ago.
Combining the best of Spanish cuisine with some modern details, while putting highlights on the most important ingredients, La Figoule’s chef creates dishes that make you want to come back. He was taught at El Bulli, one of the most famous Spanish restaurants known for its molecule cuisine and artistic display of dishes. But it’s not only him; Jeremy, one of the three owners (1 Belgian, 2 French) as well as the waiters at this place are very friendly, attentive and helpful.
Once arrived at La Figoule, you’ll enter into a spacious, bright and modern place, furnished with colourful chairs and tables in red and turquoise to your right, while on the left side you’ll see a big wooden drawer with old bottles, wine glasses and jars filled with sea salt. A few steps up and you’ll spot the big bar to your right. It has everything that’s needed to prepare a great cocktail and the waiters are happy to help you with your choice. On the left there is a row of light wooden tables, a long bench and some nice woven chairs. By looking through the big glass surface in front of you, you can take a glimpse or two into the kitchen. Two floors up you’ll reach another room, filled with yellow chairs and tables, which from this week onwards is the restaurant area. Downstairs you can have cocktails, while enjoying some Tapas with it.
Now about the most important part, the part that probably interests you most. La comida. The food. After Jeremy introduced himself, he also introduced to us that day's tasting menu. 6 courses were waiting for us. But first: an Amuse-Bouche. A piece of aubergine tempura with spicy Andalusian aioli, tomato chutney and fried chips of Pata Negra ham kicked off that evening's menu. Followed by two jamon croquetas, fried to perfection, creamy and soft. The next dish, tuna tatar, looked almost too nice to touch or even eat it; served in a little bowl made from fried wonton dough, together with orange fish eggs (ikura?!), while having this smooth and soft texture and a very extraordinary taste that’s hard to put into words. Speaking about amazing texture - the final starter of this menu was a very soft Mozzarella di Bufala on diced tomatoes with ponzu and black garlic ice cream. Oh yes, my taste buds didn't know on which ingredient to concentrate first.
This definitely heated up our appetite and we became curious about the two main dishes to follow. First, there was cod on a potato puree, with crunchy sautéed sugar snaps in a reduction made from the fish's own sauce and olive oil. The meat part was represented by a piece of suckling-pig wrapped in lard, served with a creamy mushroom sauce. Very crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, this was a great dish, but we were quite saturated at this point already. But what's a Saturday evening dinner without dessert?! - If possible, one that involves chocolate. They seemed to read my mind and there it was, a chocolate fondant, with cherry ice cream and white chocolate mousse. I guess this speaks for itself, I would just add that the fondant was perfect (and many times it's not these days). A firm outside part and once you dig your spoon into it, all the perfect, still warm and liquid chocolate that's inside appears, just to be paired with the ice cream that's waiting for it.
Enough for now. I'm getting hungry and if I could, I would go back to La Figoule at this very moment. It’s a great place for a relaxed evening, with good food in a buzzing atmosphere.
Prices: 20€ for a lunch menu, in the evening it's around 10-15€ for a starter and 18-27€ for a main dish
Good to Know: Avenue Louise 362, 1000 Bruxelles, Website: lafigoule.be