Fancy discovering a resto with a difference? Well, if so, we can suggest one such place in one of the chicest parts of Brussels.
It is called “Relais de Paris” and one of the differences here is that, in effect, there is really one “star of the show” – steak.
It isn’t any common or garden steak this, though.
It is cooked by someone who really does know about how to cook a good piece of meat.
Step forward Reza Afshar Kharaghan, owner and chef at the restaurant which, next month, will celebrate its 1st anniversary (it opened in July last year).
He runs it with his wife Monica Benito. Neither hail from Belgium – he is from Iran and Monica is part Spanish and part Peruvian– but they have now made this country their home. Last year they found the ideal premises for Relais de Paris, which is part of a franchise spread over 26 countries, no less.
The menu here is short – no starters – but a handful of dishes with steak being by far the most popular choice for its customers.
It is the best possible Angus Irish beef that is used and Reza, such is his passion for the stuff that he goes about cooking and preparing it in an almost scientific manner.
The explanation is probably best left to him but his sheer love and dedication to his craft shines through even after the shortest of conversations.
A commercial engineer by training, he has always been a fanatic of gastronomy and makes it a point of using only top quality products.
The meal commences with a small starter salad which, along wth the delicious vinaigrette that accompanies, is part of the formula,
Then there is the meat, of course: a superb Irish Angus striploin which, depending on your appetite, is available in a 180g or 350g version. The potatoes are specially selected to produce, in house, delicious fries (prepared, according to the rules of the art, with beef fat).
Look out too for the rather nice sauce – made from a “secret recipe” – that goes with the meat.
The steak is the thing here and it would seem a shame to come and not try it but, if you want something else, there’s also chicken, a veggie salad and hamburger on the menu as well.
Also noteworthy, for lovers of sweets, are some pretty desserts, including an excellent tarte tatin with ice cream or a friendly “Colonel”.
The wine list is also worth a detour, with a very intelligent selection of French vintages from all regions, offered at very reasonable prices.
You can also only admire the exceptional choice of spirits available here, especially in the field of whiskies – all unusual in a restaurant.
Nothing predisposed the couple to try the horeca adventure. Monica is a lawyer by training from UCL and her husband is a commercial engineer.
Both have more than fulfilled their professional lives but, both passionate about hospitality and good food,also they thought there was a great opportunity to meet their dreams.
That is what they are doing to good effect at this lovely resto. To which we can say, with the first anniversary approaching: Happy birthday Relais de Paris!
Relais de Paris
42 place du Sablon, Brussels
02 731 0285