A 2nd lockdown and dark nights. No end in sight to the coronavirus crisis and winter stretching out in front of us.
On the face of it, there isn’t much to be cheerful about.
But one bit of much needed cheer is the ability of eateries to still offer a service, albeit of the takeaway variety.
In a country like Belgium, where food and eating out is a staple diet of society, that is no mean thing.
One such place that is making the most of this is Bois Savanes, an excellent Thai restaurant in Uccle, where the owners, Marie and Jerome Back, are busy meeting the culinary needs of their loyal band of customers during these depressing times.
Unlike most other places that are doing the same, but with a much reduced takeaway service, Marie and her brother Jerome have managed to keep as near normal a menu as possible (aside from the odd exception).
The lockdown now in force is, of course, the 2nd to hit this country and the restaurant sector has been particularly hard hit, being among the first places that have to close and then the last that are allowed to reopen.
The latest confinement goes on until at least December but Marie for one fears it could be until the new year before restaurants are allowed to reopen.
With Christmas looming that would be a huge blow to a sector already reeling badly from the pandemic.
But,in the best tradition of Belgians, Marie and Jerome have dug deep and, with their dedicated team of all-Thai workers, are making the most of a bad situation.
The takeaway services is available from Tuesday to Sunday (6pm to 9.30pm), either by ordering via a delivery firm or (and this is the best option) direct from the restaurant.
This can be done by calling 02 358 3778 or sending an email to [email protected]
The takeaway prices are about 10 to 15 per cent less sitting, little wonder that the service has proved such a success.
Actually, the restaurant already did a thriving takeaway business before the pandemic struck earlier this year, accounting for about 25 per cent of its business. It is now more popular than ever, with some customers travelling from as far away as Jette, over 20km away in the north of Brussels to enjoy the delightful Thai food produced at Bois Savanes.
Customers also come from Rhode Saint Genese which is where the restaurant first opened by Marie and Jerome’s mother, way back in 1984. It remained there until 2018 when it was decided to relocate to Saint Job in Uccle.
In January, it will celebrate its second anniversary at its “new” location which has proved a massive success (the family also have another “branch”, near Schuman in Brussels but this currently remains closed due to the health crisis).
The food is typical/classic Thai cuisine and features a great range of dishes, including beef, pork and chicken. There are noodle dishes, salads and much more besides to choose from – just the job to bring a bit of cheer at the present time. The kitchen staff are all Thai so this is genuinely authentic food from that wonderful part of the world.
Considering the top quality, the prices are amazingly reasonable too and regular customers (and those booking direct) are given a loyalty card with 10 percent discount on future orders.
Thai food, as Marie explains, is particularly conducive as a takeaway option because it can be very easily re-heated without losing any of the fantastic flavours and taste. The service is not available at lunchtime but there is nothing to stop you collecting your dish in the evening and eating it the following day for lunch if needs be.
The food is ready to collect in about 20 minutes and must be collected if ordered direct from the restaurant.
Bois Savanes is thought to have been the first Thai restaurant to open in Brussels when it first made its bow back in the 1980s. There are hundreds of them now of course but none, surely, can beat this place.
A good old fashioned takeaway, snuggled up in front of the tv with a good bottle of wine (or Belgian beer) is just the way to forget about the misery of life right now.