It is the new kid on the block – the latest eatery to open in arguably the city’s most bohemian quarter.
The area around Place du Chatelain in Ixelles is renowned for the number of good quality restaurants serving the area’s particularly diverse mix of nationalities.
It is not easy for a new entrant on the scene but make its mark but that is exactly what Voisin is doing.
Evidence of this can be seen by the fact that, even on a traditionally quiet midweek night in the middle of summer, when much of the area empties, it is doing a very lively trade.
That is a good sign of both the food served here and the service.
It all augurs well for a restaurant that only recently opened.
The speciality here is very much the delicious fresh pasta of which there is a very good choice.
A nice way to start any meal here, though, is by sampling a few of the small plates on the menu. You can take your pick from several, including octopus, served the “Japanese way”, mushroom croquettes – a refreshing change from the usual offerings found at most Brussels restos – and caviar of aubergine and coriander.
Another option is peppers with goats cheese.
All is very tasty indeed and can be tried on their own or as a combination. Whichever you go for you will not be disappointed.
The same can be said of the fantastic pasta which comes in various forms and styles, all very creatively presented.
The dishes are changed according to market availability and the season and all the ingredients are carefully sourced, mostly from a tried and trusted network of producers known to the owners.
There are, in fact, no less than ten different kinds of pasta and about six are changed quite regularly so as to give customers as wide a choice as possible.
However, traditionalists will be happy to hear that some classics, such as Bolognese, remain on the card all the time. There are also three fixed menus which are ideal for groups.
The end result, though, really does reveal the character of the chef, Antoine Scorier, who clearly has an eye for inventiveness in his cooking.
A couple of other points are worth making: this place also serves some great cocktails and beers (overseen by Thomas Delvaux) along with a smashing wine card. The reds and whites are as rigorously sourced from reliable producers as the food.
The point is that everything is very reasonably priced here. Prices start from a very low €14 and this is particularly welcome in an area that can be terribly overpriced. There are no deserts but who needs pudding when the starters and mains (and drinks) are so good!
The two young owners deserve a lot of credit for what they have achieved here in a short space of time.
Louis Jones and Maxime Grell have, in fact, known each other since they were kids.
Maxime, who hails from Brabant Walloon, used to run events while still at college in Brussels (he still does).
Louis, who is from Rixensart, first starting working with Maxime – organising parties – when they were still teenagers.
After working for a year in New Zealand he returned to Belgium for his studies and he was yet to finish these before he and Maxime opened “DJO”, an informal bar located in the same neighbourhood as Voisin.
The building Viosin now occupies had been a French restaurant for three years before they took it over. Louis gives credit to his mother, an interior designer, for helping to give the interior a totally new look.
The combination of light, trendy colours gives the place a nice, informal feel which is perfectly in keeping with the concept.
Louis himself is typical of the diverse mix in this area: his dad is from the Midlands in England while his mum is Spanish.
With the glorious weather of late you will be glad to hear there is a lovely terrace, seating 45, along with the 50-seat interior space.
To those unfamiliar with it, the word Voisin means neighbour and this word was deliberately chosen by the two pals who say, “most of us have a neighbour we get on with and who you’d like to invite for dinner.”
If you get a chance to eat here you should do the neighbourly thing and accept!
You will sample some lovely, “re-invented” pasta in a very convivial and relaxing atmosphere. Recommended.