BRITXOS (By LA BRITANNIQUE) + NUIT BLANCHE

Another weekend, another brunch.

A couple of weekends ago I was feeling especially delicate on a Sunday. The night before had been Brussels’ annual ‘Nuit Blanche’- a ‘sleepless night’ in French. It’s always one of my favourite nights of the year when dozens of art/dance/music/drama/interactive/younameit shows take place in one area of Brussels.This year’s offering did not disappoint.

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One hazy memory has me and fifty or so other strangers taking part in an interactive drama skit trying to keep a neon green exercise ball known as ‘The Energy’ from falling in a beautiful hall I’d never been in or even known it existed until Nuit Blanche. If it sounds weird, it is. But it’s free, fun and gets you doing things a bit out of the ordinary. Ok, verrrry out of the ordinary.

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A woman frantically tried to eat a plate of peas one-by-one whilst four women dance around her outside Recyclart. As you do.

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I digress. As wonderful as the night was, my head the next morning was decidedly not. My sister who was visiting from London, the boyfriend and I headed for ‘Britxos’ by La Britannique to quell our delicate tummies.

This was not the first time I’d been to Britxos and it definitely won’t be the last. This little St-Gilles restaurant is owned by ex-pat Alex who also runs a catering company and cookery school. A man of many talents!

Yes, we had to wait a good bit for our (reserved) table, some drinks orders were forgotten and the black interior can feel a bit depressing  (could have been my hangover to be honest) but the food is fantastic!

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The menu has hot and cold small plate options for a reasonable €5 each with larger brunch items priced at €12.50. We chose to order our items separately but you can go for a set €25 menu: starter/main/dessert/welcome drink/juice or wine/hot drink.

To start I had the ‘Gdansk’ : herring on pumpernickel bread with sour cream and beetroot ‘caviar’. It was divine and was particularly suited to my boyfriend’s very Scandinavian taste in food When we do an Ikea shop half our trolley is devoted to his roll mop addiction. It could be worse I suppose.

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Torino: Pizza Bianco with mascarpone, blue cheese, truffle and pear. Sweet mother this one was good. The classic cheese+fruit pairing was perfect and I loved that the pizza was contained in an incredible crispy dough. Delicious.

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Granola was lovely as granola tend to be. The rhubarb compote was a beautiful pink hue and lovely and sharp.

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Torquay: Cheddar and Sage Scones with Mozarella, pesto and confit tomatoes. I loved these wee scones, the texture was brilliantly crispy on top and crumbly below. Gawwwjus!

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For our main we shared the Manhattan; eggs Benedict with bacon. It was very tasty but I felt that the sauce could have been a bit thicker.

My sister opted for the vegetarian version of the London: grilled potatoes, tomatoes, poached eggs,mushrooms, homemade ‘New England’baked beans and some sort of vegetarian baked thing (sorry, memory failing here). She very much approved.

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After all that food, I was a bit of a glutton and had a dessert. My first CRONUT.

For anyone who’s been living under a rock for the past 6 months (or perhaps has better things to do with their time than acquaint themselves with pastry hybrids) the cronut unsuprisingly is a mix between the croissant and doughnut. Apparently the bakery in New York which created it is currently trying to patent the name, leading to rival establishments coming up with the equally fabulous ‘doughssant’. Wonderful.

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To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much. Too much hype, too many Americans queuing for it…etc How good can a dessert really be? Very, apparently.

Britxos’ Soho Black Market Cronuts were unbelievably good. I’m not sure how faithful they are to the original (a google search brings up many variations) but I don’t care. You have to try these delectable WONDERS.

LOOK at them! So beautiful. *Sigh*

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I can’t wait to come back and try the other dishes. I can also recommend Alex’s cookery classes. I took one as part of a birthday celebration with friends. The food was out of this world (have never tasted beef cooked so perfectly), the booze plentiful and so much fun.

This man knows how to cook!

Britxos: Rue de Savoie 13, 1060 St Gilles, Brussels

0483 05 28 88

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