LITTLE TOKYO: 15 RUE ST. BONIFACE, 1050 IXELLES, BRUSSELS

Little Tokyo is a French-Japanese fusion bar tucked away in the Quartier St.Boniface; a petite but charming square, lined with restaurants and also the site of a church famed for its stained glass windows (religion aside, if you have even a mild interest in architecture or design, it’s worth a peek if you’re passing the door).

Their 19.50 EUR buffet-style brunch is a recent addition to their Sunday menu, and contains a mix of classic brunch fare (scrambled eggs, bacon, pancakes, granola) alongside salads designed to showcase Asian flavours and ingredients.

In the fusion spirit, I aimed to taste a little of everything. Since the hot options were closer to lunch dishes than breakfast, I opted to start with the dishes which were closest to traditional breakfast foods, and then work my way through the cast of sweet and savoury dishes, increasingly towards the lunch end of the character-spectrum. I started with a small bowl of granola, traditional but light – couldn’t resist adding some of their gorgeous salt butter caramel sauce though – and then hit the buffet, where I was spoilt for choice by the array of colourful salads and side dishes on offer.

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Buffet:
 * Organic scrambled eggs
 * Bacon
 * Pancakes
 * Yogurt with homemade granola
 * Fruit salad with yuzu and orange blossom
 * Choice of honey, homemade salt butter caramel sauce or homemade strawberry coulis.
Salads:
 * Soba with herbs, soy beans, and grilled corn-fed chicken.
 * Salad of crunchy seasonal vegetables with sesamé seeds.
 * Crispy almond-crusted Tofu and coleslaw salad.
 * Mesclun salad with beetroot and radishes salmon gravelax mirin .
 * Salade mesclun au gravelax de saumon betteraves rouges et radis au mirin.
 
 Vegetable purées:
 * Daikon mousse with radish and cucumber.
 * Butternut purée with aubergine and lightly-smoked miso.

In addition to the main buffet, the brunch also includes a choice of 3 different dishes served with rice (donburi-style) or soba (buckwheat) noodle soup:
* Meat of the day.
* Vegetarian dish of the day.
* Fish of the day.

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It was my first visit to Little Tokyo, and whilst it had been recommended to me previously as a dinner spot, they’ve only started to open for brunch in recent months and I wondered as to the inspiration for some of the recipes. I’ve yet to visit Japan (it’s on my must-do list), and therefore I have no real idea as to what extent the brunch concept has caught on there – if at all. Being curious to learn more, I spoke to some of the staff, who clarified that the spirit of the brunch was Asian-French fusion, rather than strictly Japanese, as this also allows the chefs more licence to be creative with the ingredients at hand, lending to some great results. Many of the flavours and combinations on offer were so different to those that one might typically expect to encounter at a brunch buffet, that bemusement alone had me betraying any hope of poker face with a Wonderland feline grin. In particular, the depth of flavour in some the savoury salads was fantastic and the fruit salad laced with yuzu and orange blossom gave a subtle twist on a classic whilst nodding to the fusion theme. I enjoyed it all immensely.

Practicalities:

  • Closest Metro: Porte de Namur (lines 2 & 6)
  • Closest Bus Stop: Quartier St. Boniface (lines: 54 & 71)
  • Service style: Mix (buffet & table)
  • Vegetarian & Vegan options
  • Wifi
  • Outside seating
  • Cards accepted

 

 

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