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“Oh I dunno, something typically Belgian perhaps” – we had visitors staying with us for 24 hours and were trying to think of somewhere to have lunch, preferably central, somewhere unfussy where both mother and 18-month-old son could relax in our company. Something typically Belgian it would be, then.

Now of course, the venerable institution that is Le Greenwich has undergone a much-publicised makeover, and not everyone is enamoured with the new set-up, least of all chess obsessives;who had been playing in the Greenwich for decades and who, since the revamp, have found themselves relegated to a back room.

We decided to give it a try and I am pleased to report that it ticked the boxes on every level. First of all, the decor, even the anti camp will admit, is a success. Respectful of the turn-of-the-century feel of the place, but with less sticky floors and more shine overall.<

The food on offer, like the laminated menu, is unsophisticated, which suited us all fine. Our guest had uttered the words “mussels and chips”, and that’s what she would have, or rather share with a precocious foodie.

Her moules à la crème were spot-on, we were told, and the little one’s introduction to classic Belgian fare was a successful one too. My wife, too, decided to go Olde Brussels, with a ‘proper’ vol-au-vent. It was overflowing with shards of chicken, mini-meatballs and creamy sauce. It came with, no word of a lie, chips. Very good it was, too.

I went slightly off-piste inasmuch as my chef’s salad was no Belgian staple, but was both copious and moreish, with pan-fried marinated chicken pieces, feta, rocket and a balsamic dressing. The drinks, too, were resolutely Belgian, in the shape of Palm, Triple Westmalle and Orval (not for the little one, relax). Service was welcoming, accommodating and multilingual. The bill, including two rounds of drinks, came to €70.

Let us not pretend that the Greenwich is a culinary haven – it isn’t. It does, however, provide somewhere decent to go to in the centre of town that won’t fleece you and won’t try to ‘reinvent’ Brussels classics. Apologies, chess lovers, but we rather enjoyed our time in Le Greenwich.

7 Rue des Chartreux, 02.540.88.78


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