I am on a mission to find – what I hope to be – the best moules-frites in Belgium. To start with, I am focusing on finding the best in Brussels. Considering the meal “moules-frites” originates from Belgium, I think I have a good chance.
I know moules/mussels are enjoyed elsewhere in the World but I am pretty sure if the meal originates from Belgium then I am likely to find the best here. Especially when the moules are accompanied by the traditional Belgian frites. Just in case you were of the wrong opinion that frites come from France, follow this link and you can discover the history of the frites, the Beglian frites.
I enquired with the few Belgians that I have met and selected Chez Leon from a list of recommendations. This restaurant stood out as it was “family owned” and it was “founded in 1893” (not very long after the Belgian frites was invented).
The restaurant is located along one of the many cobbled streets surrounding the Grand Place in the heart of the city centre.
We spent ages pursuing the vast moules menu and even learnt a little despite the suspicious translation.
As it is fishing season here at the moment, I am pretty sure we were guaranteed fresh Belgian moules and when I saw that there is only 120 calories per portion, I ensured I ordered the 800g pot.
We knew we wanted moules but what sauce?
Or maybe something a little extra special?
Why not order both and share. We did.
A l’escargot gratinée – half opened moules cooked in a sauce of butter, garlic and herbs then baked in cheese. Mmmmm.
I am glad we shared these as they are quite heavy. Saying that, I could not help myself, I had to have one more and once they were all gone we all dipped our chips into the leftover sauce.
We also ordered a big bowl of the more traditional and well-known Moules in a Poulette sauce and I suggested we tried the Moules in the Curry sauce too.
They were so perfectly ready to eat, this little fella just slipped out of his shell.
The frites were as expected: crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. They were great, we ate them all before I got a snap. Whilst they may have been the traditional Belgian frites, aesthetically speaking, a frite is a frite.
Another fantastic quality of this restaurant – it is open on a Sunday! In fact, it is open every day.