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2 Authentic Chinese Restaurants in Brussels, Belgium

By alison - August 22, 2014 (Updated: November 30, 2015)

This entry is part 7 of 10 in the series Best Restaurants in Belgium.

2 Authentic Chinese Restaurants in Brussels, Belgium

Not all Chinese food is bland and boring in Belgium. We recently found two authentic Chinese restaurants in Brussels that aren’t afraid to spice up your life!

While we are spoiled for choice when it comes to international cuisines in Brussels, some restaurants are much less authentic than we would hope. In an attempt to accommodate the Western European palate, a number of restaurants have opted to ‘dumb down’ their offerings, by eliminating spices and textures that are less familiar to euro-taste buds.

In our opinion, no nation’s food is more poorly represented in Belgium, than China (although India is a very close runner up). You can find a ‘Chinese’ restaurant in just about every small town in Belgium, but despite the wide and varied cuisine of this vast country, you’ll only find a dozen dishes appearing on menu after menu. For the most part, they are pale imitations of the real thing.

The few Chinese restaurants we had discovered, with varied menus and appropriate spice levels, were much more expensive than we would expect. In fact, we had more or less given up on eating Chinese food in Belgium at all. That is, until we recently discovered two affordable and authentic Chinese restaurants in Brussels.

Our first discovery was not off the beaten path at all. In fact, we had probably walked by it 100 times, without ever bother to step inside. That all changed with a Google search.

Hong Kong Delight Chinese Restaurant

I developed an addiction to soup dumplings (Xiaolongbao) in Hong Kong and Andrew was tired of listening to me lament their absence in my life. He was on a mission to find soup dumplings in Brussels. The only restaurant with Xiaolongbao on the menu was Hong Kong Delight so off we went to cure my cravings.

Hong Kong Delight isn’t fancy, but it’s bright and clean and the service was friendly. Best of all – Soup Dumplings.

Oh soup dumplings, how I love you...

Oh soup dumplings, how I love you…

Our first clue to the authenticity of Hong Kong Delight’s dishes was the Chinese families surrounding us. Asian faces at an Asian restaurant are always a good sign. Clue number two was a number of dishes definitely not catering to Western tastes, like duck tongues.

As to spice, I spotted Sichuan hot-pot and decided to give it a go. I was warned no less than four times, it was “very, very, spicy.” When it arrived, it was swimming in chillies, just as it should be. I was a very happy chilli-head. Andrew may or may not have cried a little at the spice-level, but was thrilled to down the crispy duck and pork.

Fresh veggies, crispy duck and hot, hot, hotpot!

Fresh veggies, crispy duck and hot, hot, hotpot!

Overall, we were satisfied with the meal, spiciness, service, and the price.

Hong Kong Delight
Rue Sainte-Catherine 35
1000 Brussels

Le Nid Savoureux Northern Chinese Restaurant

Then, earlier this week, a foodie friend introduced us to a new and very authentic Northern Chinese restaurant, we never would have found on our own. Le Nid Savoureux is tucked away on a tiny side street near Montgomery. The restaurant only seats 22, but is open for lunch and dinner and also offers take-away.

While it was helpful to have a Mandarin-speaker among us, so we could order a few off-menu treats, the husband and wife owners were extremely sweet and welcoming in any language.

As we sat back, dishes started streaming from the kitchen. First up, homemade dumplings. While they weren’t soup dumplings, they were still delicious and a welcome change from the packaged, frozen, dumplings served at most Brussels Chinese restaurants.

Crispy dumpling goodness

Crispy dumpling goodness

Also for starters, we had spicy, grilled squid and a pickled cucumber salad that was refreshing with a touch of chilli heat.

When the main courses started piling up on the table, things got serious: sautéed noodles with beef, tofu in spicy sauce, fried aubergine, chicken in spicy sauce, sautéed cabbage… by the time we finished we practically waddled to the metro.

Le Nid Savoureux Dishes

We ate all this and more (plus beer and water) for under 100 euro split between 5 people – incredible bargain!

We had plenty of leftovers, even with a party of five diners. But the most incredible part was our bill – only 18 euro each, including our drinks. It was concrete proof that you don’t have to spend a bundle to dine like royalty in Brussels – you simply have to know where to go.

Le Nid Savoureux
Rue de la Cambre 325
1150 Woluwé-Saint-Pierre

Will we be returning to these authentic Chinese restaurants in Brussels? Absolutely! I’ll still get my soup-dumpling fix at Hong Kong Delight, but for everything else, you’ll find us hidden away at Le Nid Savoureux.

Do you have a favourite authentic restaurant in Brussels, Chinese or otherwise? Tell us about it in the comments below or drop us an email.

For more great restaurants in Belgium and beyond, check out our Restaurant Review page.

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Alison

Alison

Big Cheese at CheeseWeb
Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of Cheeseweb.eu. She is the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about slow and sustainable travel, in Europe and beyond. She loves to discover hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She has visited 45 countries and is currently slow travelling through North America in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+
Alison
Cheese + Goats = My personal heaven. We discover an oasis in the cheese desert. https://t.co/Os8U86UEiX - 1 week ago

15 comments

  1. Comment by Monika Lamba

    Monika Lamba August 22, 2014 at 10:24

    Thanks Alison for the review. Was really fed up with the European Chinese cuisine available in Brussels.
    Will definitely try this up.

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison

      Alison August 22, 2014 at 10:48

      My pleasure Monika! Let us know what you think of them if you give them a try.

  2. Comment by Berryblue

    Berryblue August 22, 2014 at 14:20

    Hi, I’ve never been to China so I don’t know what’s authentic, but if you love dumplings you might want to test a new place that opened up just next to my home called Momo, on rue Defacz in Ixelles!

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison

      Alison August 22, 2014 at 18:15

      We actually tried to go 2 weeks ago and they were closed for holidays! It’s been on our list for a while though. Hopefully we’ll get there soon 🙂

  3. Comment by Rhiannon

    Rhiannon August 22, 2014 at 14:40

    I’m a big fan of Beijingya just around the corner from HK Delight – excellent char siu! Thanks for the review – now just need to find somewhere in Belgium that does good yum cha…

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison

      Alison August 22, 2014 at 18:15

      We’ll check it out! Thanks for the tip 🙂

    • Comment by Natalija Krutkiene

      Natalija Krutkiene February 15, 2015 at 13:42

      I wanted to mention Beijingya as well! It’s my favourite for Chinese food in Brussels (but I haven’t tried the ones proposed in this post, so I’ll have to do that!). It’s very simple and, I believe, authentic.

      • Comment by Alison

        Alison

        Alison February 16, 2015 at 09:35

        Hi Natalija. Thanks for the tip. We’ll try to check it out before we leave for our big trip this spring!

  4. Comment by Keira

    Keira August 28, 2014 at 19:19

    Chinese (and other Asian)food can be exquisite. As long as restaurants do not have “secret menus for Asians only”, like you’ll find in Boston, USA, featuring “Bird Nests Soup”, “Fragrant Dogmeat”, “Torture-Dog Soup”, “Tiger Bone Soup”, “Cat’s Jaw”, “Shark Fins” etc. etc. Not really my cup of tea! Success to those restaurants avoiding such recipes and things!

  5. Comment by Aleksia

    Aleksia September 15, 2014 at 22:37

    Sadly can’t agree with HK Delight being authentic, the clustered noodles in my soup proved it. You
    may have to look further, Alison. Cheers

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison

      Alison September 16, 2014 at 10:31

      Interesting. We had a great experience there but of course, it could vary from dish to dish. You should give Le Nid Savoureux a try. Of the two, it was definitely our favourite and we saw everything being made from scratch.

  6. Comment by Suzanne

    Suzanne November 10, 2014 at 16:26

    We tried Hong Kong Delight (Le Nid Savoureux being too far away at that moment) and were satisfied with our choice! We had some dim sum for starters, some of them seemed freshly made and were very tasty. The calamares with black bean sauce and the fried aubergine with pork were satisfying as well. We loved that both dishes were accompanied with plenty of vegetables, which sometimes are lacking in Chinese restaurants here (meat, meat, meat!).

    So thanks for the recommendation! Le Nid Savoureux is still on the list!

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison

      Alison November 11, 2014 at 15:16

      Mmm, sounds great! We’ve been back to Le Nid and it was just as good the second time 🙂

  7. Comment by Vi

    Vi January 9, 2015 at 11:06

    Wow, I wanna go there! Sounds absolutely fabulous! I am sure that I can get a vegan meal too 🙂

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison

      Alison January 10, 2015 at 10:08

      Vegan definitely although gluten-free may be more difficult as there is a lot of hidden gluten in Chinese food – soya sauce etc.

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