Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Viva M'Bonne : Brussels, Belgium

With Noordzee, Viva M'Boma was the other restaurant that vied for our favorite place to eat of this trip.

We initially did not know too much about this place; the fact that they focused on innards and organs of animals piqued our curiosity about the place.

True to form, this is the first room that you walk into.  As an fyi, they have a fairly strange layout.  While this initial room has dining tables and chairs, there was no one sitting there and no one to greet us.  We almost walked out, thinking there was some private event going on.  Only further in, past the narrower hallway was there someone to greet / seat us.  Beyond the hallway was a charming open-roof atrium, where we ended up eating.

The menu didn't really help us, being in French and German, as was the chalkboard containing the daily specials.   We did our best with a French dictionary in hand and fortunately the waiter was quite gracious about translating and describing in English.

Just a picture of the little jar of butter.  Move along.

Can you tell what body part is in the following photo?

If you guessed brains, then you are correct!

And yes, go ahead and make those zombie jokes now.  Get it out of your system.

Ready now?

Fried veal brains
We rather liked this appetizer.  In fact, if you did not think of the word brains, one might almost think it was a tofu or a very light cheese. Flavor-wise, the brains itself had a fairly creamy (again almost cheese-like) flavor, but the majority of the flavor came from the roux-like sauce, tasting like onion bits slow-cooked in butter.  In addition, the brains were coated with a light breading, that gave a change-up of textures from just the softness of the brains.   This really was quite marvelous

Pot au Feu
Came with bone marrow, that seemed like it had been cooked in its own fat or butter.  To me, this was like eating fat straight up, but depending on your mood, this can be quite delish.  The oxtail meat was delicious and  absolutely tender, coming apart from the bone with just a spoon.  And the broth was scrumptious to the last drop.

Kidneys in mustard, and onions, mushroom
This dish had a fairly strong kidney flavor, so it obviously may not be for everyone, but I found that the kidney flavor was slightly counter-balanced with the mustard sauce on the back-end.   The kidneys itself were lovely in texture, ranging from that of a cooked mushroom to something with slightly more bounce, but just never rubbery or chewy.

More on the potatoey side, but still good stuff.

I again suspect that is not for everyone, but for those who are okay with organs and innards, this place is for you.

Viva M'Boma
Vlaamsesteenweg 17, 1000 Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest, België (Map)
02 512 15 93

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