Before I start going into details, I’d just like to warn everyone to stay away from Le Saint-Laurent Restaurant in Brussels because it’s absolutely the worst restaurant I’ve ever been to. If you read my posts, you see that I don’t normally criticize restaurants to the point where I think the food is nasty, but the food here was just that. Anyways, C and I were wandering the streets of Brussels and went into this street filled with restaurants. It was only around 5:30pm, so most of them were empty. I believe this street is called Rue de Bouchers, and I would advise anyone looking for food to avoid this street. It’s a tourist trap and we fell right in! Basically while we were walking down the street, these guys would stand by the door trying to sell you their menu. Almost every restaurant had something called a tourist menu for around 12 euros. In Barcelona, this is very common and the food is actually good too, so we didn’t think much about it. It was very early for dinner, so we said we would come back and the guy would give us a business card. By the time we finished the street, C had a pile of business cards in her hand..Like seriously, is that how they advertise now? Anyways, at around 6:30, we went back to the street since we thought they had the most choices of food. True, but also the worst. We ended up going to Le Saint-Laurent because the guy had seemed to be quite friendly… That’s what we thought. Anyways, he lured us again and said we would get a complimentary drink on him as well. We entered, and found maybe two other tables with diners, that clearly looked like tourists. The interior is really fancy looking and has a fireplace and all. It’s got the looks for sure. Our server wasn’t extremely friendly and when we told him we would just have two of the set menus, with nothing else, he seemed pissed off. For our complimentary drink, we got a Rose-like bubbly. Not sure exactly what it was, but it was decent. Maybe the best part of our meal…
Then, we got some bread. At least this was complimentary for us… I read online afterwards that many diners had terrible experiences with their bill becoming a ridiculous amount with hidden fees. The bread was of course not fresh, but whatever, it was bread. At least it tasted better than the rest.
For our appetizer, we both chose the Grilled Prawns. I forgot what the other choices were, but this sounded the most appealing. Ya, these were kind of gross…? We had imagined prawns without their shells and curled up after grilling in a nice garlic sauce. I believe it said it would be in a garlic butter sauce. Definitely not a garlic butter sauce because it was just butter and olive oil. Like LOTS of oil. Around 5 prawns still in their shells drenched in olive oil. The oil wasn’t even seasoned…Okay, fine, we can excuse the “dressing”, but then came the actual prawns. They were mushy and had no bouncy texture like normal prawns. I mean, it was worse than eating frozen prawns. I can’t think of the antonym for “fresh”, but this was definitely NOT fresh. Rotten? I don’t know, but you get my point. In Canada, I would’ve sent this straight back to the kitchen, but in Europe, I was afraid since I had no idea what my dish would have gone through after…
Mussels in Celery Soup
Okay, so in Brussels, Moules et Frites, or Mussels and Fries, are a very common dish because it’s pretty much the national dish of Belgium. They get most of their mussels from the North Sea, so mussels are always plentiful and attract tourists. So of course, for our entree, we went for the Moules et Frites. When we saw it, it looked pretty good and we were praying that this would be better. WRONG. I’ve seriously never had such bad mussels in my life… Normally in Vancouver, the mussels my mom buys are frozen from Australia, since we don’t have access to as many fresh mussels, but I’ve never had such terrible mussels. I don’t even know what to say. Were the mussels dead and rotten or something? They were mushy… I’ve had mussels that melt in my mouth, which are amazing, but not like this. They were clearly old and dead mussels. I couldn’t stop complaining during the whole dinner. I almost felt sorry for myself, having to eat this and rather have gone to grab fast food. If you gave me this for free, I still probably wouldn’t have ate it. Perhaps the only better thing was the broth, which was a vegetable stock with a bit of celery and onions. It was really just water and celery and onions though I think. But at least, I was okay dipping my bread in this.
And then there was the side of Fries. At least these were crispy. This was what I completely finished. But honestly, how hard is it to make edible fries? They were probably store bought anyways…
Then came dessert. When the guy had lured us in, we had told him we didn’t like the desserts that were on their set menu. He was so sly and said Oh, then what do you want? Anything you want, we can give you. Yea right. Why did we even believe him. Anyways, I think we said we wanted Belgian waffles since many other restaurants on the street offered that on their set menu. He said yea, we can get you that, and that basically made us settle for the restaurant. However, when we asked our server, he just said No. He said they didn’t have any and was like no you just need to choose from the menu. Like WHAT? Such lies. We looked pissed off and later he came back and he said, “Okay, how about ice cream?” Since the other items were unappealing, we went for it. Wow this ice cream was pretty gross. It was like chocolate mousse getting sprayed out of a can or something? Then with two more sprays of whipped cream on the side. Kind of gross, but whatever, we weren’t even hungry after such a gross meal.
So to conclude, all I can say is STAY AWAY from Le Saint-Laurent. Basically this whole street actually. We found that barely anyone was eating in these restaurants other than tourists who were desperately looking for food. But seriously, this meal disappointed us so much. I think I can say it’s the worst meal I’ve ever had in my life out at a restaurant. Luckily, C and I had another night in Brussels, and we would finally have some good mussels! Stay tuned!