Brussels: sharing is caring at Ötap
Over the past couple of years the area between Place du Chatelain and Parc Tenbosch in Brussels has really upped its culinary game. From cosy Italian trattorias to hip wine bars, it's THE place to dine. Among the fierce competition Ötap is definitely one of the winners.
The restaurant is divided in two areas. The front of the house with its concrete bar table, large windows and wine display and the cosy back room. If you're on an intimate date ask for the corner couch, while if you're with friends book the table in front of the window overlooking Place Albert Leemans.
At Ötap it's all about sharing. The helpful sommelier will share his natural wine suggestions to ensure perfect pairing with the food. As for the food, you're in for a treat. For three people the waitress recommended to share six plates; the theme is elevated tapas.
The menu is seasonal and changes every couple of weeks, so brace yourself of the best produce Belgium has to offer. We started off with vegetable gyozas in a delicate sauce and a langoustine with jerusalem artichokes and grilled ginger (a winner, combining the tartness of the artichokes with the langoustine's delicate flavour). We also got the beef tataki with herb mayonnaise and yuzu (twice - that's how good it was), as well as the mushroom and asparagus dishes. The mushroom dish was so hearty and its creamy sauce so flavourful that my friends and I were almost fighting over the last mouthful.
As for the dessert, no words can really describe the chocolate cake. Airy, a mix between a delicate mousse and a lava cake. The praline cheesecake made for a fierce competition; the praline sauce was to die for.
Ötap really got me excited for what's in the books for its young and unbelievably talented chef, Paul-Antoine Bertin. I have already instructed my friends to report back on the changes to the menu and look forward to a redux soon (maybe over their weekend brunch).