For the love of fungus – and to quell my mother’s mushroom obsession – I returned to the Brussels hot-spot Café des Spores a few weeks ago. We made a reservation with the intention of enjoying a nice meal together before she headed back to Canada, and with the aim of reaping the benefits those small energy boosting, depression lifting morsels have to give.
It was an exercise in devouring plate after plate of mushroom inspired madness. Did we fulfill our mission? We certainly did. Was it as enjoyable as the previous time? Of course it was.
It always is.
The menu had changed slightly to accomodate the available seasonal ingredients on the market, and there were new dishes such as oeuf cocotte, kinky mushroom gratin and mushrooms sauteed with parsley to mull over as we drank our crémant.
Settling on four dishes to share we went for the terrine with greens, a dried mushroom and foie-based crème brûlée (not suitable for dairy Intolerants), meaty pork stuffed shitakes with a wonderfully smoky aftertaste and mussels (of course we had to do this, when in Brussels…) with a generous helping of chanterelles.
Overall, the service was great, the atmosphere was lively and the food remained innovative and savory. Right down to the last bite. I went mad for the terrine, which is unusual in my case, but it was rich, easy on the palate and left me perfectly satisfied. The mussels came in a close second, though they were a shade too salty. Regardless, you can bet that we picked out every single mushroom from the bottom of the cast iron pot. How could we not? It would have been a shame to leave all those antioxidant delicacies in there.
Oh, and all that high-tech work the chef put into the crème brûlée? According to my mother it was well worth it. She savoured that dish like nobody’s business and tried her best to avoid licking the plate and weeping into her mushroom-based custard.
Yes indeed, it was that good.