There’s countless places in Brussels to grab an Asian-inspired bite to eat. However if you’re looking for something more indulgent and sophisticated then the only place to go is the Vietnamese restaurant Little Asia on Sint Katelijnestraat. Located a short walk from La Bourse, Little Asia has been on the radar of foodies, EU civil servants, and everyone else in between, for quite some time.
And rightfully so.
Established by the daughter of Vietnamese immigrants to Belgium, Little Asia is the result of years of dedication by Truong Thi Quyên. Thanks to the restaurant’s popularity, Quyên juggles various tasks including overseeing day-to-day tasks, developing cookbooks and taping episodes for her TV programme on the Belgian (Dutch) food network Njam!. Open for lunch and dinner Little Asia attracts various types of clientele from travellers passing through town on a city break, to yuppies with a flair for the exotic and corporate types looking for a unique place to wine and dine their business associates.
This is because the food at Little Asia is nothing short of fantastic. The restaurant is bustling at all times of the day and I have yet to be let down by either the quality of service and/or the quality of the food. Every single time I’ve tucked into a bowl of noodles or plate of fresh made spring rolls, I’m transported – momentarily mind you – to the cafés and establishments of Hanoi or Huế in Viet Nam.
I met up with friends for an “end of 2012” lunch on the 31st at Little Asia where we shared various starters, from steamed dumplings to beef carpaccio and fresh spring rolls; each dish better than the last (my favourite were the spring rolls). As mains we all had a variation of bún bò, be it large or small, with beef and/or pork. While the soup wasn’t as plentiful as the “bobun” I had in Paris at Le Petit Cambodge, it was delicious and left me just the right amount of full to keep me going until my fabulous New Year’s Eve dinner.
Given the clientele that frequent Little Asia it isn’t the cheapest of places, however due to the price-quality it’s quite affordable in the long run.
Serving up South East Asian food that is fragrant, light and painfully authentic, Little Asia is a place that packs a big punch.
I promise you, it’s the type of place that will have you going back – again and again – for more.
Sint katelijnestraat 8, Brussels 1000
Hours: Monday to Saturday from 12:00 to 15:00 + 18:00 to 23:00
Closed Wednesdays, Sundays and public holidays.