I believe I have already made it clear that I like to cook, go to restaurants and eat. Now, for the restaurants part, I really like experimenting, so I would probably say no to nothing.
But there is one particular type of culinary experimentation that I can’t get enough of – ethnic cuisine. There are so many cultural differences out there and their expression through cooking, I find absolutely fascinating.
And, fortunately, Brussels is very generous from this point of view. From already mainstream Italian, to exotic Cuban, Brussels has it all.
This time, I tried Ethiopian. And it was Kokob that introduced me to the experience.
1. Location and Suitability
Located in Grand Place, right next to Manneken Pis, it becomes the perfect stop for lunch or dinner after sightseeing the main Brussels touristic attractions. Though suitable for a large group, the restaurant is intimate enough to guarantee a perfect romantic date.
You will be greeted by very friendly staff, who will explain you the concept, the ingredients, will make you suggestions and, most importantly, show you how to eat, because, yes, my gourmand friends, you will need instructions if you want to have a full experience! They speak both French and English, so no worries there.
What impressed me the most is that, even though the restaurant is big enough to accommodate lots of people and it has, therefore, numerous staff to serve you promptly, somehow, they manage to be so efficient and discreet, that you never actually acknowledge their presence. Unless they have something to explain to you, they otherwise act like some kind of fairies: you never know when they take the empty plates off the table or bring the dessert menus. Of course, this is quite subjective, but they sure impressed me with their discretion!
Finally, the most important part! Kokob accommodates all sorts of eating habits. If you’re a vegetarian, it’s perfect for you. They have all sorts of original combinations of vegetables, with the most amazing smells and tastes.
If you like spicy food, you will definitely love Kokob. They have dishes that will burn like hell or milder ones, that will just increase the various flavors in your dish.
If you’re a meat lover, you will have a wide range of choices from lamb to fish. And you always have 1 or 2 choices of side dish included.
I went there with a group of friends. Because it’s always nicer to try new things with dear ones! Since most of us were there for the first time, including myself, we tried a menu, so that we have the chance to discover more dishes.
There is one menu including drinks and 2 menus with food only.
If you want to try it all, choose the menu with 3 meat dishes and 3 vegetable dishes.
If you want to leave something for the next time you go, chose the one with 2/2, like we did.
You just tell them what kind of meat you like and for how many people and they will take care of the rest.
They will bring you a big round plate, covered with a humongous crepe, on which a friendly lady will put a bit of each dish.
And this procedure will be followed by a strange questions: Do you know how to eat? Of course I know how to eat, what are you talking about?!
But wait! Where is the cutlery?! Yes, my friends, you guessed correctly! At Kokob, you eat with your hands. You get a small rolled crepe, unroll a small piece, pass the piece through all the dishes and, you’re finally ready to taste these beauties!
So, if you’re a princess/prince or any other kind noble character that doesn’t like to get his/her hands dirty, Kokob is not the place for you. Of course, they will provide you with cutlery, if you want to be a party pooper, but you’ll miss the best part!
As for what exactly we tried, we had a minced beef dish, spicy enough to make you feel naughty, a chicken dish with paprika and two vegetable dishes – one yellow lentil, a bit spicy as well and, my personal favorite, some sort of warm salad with beetroot and sweet potato. Quite similar to my colorful beetroot, lentil and sweet potato salad, taste-wise, but theirs was cooked and all the juices and sauces combined into a spectacular result.
Because we didn’t know how to manage ourselves, there was no space left for desserts and we had to stick to digestive drinks only. But I promise I’ll go back to try their sweet delights as well.
Remember, it’s Grand Place, so you won’t get food for free. But if you care more about the price than about the food and the experience as a whole, I heard they have really good french fries in Place Jourdan! And I heard that the Andalouse sauce is great! So go there, you fake gourmand!
Kokob is, I would say, affordable. Especially if you already tried the menu, got a grasp of what it’s all about and you now want to try separate dishes. You can eat for 8 euros. And the most expensive dish/1 person is 24 euros.
But no mater what you chose, don’t worry, you won’t leave dissatisfied, from any point of view!
Try it, enjoy it and let me know how it went!
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