Rue Antoine Dasaert, the hub of the fashion district in Brussels


We’ve always held great store with the Dorling and Kindersley Guide Books – well-illustrated, knowledgeable and handy pocket sized. A friend lent us one for our Belgium trip and, naturally, we turned the pages to ‘places to eat’.

“Right in the heart of the fashion district, Bonsoir Clara is arguably one of Brussels’ finest. Very elegant, you will be surrounded by fashionistas dining on tasty food. Try the lunch menu at only €14 as it is great value and the prices rise steeply for dinner. Booking essential.

Who could resist that? Off we trekked to Antoine Dasaert Street, near le Place de Bourse. The street is lined with trees and exclusive boutiques showcasing Belgium’s finest designers – and there are many of them. Slap bang in the middle of this nirvana, is a Le Pain Quotidien and next door, Bonsoir Clara. A booking was made for 12h45. We perused the lunch menu and decided that it was the appropriate choice. The ladies were in heaven. Shopping kicked into overdrive and we arrived promptly, at 12h44.

As we were escorted to our table, the Maitre d’ asked “are you having the lunch”. “Yes” we replied. The ladies peeled off their winter woolies and decamped to the toilet. As they left the table to go off, the Maitre d’ arrived with three plates of soup! He also asked me, “Beer?” I said “Yes, what draught (pression) do you have?”. Spun on his heels and within the wink of an eye, three draught beers arrived.

“Please take the soup away and at least wait until my lunch companions have arrived”, I pleaded. He did as asked. The ladies arrived, Wham! The Soup was back! We asked for it to be removed, we asked for a wine list. To which our now angry Maitre d’ decided to argue that we had asked for the lunch, we had asked for beer, why do we refuse everything?

We then got the coup de grace – “tell me when you want to be served, then I will come and see you!”

In the interim, we had been allocated another waiter and after establishing that he could not understand, let alone speak English, by switching to French we were able to have our meal (the soup again), a chicken dish and some coffee. A bottle of wine accompanied the draught beer and then we paid and got the h-ll out of there.

Food quality? Way below average.

As we left, we apologised to the Maitre d’ for coming – sense of humour failure.


We flatly refuse to publish any pictures of the interior or the food – here’s a night shot of the street!

Visitors to, and residents of Brussels, there are so many restaurants wanting your custom, avoid Bonsoir Clara!






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