136 boulevard de waterloo, 1000 Bruxelles
from monday to friday from 8am to 11pm
saturday and sunday from 10am to 11pm
lunch: 4,50€ – 11€
It’s the latest venue by Fréderic Nicolay, this serial bar-opener whom we already know too well. Once again, he striked where we most needed him, in an area often abandoned by our millenials, stuck between Le Parvis de Saint-Gilles and the Marolles, stealing its spotlight more often than not. Only a few years back, Porte de Hal had almost nothing to make us do the journey. It’s changed in the past few years, with the opening of Chouconut, Holy Smoke, Boulengier, the Crab Club (by the same author), or design wise, La Maison Bruxelloise. Robinet joins the set, with a “small” and cosy bar, the type where you can just walk in at any time of the day.
The innovation here: coffee. It was extremely well played by Frédéric to add Nath to his team, ex-Belga & Co, who prepares cappuccino like no one else, and actually makes as much difference behind the bar as a good chef would make in the kitchen. Food wise, the focus is on the bread, homemade by Yannick Van Aeken (ex-Noma & ex-Oficina) and sliced on the premises, in a big vintage slicer, as stylish as handy – clearly Frédéric’s trademark. Lunch is therefore all about New-York inspired thick toasted sandwiches, filled with salmon, humus or prepared à la BLT (from 4,50€ to 6,50€). There are also some seasonal salads available, as well as frittatas and quiches. For brunch, again the focus is on the sandwiches, but with some extras that make everything fall into place, like poached eggs, avocado, bacon and granola – though the real highlight is really Bloody Mary and Mimosa. Another good point about Robinet: all the non-alcoholic drinks. Yannick has all of them homemade, from fermented lemonades and elderflower syrup to Mint tea, a little bomb made from Moroccan mint (homemade) syrup. And about the terrace, what can I say except that the opening of Robinet matches the return of Spring. Coincidence? I think not.