The simple pleasures are more precious than ever before. That is why you should hurry and check out La Fourna, a little place that is in touch with the fundamentals.
It was on a cold grey day that I discovered La Fourna. Let down by my electric bicycle, I was about to despair of the world due to the weight of adversity. Then, as if by a miracle, I was touched by the light reflecting off some comforting loafs. It came from a small outlet hidden in one of the entranceways of the Royal Depot in Tour & Taxis: La Fourna. Due to the coronavirus, the place, which has only been open for two months, currently functions as a take-away.
On the right, rows of reference books sit on a large wooden unit: Yotam Ottolenghi, Sami Tamimi, Kamal Mouzawak, etc., all in keeping with a style of Eastern cuisine that is full of flavour and takes you on a journey. This vegetarian establishment is centred on freshly made “breads” (baked on a saj, a heated plate), such as Lebanese manakish made with zaatar (€4) and msemmen, a sort of stuffed pancake of Berber origin (€4). Several excellent sides are available to accompany these dishes: hummus (€2), aubergine baba ganoush (€2), and muhammara made with peppers (€2).
When we visited, it was another dish that captured our attention: the injera (€11), an Ethiopian pancake. You hold it in your hands in order to use it like a fork. It was served in a very practical recyclable box with some spinach, a little raw salad (chickpeas, cucumber, tomato, radish, pomegranate…) and some red beetroot and potato. We also opted for a soup of the day (€4). The food was a genuine revelation.
We were floored by the quality of the soup, which combined cauliflower and turmeric. Both comforting and exotic, with a thick texture but not too heavy, the dish was enhanced with some walnut pieces and some vinaigrette. As for the injera, it was similarly impressive, the kind of food that melts in your mouth and takes time to work its magic. It left us hoping that the food of “tomorrow's world” will look like this: an approach that abandons sleight of hand to focus on accessible dishes that go back to the basics of food.
We are grateful to social entrepreneur Hilde Brepoels for having come up with a formula that shines a light on the talent of women with immigrant roots: Zinash (Ethiopia), Ariane (Cameroon), Salla (Congo), and Assiya (Morocco). Brussels needs these women.
Royal Depot, Tour & Taxis, Havenlaan 86C avenue du Port, Brussel/Bruxelles,
ma/lu/Mo > vr/ve/Fr 12 > 15.00
TAKE AWAY HIGH FIVE:
BON BON ••••
Geliefde gerechten uit de kindertijd.
Chers plats de mon enfance.
Beloved recipes from our childhood.
Streetfood op z’n Amerikaans.
La street food made in US ? C’est ici.
US style street food.
MAISON LANSSENS ••••
De allerbeste zuurkool van Brussel!
La meilleure choucroute de Bruxelles !
The best sauerkraut in Brussels!
Italiaans zoals in Italië.
L’Italie en V.O.
THE VEGAN BUTCHER’s CHOICE ••••
De smaak van vlees, zonder vlees.
Le goût de la viande... sans viande.
The taste of meat, but without meat.