Melted cheese: five sanctuaries for those crazy about cheese

Michel Verlinden

| Moeder Lambic Original

What is the best ally when the rain and the cold conspire against you? Melted cheese, of course…in all its forms. Here are five places you must try.

Roots raclette

You don't mess about with raclette. It is time to do away with the famous “raclette party” unless it is between just two people. Why? Because the most important thing is not to burn the cheese. If heated at too high a temperature, which happens when you use electrical appliances on which the heating elements are too close to the dishes, the slices start to bubble. A bad trip! It causes the proteins to separate – it is chemistry – and the cheese is left swimming in fat.

These electrical appliances, which appeared in the 1970s during the boom in electrical household goods, fly in the face of tradition for the sake of marketing. Real raclette is “raclée” (scraped off), as the name suggests, prepared using a device that heats a quarter or half-wheel of cheese. Each person gets their turn to eat, while chatting; it is convivial and allows them to eat slowly, which incidentally, aids with better digestion. On that note, we cannot recommend natural raclette cheese enough, whether it comes from the Valais (AOC) or the Savoie (IGP). As for cold meats, they are optional because they add extra fat or, in the case of the viande des Grisons (air-dried meat), an unnecessary dose of salt. So, what else do you eat with it? In addition to potatoes with firm flesh, anything that can add some freshness, in other words salad and pickles.

Real raclette is “raclée” (scraped off), as the name suggests, prepared using a device that heats a quarter or half-wheel of cheese

Is there an establishment in Brussels that practises that orthodox approach? Although it is often overlooked, there is one: Moeder Lambic Original. Aside from the fact that the setting, with its arched ceiling and solid wooden furniture, has the feel of a Swiss chalet, the place gets everything right, from the cheese they serve, a slice from a wheel of IGP Savoie raclette with the rind removed, to the salad generously drizzled with a sharp vinaigrette. The experience requires someone to devote themselves to managing the melting of the cheese, but it is well worth the effort and, what's more, it is inclusively priced given the quality of the ingredients (€25). The only departure from the purist approach is the excellent platter of salted meats (€14.50), which includes white ham from Segers. And the wine is perfect: the “Granite de Dambach-la-Ville” (€30), a 2020 Riesling from Alsace made by Florian and Mathilde Beck-Hartweg.

Moeder Lambic Original ••••
rue de Savoiestraat 68, Sint-Gillis/Saint-Gilles, 02-544.16.99,, ma/lu/Mo > do/je/Th 16 > 0.00, vr/ve/Fr & za/sa/Sa 16 > 1.00, zo/di/Su 16 > 23.00

The great Jacques

Jacques le Fromager presents a highly convivial formula based on five quarter-wheels – a cheese shop above all, this place offers a selection that includes 29 varieties: foin, fenugreek, Swiss, etc. It is self-service: you heat the cheese yourself (€29 per person, as much as you want).

SLT DEC23 RESTO Jacques le Fromager

Jacques le Fromager

An added bonus: there are excellent cold meats from Umbria and Italian natural wines.

Jacques le Fromager ••••
Bondgenotenstraat 323 rue des Alliés, Vorst/Forest, 0486-18.07.39,
on wo/me/We during the season, only by reservation:

Shepherd's delight

This shop, well known to cheese-lovers, has a seasonal “raclette bar” (€30 per person). A few tables at the back of the shop seat about twenty people. Depending on the number of customers, it is either a raclette party (20 varieties) or traditional raclette.

SLT DEC23 RESTO Le Plateau du Berger

Le Plateau du Berger

What's more, you can accompany your meal with different Gueuze beers by Cantillon.

Le Plateau du Berger ••••
chaussée de Waterloosesteenweg 589, Elsene/Ixelles, 02-345.34.30,
on do/je/Th evenings, by reservation only


The unmissable cheese shop in the city centre, La Fruitière has carved out a first-rate reputation with its melted cheeses (half Vacherin, half Gruyère AOP), baked Mont d'Or, and croque-monsieurs that vary depending on the season.

SLT DEC23 RESTO la fruitière

La Fruitière

You should try the bestseller that combines pain de mie supplied by La Boule, Comté, and smoked cooked ham from the Jura.

La Fruitière ••••
Kolenmarkt 99-103 rue du Marché au Charbon, Brussel/Bruxelles, 02-503.33.52,
di/ma/Tu > za/sa/Sa 11 > 19.00


Launched by Joséphine Bonnigal and Valentine Stouffs, this “toastery” does an exceptional grilled cheese, the US version of the croque-monsieur.

SLT DEC23 RESTO Jacqo's Toastery


They combine artisanal bread and cheeses in mouthwatering creations (tarragon chicken, bolognese, mushrooms, etc.) that you can drench with a little glass of gravy, just like at home.

Jacq's ••••
rue Defacqzstraat 24, Brussel/Bruxelles,
ma/lu/Mo > vr/ve/Fr 8 > 16.00, za/sa/Sa 10 > 17.00, zo/di/Su 10 > 16.00

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