Azuma - Hidden gem in the South neighbourhood
In the shadow of the majestic Leopold De Waelplaats with its dozens of restaurants, terraces and the museum, you can find Azuma. With barely room for 25 people, it’s so small that you’ll probably walk past it. And that would be a shame, because it’s the ideal place for a quick lunch or a healthy dinner. With their open kitchen (which seemed spotless), friendly staff and lovely little terrace, you should certainly give them a try.
The catchline of Azuma is “Asian Dining”, and you can take that pretty literally. They don’t serve a particular cuisine but a balanced mix of Chinese and Japanese dishes. Nothing too classic or daring, pretty Western. At first glance the menu is quite packed, which usually means quality is below par, but thankfully that wasn’t the case. I had the fried won-ton noodles and the babi pangang with stir-fried egg noodles and vegetables. My counterpart had the Vietnamese spring rolls and a sushi mix.
We were quite surprised by the minimalistic approach of the starters: no overfilled plates but clean and vibrant little dishes, all freshly made to order. The sushi seemed okay, nothing more and nothing less, but the babi pangang was the real star of the evening for me. With a subtle hint of fresh garlic in the back, it was a real treat to devour. The meat was very lean and some crispy bits here and there made it just plain delicious. We finished off with some tea and coffee, which was freshly grounded (pretty rare in an Asian restaurant).
One might say that this is a hidden gem in the midst of a mosaic of mostly high table venues. All dishes are priced very reasonably, and the whole dining experience is very easy on one’s wallet. They also offer daily lunch menus for less than 10 euros, which seems like quite a bargain to me. And if the restaurant’s full, remember that they also do take-out.
+32 3 288 58 99