Brussels’ Little Asia Part VII – Fall in love with Bibimbap at Maru

Before eating at Maru, I always got a bit disappointed about Korean Bibimbap; you know that rice dish, served in a hot stone pot, with plenty of veggies, most of the time some meat is involved too and an egg yolk on top, as well as some spicy sauce. It’s a bit like New Year’s Eve, it looks exciting, interesting and great from a distance, but once you have it and it’s there, you’re disappointed. Weird comparison? Well, to me a bowl of Bibimbap always looks like something that will taste creative and full of different spices, loads of hot sauce and some nice other ingredients. Somehow, though, I always expected more than I got and there was either lacking the nice ingredients, or the rice was so so, the meat not great, or too little hot sauce. Until I met Maru, I mean..until I ate at Maru!!

It always happens, when you least expect it. It was one fine day in early summer or spring, I think, when I first bumped into the Korean restaurant. After a stroll through Chatelain, including some hipster dishware shopping at ‘Les Petits Riens’,(great place btw. with a great concept) Johan and I were looking for a little lunch snack. I had heard or read about Maru somewhere before and the menu looked nice, so we quickly decided to give it a try. I first found the prices a bit generous, 18E for a bowl of Bibimbap, but we were hungry and forgot about that little detail after a short while. After a brief second scan through the menu we decided to try their Gyoza and the beef Bibimbap. Hallelujah! We absolutely made the right choice and the price is without doubt more than justified. The Gyoza were filled with a delicious vegetable stuffing, soft inside, crispy fried on the outside and served with a delicious dipping sauce.

The Bibimbap. I’ll just say this: I haven’t been to Korea, I’m not a Bibimbap expert, but to me this one was great and I would recommend it to anyone who asks for a good one to have in Brussels. Ours arrived pretty fast, served in a hot stone pot so you could hear the rice sizzling in the dish. Besides different veggies, sprouts, pickled ginger and of course rice, there was a raw egg yolk and some raw minced meat, which was marinated in some delicious amount of spices and got cooked as soon as the waiter ‘destroyed’ my picture perfect Instagram scenery and started mixing everything together – fast, because otherwise the rice might burn on the sides. Please do pour some hideous amounts of spicy BBQ sauce on top of your dish. The sauce is a bit sweet, spicy and… well you could say umami!? It’s on your table, so have as much of it as you want, until your mouth is set on fire.

I haven’t tried other dishes at this Korean Restaurant, so I have no idea how they are, but apparently they’re also big on Korean BBQ. Also, their selection of natural wines is quite impressive! I think this spot is made for every occasion: date, night out with friends, parents, colleagues, enemies, embarrassing tinder or grindr encounters, whatever you might think of.

Good to know:

  • Price: around 10-12E for a starter, 18-22E for a veggie of meat Bibimbap
  • Website:
  • Address: Chaussée de Waterloo 510, 1050 – Brussels
  • Final remark: the restaurant is also in the Michelin Guide, which normally is a good sign.