L’Huitriere: A favourite haunt of Raymond Goethals

The Champions League final beckons (May 26) and older Belgians will fondly recall the feats of Raymond Goethals.

Raymond Goethals
By Peters, Hans / Anefo [CC BY-SA 3.0 nl], via Wikimedia Commons
He was a Belgian football coach who led Marseille to victory in the Champions League final in 1993, becoming the first Belgian coach to win a European trophy with a French club.
He remains the oldest winning manager of Champions League final.

The Brussels-born former goalkeeper also just happens to have been one of the many celebrities who have graced this terrific fish restaurant with their presence over the years.

If you look closely at the delightfully traditional dark-coloured walls you’ll see a framed photo of Goethals beaming out at you. He’s in good company – there are also photos of people like famous French actors Jean Paul Belmondo and Jean-Claude Brialy who it can count among its former customers.

No wonder they all appear happy – the food here is great!

The restaurant is set in the heart of Place Saint Catherine in what used to be the city’s vibrant fish market. The area is still full of places to eat, some of them fish restaurants, but this really is a mainstay of the city’s culinary scene.

It is located in a typical patrician house, fully panelled and decorated with Breughelian painting and delightful 18th century fresco scenes. On a sunny day, it’s a delight to sit on the terrace and enjoy the bustling square while feasting on some really great seafood.


The speciality, of course, is seafood and you can see why the likes of Monsieur Goethals et al were attracted to this place.

Particularly popular is the 3-course fixed menu – a real snip at just €25 – which comprises a choice of starters (including soupe de poisson and moules St Catherine), plus a choice of five mains (including cabillaud, homard or steak) and a desert. It really is terrific value for money.

This is one of four fixed menus on the card along with an excellent and quite extensive a la carte. The “star” dish on the main card is probably the fillet of cod served with grey shrimps in a white butter sauce. Other customer favourites include the seafood mixed grill (a selection of the fish of the day with olive oil infused with herbs) and the sole meuniere which is fried or grilled and served with fries.

Another best seller” is the lobster which comes in a variety of guises (and volume) and can be prepared according to your individual preference. Oysters, of which there’s a great selection, are also a perennial favourite among the restaurant’s loyal army of clients, along with (when in season) mussels and asparagus.


The overall objective is to ensure that Belgian classics like sole are always retained with the menu

frequently refreshed and adapted according to the season (asparagus being the current example).

If you happen to be in the area at lunchtime, be aware that there’s also a great value-for-money €15.90 lunch card (Mon-Sat) comprising a choice of four starters, four mains and four deserts.

The restaurant has been a fixture here since as far back as 1934 but was taken over relatively recently by a very dynamic couple who have, while fully respecting the grand traditions of the place, introduced some “modern” touches in order to ensure that it does not become stale or set in its way.

These include a fabulous wine cellar, which can be observed near the entrance and serves as a showcase for a particularly large and impressive selection available to guests.


The owners also run Carnivore, an excellent grill/steakhouse, next door whose interior has also been stylishly updated.

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