A Middle Eastern food experience

When I moved to Brussels for the second time – first time was in 2012 – I didn’t expect to find a lot of nice restaurants here. As always, I started exploring the city by walking around, making a turn into little streets and discovering hidden places. So there it was: Kitchen 151. I had a look at their menu and it sounded very appealing, Middle Eastern cuisine with an Ottolenghi-ish twist – one of my favourite cookbook authors. The interior looked a lot like places that I normally like to go to; simple, yet nicely decorated – light bulbs hanging from the ceiling, decorated with flowers, colourful water jugs and dried flowers – a wooden floor, simple wooden tables, pastel colours and that cosy feeling that you get when entering the place and sitting down.

The cooking class:

One day I decided to make a reservation for a friend and me but instead I found out that they offer cooking classes from time to time. 50€ for a three hour cooking class, a little wine tasting and more importantly surrounded by very good company. I didn’t hesitate for too long, wrote to Simona & Tim, the couple who owns the restaurant, and asked whether I could participate. I was lucky, there was two last spots left for the next day. Not knowing what to expect, except from the fact that the cooking class wouldn’t be taking place at the restaurant but at Simona’s and Tim’s place, me and my friend rang the doorbell of a house that had a similar facade to other houses in Brussels – nothing special, but nice.

Publié par Simona El-Harar sur mardi 20 décembre 2016


Don’t judge a book from its cover, is a very appropriate saying here. We walked through a tiny courtyard into a spacious, light and lovely loft, decorated in a simple but tasteful way. And there it was, my dream kitchen; open, spacious and inviting. We were the first ones arriving, so we had time to chit chat a bit with Tim & Simona about the art of food and other interesting things. The thing that comes to mind when seeing the two talk and interact is: #relationshipgoals. The way they talk about their goals and dreams – and food of course – seems like a great match. They are open, warm, super friendly and fun!

AubergineThe cooking class was a pure pleasure and I’ve learned many things about Middle Eastern ingredients and ways of preparation that I haven’t know so far. We prepared Baba Ganoush, which is a paste made from Aubergines that you roast on a pan for an hour, with Tahina and pomegranate, roasted pumpkin, served with Labne, a thick kind of yoghurt, with scallions and red onions, Shakshuka, which is tomatoes cooked in a pan until perfection with garlic, olive oil and eggs on top and we learned how to prepare Za’atar and Tahina and also Malabi, a delicious dessert made from cream, milk and in that case rose water. So a delicious evening went to an end, with my belly being as happy as my liver.

Middle Eastern Brunch at its Best:

This was not the end, though; Simona invited me for brunch for the coming weekend and well, I cannot say no to food. So I went by myself, on a late Saturday morning, again not knowing what to expect. Let’s put it like this: I should’ve chosen a pair of stretch pants rather than a tight skirt when dressing myself for brunch at Kitchen 151.

It was amazing. You pay 25€ and you get a glass of wine, coffee, water and I’d say between 4-7 “little” dishes. Just so you know, “little” is a very flexible term here. At first the friendly waiter brought me fresh, warm, fluffy pita with equally fresh, homemade hummus and a bowl of Baba Ganoush. This was followed by long green beans and mozzarella di bufala covered in roasted almonds and honey (God, so good!). I, and my stomach too, thought that that was it. No, no, forget it. I then got to try roasted beetroot with date syrup, olive oil and basil, a slice of roasted butternut squash with Labne and a kind of veggie stew à la maman de Simona – yum! A little piece of dessert and another coffee marked the finishing line of my food marathon and it’s not exaggerated if I say that I didn’t walk, but roll out.

Long story short – this is a cosy place, very nice people, good for a brunch with family, a bunch of friends, or just by yourself.

Good to Know: Open for brunch 11.30-15h on Saturdays and Sundays, Monday-Saturday 18.00-22.30h for dinner