Schievelavabo: Good food for a great price

Do you hanker after honest, value-for-money food which you can enjoy in convivial surroundings? If so, you’d do well to check out Schievelavabo, a popular bar-restaurant with “branches” throughout Brussels and beyond.

The name may not necessarily be easy to pronounce – it actually means “unstable”, and there is a clue to this with the wash basin which is affixed, at a slight angle, at the entrance. But few people leave here feeling disappointed, be it whether they’ve had a drink, snack or full-blown meal.

There are, in fact, seven branches in total, with the most recent to open (last April) being in Wavre, in Brabant Walloon. This one, like the other six, enjoys a vibrant, week-long trade and that is little wonder, given the fact that you are guaranteed a nice, wholesome meal in very relaxed surroundings.

The place successfully combines the informality and lively ambience of an “Irish-type” pub with the more relaxed atmosphere of a restaurant. Its intimate alcoves are characterised by warm colours and wooden structures. Old enamelled plates on display throughout the restaurant evoke old advertising brands, a nod to a world undeniably part of Belgian heritage.

The menu itself is as pleasant as the surroundings and includes some Belgian classics like croquettes, cassolette de scampi and carpaccio (starters) together with Americain and vol au vent (mains). There is also the famous house speciality, bologna spaghetti, hearty salads, steaks and burgers. If the adults are spoiled so are the children with a children’s menu (under 12 years) offering simple but tasty dishes such as nuggets, fried chicken and tomato sauces dumplings. Look out too for the children’s playground and (especially when the better weather arrives) the lovely terrace overlooks the town’s busy main square.

A separate room for groups can accommodate up to 40 people. Add to this the daily suggestions menu and you couldn’t wish for more.

The card is not vast, but that doesn’t matter one bit because it is a nice, simple choice and the portions also happen to be quite huge. Credit to the chef who also just happens to have worked in the past for a starred restaurant!

There’s an excellent range of drinks, including traditional Belgian beers where customers can linger until late; making for a very pleasant evening, be it couples, families or larger groups.

The kitchen is open until 11.30pm on Friday and Saturday and 10.30 the rest of the week (close Sunday). Also, don’t forget the “happy hour”, from 4pm-6pm.

The business has been franchised but the owner has several places of the same name in Brussels, including in Forest (Altitude Cent); Uccle Calevoet (rue Egide van Ophem); Auderghem (rue Jacques Bassem), Jourdan-Etterbeek (Chaussee de Wavre, the first to open) and Woluwe-Saint Pierre (rue du College) as well as in La Hulpe (rue F. Dubois). The company employs 123 people and serves 1,750 customers every day.

One of the reasons the “chain” has been so successful in Brussels is the unbeatable quality/price the owners aim for at each of their establishments.

With plats starting from a mere €12.50, the pricing here is very democratic and affordable for people of all budgets.
All in all, this place has proved a fine addition to the “Schievelavabo family”.

Good to Know:

  • Schievelavabo, Place Alphonse Bosch 10, 1300 Wavre
  • Tél:010 60 37 50