To celebrate their second birthday, Gatsu Gatsu threw a party including cocktails, a DJ set and fresh food. I hadn’t been before, so the invite was a great occasion to check out this Japanese wok restaurant set in the heart of Brussels.
Close to the Brussels Central Station, Gatsu Gatsu offers quick, yet fresh and tasty food. You compose your own dish by selecting the ingredients on display behind the counter. First, you select your noodles and meat. Then you pick your vegetables and sauce. And finally, you select a topping. Once you’ve made your selection, you can watch how the cook woks your food in front of you, or install at one of the tables and wait until your buzzer signals that your food is ready.
Don’t worry if you’re already stressing out about all those choices to make. The staff will walk you through and help you out with suggestions in case of doubt. I followed their advice and ended up with a nice bowl containing large noodles, shrimps, tomatoes, a slightly-spicy curry sauce, topped off with sesame. It was a delicious combination.
Prices average between 12 and 15 EUR, which is a decent price taking into account the location, the large portions and the fresh products.
I feel less enthused about the way the food is presented. It comes in plastic bowls and cardboard boxes, resulting in a large amount of waste.
The most striking element of this restaurant is their wok alley. Functioning as a doorway to Japanese culture, the entrance is crammed with bright billboards, which bring to mind the typical Asian alleyways.
You’ll also spot some kind of tiled structure similar to Japanese tiled roofs. If you have a closer look though, you’ll realize they are actually wooden spoons. Hundreds of them. Any guess on how many there are? (You’ll find the answer below.) They are even used in the decoration of the toilets.
Also feeling intrigued by the catchy name of this place? Gatsu Gatsu is Japanese for gobbling your food, which happens when the food is too tasty to stop eating. This attitude is typical of Japanese street restaurants set in busy Asian alleys brimming with smells, sounds and movements. And it will likely be your attitude too if you’re grabbing a quick bite before rushing off to the train station.
PS: 12 000 wooden spoons have been used to decorate the entrance.