I wasn’t sure what to expect from our first Michelin-star dining experience in Brussels. We’ve eaten at Michelin-star establishments before, but there was something different about this place. I’d actually walked past the building several times before, without ever realising that there was a restaurant inside.
The brainchild of Belgian chef Bart De Pooter, WY restaurant is located inside Mercedes House, a Mercedes car dealer/showroom at the Grand Sablon. The kitchen, bar and dining tables sit comfortably among shiny, brand new luxury display vehicles. There’s even a custom baby grand piano to match the white and orange theme of the restaurant. Like many things about Brussels, this unusual setting for a fine-dining experience was simultaneously wacky and wonderful.
The atmosphere at WY is sophisticated yet relaxed, themes that recur in the food and service. Our meal was thoroughly enjoyable, with surprising flavor hits throughout – ling with mustard, dulse (sea lettuce flakes) and tobiko (flying fish roe) which was flavoured with wasabi and gave it a bright green colour; scallops with leek, lime and crispy flakes perched on a brown onion; tenderloin with eggplant, goat cheese, cumin and oats; followed by pineapple with jalapeno, coconut, caramel and talauma pepper; and lastly orange and rosemary sponge cake with olive oil ice cream – delicious.
The restaurant’s website promised a “mind blowing experience”. WY totally delivered.
When we arrived at the front of the WY restaurant I thought we were at the wrong place. We were standing in front of a Mercedes Benz dealership with no restaurant in sight. The doors suddenly opened and at the far end of the room was a kitchen and tables that resembled a restaurant. It was Valentine’s day and my first night in Brussels so Bec surprised me with dinner at a Michelin star restaurant inside a car dealership!
I’ve seen small cafes in dealerships before but not a fine-dining restaurant! It took me a while to get my head around the concept and when we were greeted by the waiters and told to sit wherever we liked, I was a little surprised. It was very relaxed, not what I expected for a restaurant of this calibre. We quickly chose the best seat in the house, a corner table facing the open kitchen with a view of the whole restaurant. On the far wall was a giant television screen displaying all the action in the kitchen in real time. Behind us was a display of the latest high-end AMG models with a smart car thrown in for the rest of us. Even a visit to the bathroom on the lower level doubled as a viewing of the main car showroom.
The five-course degustation and wine pairings were top-notch. With flavour combinations, textures and presentation that were creative and fun, each course was a discovery on a plate. The wine that was paired throughout was perfect too. I was surprised by the generous pour – a full glass for every course, and no charge for top-ups if you finish your glass while there’s still food on the plate!
Rue Bodenbroek 22-24, 1000 Brussels