Right across the old fish market of Zeebrugge, you will find Brasserie Nelson, a fish restaurant where you leave with a full stomach and a happy feeling. At least, that was the feeling when we left last Sunday, after a lunch with David, the godfather of Marieke. Brasserie Nelson is one of the few survivors of this piece of Zeebrugge. A neat and tidy interior, tasty food and a friendly service can do miracles. It’s too bad that a lot of restaurant don’t seem to meet those three conditions… When we arrived, we were welcomed friendly by one of the three ladies in charge of the service. Even the chef nodded friendly when he took a look into the restaurant.
The interior is characterised by a lot of brown tones and every table had a burning candle. The restaurant is quite large, but during the lunch it got crowded. There are mainly families that want to celebrate something, but there are also (older) couples enjoying their Sunday lunch.
Two pots of fish mousse were immediately dropped on our table, generosity is the most normal thing in the world here. Not surprisingly, there’s a lot of fish on the menu. In the homarium there are Norwegian lobsters who are playing Russian roulette. The stubborn carnivore can still eat its meat since there are some meat dishes on the menu. Scallops have always been my favourites and at Nelson, you get them perfectly cooked on your plate, accompanied with cauliflower puree and truffle cream. Just like the impeccable shrimp croquettes and tomate-crevette, two classics that are ruined far too often.
As main course, we chose for ray with capers and a fish platter. The ray was really fresh and nicely baked. Ray is a delicate fish, if he’s been in the fridge for too long, you immediately smell the odour of ammonia.
The fish stew was a hit as well, nice pieces of white fish, salmon, grey shrimps and scampi. A tasteful sauce, and a great crust. The three dishes were accompanied by tasty mashed potatoes in which a lot of butter was processed. In the meantime, Marieke already ate all her scallops!
We drunk a bottle of Muscadet-sur-lie, a cheap bottle of wine, great for fish dishes. A dessert wasn’t necessary, but we went for it anyway… A chocolate mousse, a dame blanche, and a – great idea – children’s version of a dame blanche ended the festivity. You should count €60 per person for an aperitif, wine and three courses.
Nelson is a restaurant where you come when you love a tasty no nonsense kitchen and when you have an eye for quality. The service is smooth and very friendly. I wish there were more places like Nelson!