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“Service ruined a decent meal”
Review of Jaloa Brasserie Jardin - CLOSED

Jaloa Brasserie Jardin
Cuisines: Belgian
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Reviewed 26 July 2014

The Jaloa Group is synonymous with high-end food, so one would expect the less pricey ‘brasserie’ to do it justice. Yet, despite elegantly dressed plates containing decent food, the overall experience was far from satisfying.

The setting is delightful, especially the large outdoor garden, which gives you a good initial feel for the place. After some confusion over who was meant to seat us, our small group of three made its first mistake. We failed to immediately order drinks and dared to ask for an extra two minutes to decide. A mistake as we would not see a waiter again until well after we’d decided on the entire meal, and only after having asked two or three times if we could finally place our order.

We eventually started with a duo of croquettes, a crab ravioli and grilled squid. All of it was very tasty and the grilled squid was handsomely presented. Good start? Not quite, as unfortunately by the time we were halfway through starters we’d yet to receive all our drinks. When a missing bottle of wine finally arrive we waited a little more for the water…

There was also a rather unreasonable wait between starters and mains. For a restaurant which was a third full, at best, the disorganization was all the more puzzling.

With seafood being prime here, for mains I opted for the steak with a pepper sauce. A tad overcooked, the meat was nonetheless excellent, the sauce very nice and the grilled vegetables with just the right amount of crunch. The fries, which again arrived half way through and only after asking, were ok.
My partner had the open ravioli of red mullet and her good friend the grilled sole. The sole looked nice and crisp, but the open ravioli was a bit messy and failed to really excite.

It was a strange experience, the place is lovely and the food is good, but what I can only describe as organized chaos when it came to service spoiled it. I’ve lived in Brussels since my teens so I’m use to the oddities of service in Belgium but even I was left baffled when we were essentially asked if we’d finished because they wanted to close to go and see the National Day fireworks. Fortunately we’d not planned on dessert, mainly because of the poor service, so we were in fact ready to go, but if this is anything close to how they operate the other Jaloa Group restaurants I am somewhat unsurprised they lost one of their Michelin stars.

Were we unlucky? Judging from other commentators probably not. A shame as the food and presentation are deserving of one or two extra stars..

Note: none of us were keen on the seafood platter, but we did see it at the other tables and as much as seeing is not tasting, it certainly looked the par.

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Thank Gregory_Cornwell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (326)
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56 - 60 of 326 reviews

Reviewed 15 July 2014

We came to this restaurant with our kids - which meant we were put into the corner of the restaurant - suppose to not disturb the other guests. While this restaurant gives itself the touch of more exclusive food and drinks, we were totally astonished when above our table were the loudspeakers for the Music of the restaurant - which in itself is not a bad Thing. However, it sounded like the owner of the restaurant likes rock music - and must be deaf at the same time. We listened to Led Zeppelin and Dire Straits - VERY loud! normally we like this Kind of Music...but not in such a place. It certainly did not leave us with a good memory.....

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Thank Achim P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2014 via mobile

I visited this restaurant as my friend wanted to have oysters so we decided to try it but we were very disappointed by this place. The staff not friendly, service is awful, food very bad and expensive!!! I don't know how come this place is still open!!
I was told later by friends that I was the only one living in Brussels who wasn't aware of the bad reputation of this place!.
So Save your money for more worthy restaurant!!

Thank BHcarrosse16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2014

In March 2013 we found this restaurant based on TA reviews. It had a great rating and excellent reviews back then. We used their website to reserve a table. We had the crab ravioli as one of the appetizers, the beef cheek as a main, and a sea bass dish as a main. The ravioli was creamy and light, the beef cheek was DIVINE, and the sea bass was tasty as well. This restaurant was so delicious, we dreamed about coming back just for that ravioli and beef cheek! Fast forward to July 2014...

We made a reservation via the same system. I finally got an email confirming my reservation 3 days later (one day after the date requested). Fortunately it wasn't needed. In hindsight, I wish we had been turned away. For starters, the over all feel of the restaurant changed. It was no longer a romantic place with an upscale, yet relaxed feel to it. Instead, the white tablecloths were removed (at least in the back where we were) and the servers were overloaded. Our server, an older male, was friendly enough, but the poor guy was stretched to the max. Apparently they hadn't anticipated so many people on a Sunday evening (July 6, 2014). Instead of turning people away or making them wait, they decided to let everyone be seated and receive poor service. The couple next to us arrived at 7:30, they said. They didn't get their main course until about 9:30! When we got there, we heard the waiter say "don't worry, your food is coming!". The couple was from Norway, and they were very understanding.

On to the most important part: FOOD! We usually don't order the exact same meal, but because the ravioli and beef cheek were so good last year, we decided we BOTH wanted them so we wouldn't have to share even on morsel! I checked the menu online to ensure they still had it before arriving. They did. When we got the crab ravioli, it was different from last year. It seemed to have curry and pea puree or something. It was decent enough, but areas of the ravioli that weren't covered in sauce were overcooked, so bits of the pasta was tough. The beef cheek came and it was totally different. It was completely lacking in flavor. I even tried adding salt, and that didn't even help! I've cooked beef cheek before (after being inspired by my mean last year) and it must be trimmed as much as possible, then cooked long enough for the fatty/gelatanous pieces to cook down. There were bits of this that couldn't be chewed through. Neither myself nor my boyfriend finished the dish. That NEVER happens! The frites that came with the meal were horrible! Last year they were the best frites we had. They didn't even come with a dipping sauce. Just dry frites. Nobody bothered to ask how the meal was. There were gnats flying around that were highly annoying. One flew into the bottle of wine we purchased. When I poured it (since it was seated in me and the waiter was too overwhelmed to do the pouring) I saw it floating in my glass! We tried to wait for the server to come to our table to mention it, but he was too busy. My bf went to the server's station and told him about it. He handed him a napkin to get it out. Then my bf explained that I didn't want the glass anymore. He came over and looked at it and made a joke about it not being able to handle his liquor (and it was funny) lol. He took the glass and gave me a new glass....but that was the last glass of the bottle. I flagged down another server after a few minutes and asked for a replacement glass of chablis, which she brought.

After much thought, I decided that this was just not worth the money at all. I felt that something needed to be done to adjust the bill. I didn't want to disturb the other diners so I went to the front of the restaurant and asked to speak with the owner. I was told he wasn't there, but they brought the manager over, who appeared to be also working as a waiter. He didn't speak English, so the person who did was a server named Omar. He translated for me. I explained our plight about how we looked forward to dining here for well over a year only to find out that everything has declined. The main course was absolutely horrible. I even showed the photos of our meals from last year. I asked if they had a new chef. Turned out they did! I could TASTE that they had a new chef before I was even told. Anyways, the manager was totally indifferent and didn't care at all. Even though I couldn't understand him, I could understand his body language and tone.

Omar seemed very disappointed and offered to work on it a bit more. Finally the manager asked to take our bill. We were brought a new bill and it was EXACTLY the same. I asked the server who brought the bill back what the difference was. I explained that we had longed to dine here again and were highly disappointed with the meal. I explained how we could taste that there was a new chef, even before it was confirmed. I explained that I understood they were overwhelmed, but the service declined. I did all of that quietly and politely. The Norweigian couple beside us said that they just wanted to say they they admired me for how I handled that. They said that they never complain, but that I did so in such a beautiful and pleasant way they they were inspired. That is how I found out how long they waited for their meal. They also said they saw the gnat situation and were surprised when they didn't immediately bring me a new glass of chablis. They agreed that the food was not what they expected either. We went back up to the station and asked what the difference was in this new bill because it appeared to be just like the previous one. The manager looked at the two, then typed something in, then asked for our card then gave us the receipt. It was STILL the same! We asked Omar for the email contact for the boss and he gave us the business card and asked us to please have a drink on him. I initially declined, but he pleaded and we sat at the bar and had a drink. Omar truly seemed to care. I hope he becomes the manager of this place one day. While we were at the bar, one of the 3 owners was there and Omar explained our situation. The owner had been dining with his own friends in the front of the restaurant. I guess now that his party had gone, he had time to tend to "restaurant business". I imagine this guy to be the 'face' or 'personality' of the restaurant, not the person who actually cares about business. He was clearly a bit intoxicated (but not sloppily so), just enough to make him talk silly. He kept insisting that the beef cheek was good because he "had some of his friend's meal yesterday". I told him he should have tasted it today. He said he would taste some tomorrow. I said that may or may not taste like the batch we had today. He insisted it would because it was the same recipe (ha!). Anybody who cooks, knows that things can still end up tasting differently. I just found it rude that he tried to convince us that this meal tasted good. We can taste for ourselves. He insisted that this current chef was way better than the previous one. He's not. We basically came back to Brussels from NYC just to eat at this restaurant on our way to other countries in Europe. We told him how we originally found this due to the wonderful reviews on TA, but when we checked today, 6 of the last 7 reviews were bad. He said that in Europe TA wasn't useful because people only write bad reviews. That they may get one bad piece of meat and write a bad review...except for when he said it he used a whiny voice to mock the reviewers. We pointed out, again that great reviews from early 2013 were what led us here to begin with originally. He never really "heard us". We even explained that after we left Brussels last year, we went to a Michelin starred restaurant in Paris (and enjoyed it), but the meal here was my bf's favorite. We wanted them to understand that we didn't dream of this place for a whole year just to come back and trash it. It REALLY wasn't good. Anyways, we never got a bill adjustment for anything and the owner didn't even acknowledge that our complaints were valid, possibly due to his inebriated state. He shook my bf's hand on our way out and mumbled something about beef cheeks and cheeks and touched my cheeks (face) and kissed me on my cheek...not in the french way, but in the drunk old man way.

If you truly know good food, don't eat here. Even if you don't consider yourself a "foodie", your tongue will let you know that this food isn't worth the bill. For the record, we have no qualms about paying for good food, at all. We do have qualms about paying for bad food that we can't even finish eating and a bad overall dining experience.

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Thank maybeline46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2014 via mobile

We waited for more than one hour between first and second courses. The food was terrible: the duck was raw and extremely dry and on top of all that, they charged a bottle of water (7 euros) that they never served. Extremely disappointing!!! To sum up, we spent almost three hours to have dinner and my son in love had a pizza when he got home!!!

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Thank Pilara548
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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