Just like Brasserie Bizie Lizie, Lollapalooza‘s name has intrigued me for a while. However, my friend who accompanied me to Bizie Lizie once told me that the food at Lollapalooza wasn’t so good, but I remained curious. Thankfully so, because I was pleasantly surprised by this restaurant.
Lollapalooza can be found in the Pelgrimstraat, a narrow street off the Reyndersstraat. The restaurant is small and narrow, so there are few tables on the inside, but one can also dine on the terrace or outside in an alcove. Inside, chandeliers are hanging from the ceiling, but it remains fairly dark in the room. This potentially causes the colorful murals of swimming women, a sun, and a women flashing one of her breasts, among other things, not to be shown to their advantage.
Above the kitchen, there’s a sign saying: ‘We ♥ kids BUT unattended kids will be given a lot of espresso and a free puppy’. This sense of humor can also be found on the menu with the Thai dishes. Below Thai me up (a play on words of ‘tie me up’), there are for example stir-fry dishes with names such as 8-pussy galore (a dish containing octopus) and fuck a duck. And wouldn’t you know: that last dish fascinated me the most.
Originally, I had only intended to order the fuck a duck curry dish, but when I took a closer look at the menu, I noticed that Lollapalooza was still serving its food sample from Masters of Taste. Seeing as I had set out to try as many dishes from the culinary festival as possible, I (slightly against my will) also ordered Thai fish fritters with red curry and pickled cucumber as a first course.
It took a while before the food arrived at the table, though. I noticed this because a table that had arrived before me still hadn’t received any food when I was already becoming restless. On the menu, the restaurant already apologizes for the long waiting times because all the food is freshly prepared and at the moment itself.
Fortunately, Vanja, the friendly co-owner, brought me some bread to alleviate my hunger (and I had eaten little that day). Surprisingly enough, the bread was still warm, melting the butter I smeared on top.
When the Thai fish fritters with red curry arrived, the pickled cucumber turned out to be a type of sauce with peanuts in a separate tiny bowl. The fish fritters were delicious and soft, but a little bit greasy and not crispy on the outside. Certain parts contained a lot of curry, causing the fish fritters to suddenly taste very spicy sometimes, but the pickled cucumber offered a refreshing counterbalance to this. I was able to make out pieces of chives in the fish fritters, but unable to determine what fish had been used. They might as well have been chicken nuggets and I would have found them equally as delicious.
After this delicious first course, I again had to wait a while for the wanton main course. The fuck a duck turned out to be a large curry dish with a whole piece of duck breast, a small bowl of sticky rice, and half a bush of Thai basil. I have no problems with the latter ingredient, but now it seemed as if it had been roughly thrown on there, so I simply plucked it off my plate. Moreover, there were still kaffir lime leaves in the sauce.
The duck breast had received a nice hint of pepper and had a crisp skin, but was still red on the inside. Furthermore, the duck had been cut into thin, bite-sized slices. The green curry tasted so spicy (or eeel eeet (smokin’ hot) as could be read on the menu) that it opened up my sinuses, but I had nothing against that. According to the menu, the curry contained ‘eastern vegetables’, but I was unable to determine which ones. I discovered baby corn, bamboo shoots (vegetables with holes in them?), and a vegetable that resembled fennel, but didn’t taste like it. All vegetables were al dente, but that didn’t bother me this time.
I appeared to have received a large, deep plate, but appearances are deceiving. Nevertheless, the fuck a duck was a big serving, to the point that I couldn’t finish it all. To avoid wasting food and so I could enjoy the very spicy curry again the next day, I asked to take the leftovers home with me.
My friend had told me that Lollapalooza’s food wasn’t so good, but from my own experience, I now know he was wrong. After all, I immensely enjoyed both the Thai fish fritters (even though I hadn’t intended to order them) and the fuck a duck curry (even though I couldn’t finish it entirely). This just goes to show that reviewing food is quite a subjective field: what one considers subpar, the other considers scrumptious. So, Lollapalooza will receive a positive rating from me:
- Food: 4
- Atmosphere and hospitality: 4
- Eat – repeat: It would be my pleasure to return, but then I’ll stick to one dish.