Nestled by the Canal and the hip Dansaert Street is a multifaceted open space designed by Frederic Nicolay (Barbeton, Grand Central, Potemkine, Oficina…). Kumiko is a bar, a restaurant and a concert venue, not to mention my new HQ. It’s where you want to come for a quick lunch, work the afternoon sipping latte and hang out with friends come dusk.

Prepare for a flavour crossroads where east marries west and sits at a big communal wooden table. The interiors are industrial rustic with warm wood everywhere, subdued lights and a sleek metal-framed open-kitchen. Kumiko’s cuisine is inspired by the best Japanese street food. It’s fast-good and healthy, conceived by David D’Udekem Dacoz and Tanguy Robert. Think Japanese lunchboxes with onigiris (those rice triangles wrapped in nori and stuffed with a myriad creative filling like smoked salmon, grilled tofu, kimchi-pork…), gyozas and donburis. Hungry rascals will feast on the smokey beef burgers with kimchi pickles (some say among the best in town) while the well-behaved choose a ramen, a tofu brochette or a crispy salad. Come dessert, everybody will agree around a melty yukimi (Japanese rice cake stuffed with ice cream), a rich mochi or a western classic cheesecake. Stay after happy hour (free gyozas with drinks) for a concert in the basement and hang out with the creative neighbourhood peeps.


Kumiko, 7 rue d’Alost, 1000 Brussels, Open Monday-Thursday 8-23.30, Friday-Saturday 8-01.30 and Sunday 10-22.30