Rue du Congrès 50
What is good: Whatever you want as a noodle base — Bami, udon, a drink or even rice — for your Asian-themed meal, you won’t be disappointed here. Each of the meals can be served with tofu or shitake for vegetarians, while meat lovers can indulge in crispy duck, juicy beef, shrimp or chicken as their toppings of choice.
What is not: With only two vegetarian starters — fried tofu and gyoza — your palate may be a little bored if your main dish also contains tofu. The staff may seem unfriendly at first, but that’s not true, they are so busy running the place.
Atmosphere: Dark walls and gold stucco features give the small restaurant a cozy ambiance, and you can watch the chef prepare your sizzling dish in the small open kitchen. If the Brussels weather is favorable to you, try to enjoy the sun on their sidewalk terrace.
Who gets the check? You can get a starter for between €8 and €12, while your main course will cost between €13 and €17. The biggest selling point for trainees on a budget is that the main course might feed you twice if you remove your leftovers!
Spotted: Anonymous senior Spanish EU officials were spotted here, although the servers promised us they value your privacy.
Insider tip: Thai celebrities Rhatha Phongam and Apissada Kreurkongka have both dined at Better Than Hungry. So if you’re a devoted fan of Thai culture, check out when the superstars are in town because there’s a good chance you’ll catch them devouring their favorite dishes at this restaurant.
Fun fact: One evening, when the owner was starving at home, he took everything he could find in the refrigerator and put it in the pot. Sometimes leftovers make a new improvised dish that “is better than starving,” he thought, and that’s what he named his restaurant in homage.
How to get there: It is a three-minute walk from Madou metro station. And why not digest your meal with a short walk to Brussels’ most futuristic donut-shaped monument, the Passerelle Tondo.
— Review published September 21, 2023. Illustration by Dato Parulava for POLITICO.