Belgium, (Brussels Morning newspaper) Have you ever wondered what the culinary “equivalent” of the EU might look like? Well, there’s a mini restaurant “chain” in Brussels that may provide the answer.
Just like the European Union, the restaurant – Tenshi – tries to “marry the best” of its constituent parts. In the case of the EU, this would, of course, be the Member States while the culinary equivalent is fusing the best of different national cuisines.
If the EU also likes to see itself as a “family”, the Tensi is also very much a “family affair”, as it was launched and is run by a sister and brother team.
And, a bit like the EU again, Tenshi is forever looking at possible expansion. In it case, it has opened a “branch” (restaurant) outside Brussels for the first time (at Charleroi) and plans further expansion this summer with its latest venue due to open at Genval.
That’s not all: the EU likes to celebrate anniversaries and Tenshi has a celebration of its own this year: the 10th anniversary of the launch of its first location, at Uccle.
At a time when restaurants are still closing due to the recession and economic fallout of the health pandemic, it is quite an achievement to have reached a ten-year milestone and also to be bold enough to open more venues.
The EU analogy, in fact, goes on: Tenshi also brings together different nationalities (the Uccle branch, for example, employs people from France, Tibet and Vietnam).
People working in, or associated with, the Union are also among the regulars both at Uccle and the other venues at Woluwe St Pierre/Stockel and Docks Brussel.
Tenshi has built up, over the past decade, an enviable reputation for its food and service. The idea generally is to take the best” of several Asian cuisines – Thai, Chinese, Japanese and Vietnam – and merge/fuse them into something special.
This, in essence, is what gives this business its USP (unique selling point). What started initially as essentially a Japanese-influenced resto has, over the years, become a “flag bearer” for all types of Asian cuisine.
Customer favourites here include Gyoza, Kaoya (Peking duck), Shake Teppanyaki (salmon) together with all the various Ramen (stew) and Sushi options, not least Maki Moriawase (a mix of sushi).
The excellent menu features a couple of options to share: Takasaki (for two) and Fuji (for four). A lot of thought has clearly gone into the card and all the wines have been carefully selected to match the food and even the beers are linked to different Asian countries (Thai, China and Japan).
This restaurant has a “twin” in Brussels which is called Thai Café (and, as the name suggests, serves Thai food) and, having been launched by Angel, there are now no less than 16 of these scattered around the city.
Her brother Ben launched Tenshi and, when Genval opens later this year, there will be five of these.
The pleasant Uccle address, the first Tenshi, boasts an open kitchen so diners can see the expertise that goes into producing such lovely fayre. Considering the quality the pricing is (also a bit like the EU) very democratic.
Full credit to the hard working staff too, like Vietnam-born manager at Uccle, Binh Tran,who gives a little insight into the secret of the success behind this booming family business saying, “The idea, basically, is to take a dish from its country of origin and add spice from another.”
Judging by the success this business is having, it is clearly a formula that works.
Tenshi,1134 Chaussee de Waterloo, Uccle
02 375 1200