‘Three servings of Somtam with fermented crab, extra spicy’. When I heard the couple next to me order spicy papaya salad with their ice coffees, I knew I had to stick around. ‘Maybe you could try one portion first?’. The friendly waiter really wanted to ease them into Isan cuisine, but there was no stopping these weekend warriors out for an authentic adventure. Last Saturday, I paid a visit to Siam Senses in Antwerp.
‘The best pizza of Vilvoorde and surrounding area’. Felix Pizza in Vilvoorde has chosen quite the audacious tag line. I do like the implied confidence, but it does sound like a challenge. With a growing number of pizza parlors in my hometown, there are a lot of contenders for the title. Off the top of my head, there’s Testa Rossi, Barino, Pizza Vera, Pizza Talia, Domino’s and Pizza Hut. Main rival in the region is Il Casale in Grimbergen, in my opinion. Does Felix Pizza measure up? Let’s have a look.
Tjoung Tjoung in Antwerp is one of those rare restaurants that serves authentic Thai food in Belgium. It is situated slightly out of the way at Breydelstraat 16, close to the central train station and mere minutes by foot from the De Keyserlei. Coming from the train station, just take a right at the Australian Ice Cream parlor and keep walking until it appears on your left. With the popular Isaan Café and a Thai massage parlor in the direct vicinity, there seems to be a cluster of Thai businesses in the making.
Whenever I am in Thailand, I regularly visit an authentic Thai massage parlor. Thai massages are quite intense and in some cases you are even thrown around and walked on. The contrast between intense and relaxing feelings really makes me feel exhilarated when I walk out. Every muscle feels loose and back where it should be. For years, I’ve been looking for that experience in Belgium, but have never indulged as I am always put off by a possible shady nature of local massage. When I was assured by a friend that Thongfaa Thai massage (website currently down) could be trusted, I decided to give the parlor a try.