Home MOREDINING IN EUROPE Dishing up great grub: that’s this eatery in Waterloo

Dishing up great grub: that’s this eatery in Waterloo

by Staff Reporter
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The horeca industry in Belgium (as elsewhere) continues to go through very turbulent times, with resto closures happening every week.

Imagine, then, opening a brand new eatery at possibly the worst possible moment in recent history.

That is the fate that befell the owners of “Dish” in the centre of Waterloo when it opened in October 2022.

The end of the crippling coronavirus pandemic then threw up possibly an even bigger challenge: the energy crisis.

Fast forward to 2024 and the impact of rising prices and the cost of living are still being felt right across the sector.

But “Dish” has served up an alternative narrative. It has actually gone from strength to strength, despite the double whammy of a health and economic meltdown.

The owners have clearly hit on a “secret” formula because this very pleasant eatery on a newly extended shopping mall is doing very nicely, thank you.

If there is a “secret” to its success it’s probably the fact that it does not seek to over-reach itself. The emphasis here is very much on serving good, homemade and fresh dishes.

 A clue to the nature of the food served here is in the title: the aim is to offer a dish from an assortment of places. So, you’ll find, for instance, a Thai green curry on the menu alongside Mexican-inspired chilli and even a good old traditional full “English” breakfast.

Actually,as this last item also includes Irish sausages, it is called a “Full Monty” here which, given the size of it, is an apt description.

Much of the produce is sourced from Ireland which, again, is appropriate as the go-ahead owners are of Irish origin.

They used to own a popular bar in the centre of Waterloo and, when the lease expired,took their chance on something a bit different just down the road at a site which had, hitherto, been something of a wasteland.

“Dish” has taken its place on an expanded shopping mall and has already proved a hit with the locals, so much so that it recently extended its opening days to include Sunday.

A launch dish was a traditional Sunday Roast, comprising beef and all the trimmings, a real rarity in Belgium. That’s currently not on the menu but may make a comeback soon.

But there’s still plenty to keep you satisfied on the current menu which includes sourdough toasties, brioche, salads and baguettes with an assortment of fillings.

One of its most popular offerings are egg-based, be it the aforementioned “Full Monty” or eggs benedict, omelette or (and this is particularly popular) the “Light Breakfast”, a perfect size for those who like a fry up but one that is a bit more modest in size.

Another feature of this lovely eatery is the emphasis placed on sourcing most if not everything from local producers and suppliers, including one of the few traditional butchers still left in Waterloo (it even makes its own curry paste for the curry).

This is all especially important for the owners who “do not want to re-invent the wheel” but simply offer good, honest-to-goodness food, all at a reasonable price.

Try not to leave here without sampling another house speciality: one of the delicious and mouth watering desserts, cooked in-house and created by Irish-born Lisa Kelly, who is very new to Belgium but is already wise to the Belgians’ love and appreciation of nice food.

That extends also to other staff members here such the very cheerful and welcoming Ciaran Conlon (front of house), Adam O’Reilly (kitchen) and Belgian-born Jess Tarlton who, along with Ciaran’s old school buddy, regional manager James McPhillips, are all responsible for helping “Dish” go down so well since it opened.

Possibly the best thing about this place, which can seat 36 inside, is that you can call by just about any time of the day, be it for a coffee and croissant from when it opens at 8pm, or to try something from its lunch menu.

Later in the afternoon, why not drop in for an aperitif from the impressive and extensive drinks menu.

It closes at 5pm (Mon-Fri) but there’s a large and pleasant terrace, seating up to 50, that will be opening as soon as the better weather arrives and it’s possible the opening hours may be extended for the summer.

Whenever you visit, you will see why this terrific little place is bucking the trend in the horeca industry and actually doing rather well.


Dreve Richelle 24, Waterloo

0472 942 530


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