travel. explore. grow.

Category: Belgium

Never-ending breakfast at That’s Toast in Bruges

Your mother might’ve told you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and she is right! Studies have proven that breakfast boosts your metabolism, helps you burn calories throughout the day and it also gives you the energy you need to get things done. And what can be better than a tasty and solid starter on a plate that is also expertly made by someone else?

Welcome to That’s Toast in Bruges, Belgium!

I discovered a place in Bruges where you can have delicious and healthy breakfast all day long, at That’s Toast! Hipsters, health-freaks and foodies will fall in love with this charming café! It doesn’t matter what you go for all portions are copious and the ingredients are fresh. You can always let the staff know if you have any special preferences or if you are just following one of those gluten-free trends. If the weather is nice I would suggest you to enjoy your meal on the lovely hidden terrace at the café.

But first, coffee!

The owner of That’s Toast is young Dutch man named Steven who got his inspirations through traveling and exploring the world. And every 2-3 months the menu is updated and a new delicious addition appears on the menu! Furthermore That’s Toast doesn’t only offer the perfect Instagram-location but also incredible barista coffee.

Inside or outside?

We ordered both big breakfast plates for €14 per piece, with extra salmon on top of rucola and sweet potatoes for just €2,50 each. As I already mentioned the portions are magnanimous. Our meals were out very quickly and when we had our first bite, we couldn’t put our forks down anymore! I had the vegetarian grilled halloumi sandwich with tomato, avocado, juicy mushrooms and sumptuous eggs. And if I already started so healthy I decided to add a fresh juice to it with orange and ginger. It was not too sweet and not too sour, just perfect!

Breakfast plates with extra salmon and sweet potatoes. Yum!

The meat lovers will adore the other breakfast plate with tempting bacon, 2 different types of sausages, grilled tomato, beans in tomato sauce and the essential eggs. Definitely the breakfast for champions!

Let the feast begin!

Breakfast, brunch, lunch or just a nice drink at That’s Toast, you will be satisfied with every choice! I doubtlessly discovered my new place to eat and relax and who knows maybe I’ll see you there too! Bon appetite!

The Noon, Bruges’ Mediterranean treasure

Bruges is Belgium’s medieval gem with various touristic entertainment possibilities such as shopping, sightseeing, museums and obviously a numerous amount of great restaurants. Sometimes it’s amazing to have a wide range of choices but if you are visiting this magical town just for few days or want to try something extraordinary then it’s not so easy to make a satisfying decision.

Welcome to The Noon!

I discovered this magical mediterranean oasis, where time stands still and all your senses are happily engaged. The Noon is the name of this perfect getaway, where with taking the first step into the restaurant you will immerse into a completely different world. The relaxing fragrance, cozy atmosphere and creative decoration will make you feel like home from the very beginning. Just choose your perfect corner on the comfy couch or at one of the lovely tables. It’s possible to come for a energizing coffee and delightful lunch menu or a sumptuous dinner.

The Noon is run by Mona & Philip, a warm and friendly couple and they give this place it’s authentic charm. Mona & Philip combine three exotic and bright cultures: Moroccan, Indian and Belgian. The cultural beauty is reflected in the interpretation of the food: Colorful, healthy and simply delicious! Only seasonal fresh vegetables and fruits are used for every masterpiece on a plate. First I was skeptical about the herbs because mediterranean kitchen has the tendency to exaggerate with unknown penetrant spices but I was positively surprised how discretely it was added to every meal so I could still taste the fullness of the fresh vegetables and juicy meat.

Mint tea and beer served on a silver metal tray

We started our dinner with some mint tea which was served in a beautiful metal silver teapot on a decorated tray. No worries for the alcohol enthusiasts, there is also a variety of lovely wines and Belgian Gold, beer. And then our tasty journey began!

Vegetarian soup with crisp flatbread

Our appetite was awakened with a vegetarian soup composed of fresh in-season vegetables with grilled flatbread covered in moroccan olive oil. We all know vegetable soups are always good for your health and they provide our bodies with the necessary vitamines but this one was additionally incredibly delicious!

Colourful Vegetarian Tagine With Tofu

Our mains were the Vegetarian Tagine with tofu cheese, lightly spiced heritage carrots and marinated haloumi + the Chicken Tagine with preserved lemon and purple olives that were impressively served under a cone shaped lid. Tagine is by the way a traditional moroccan way of slow cooking with a conical shaped lid. This keeps the dishes uniquely moist. Every meal is served with rice or couscous, fresh salad with delicious dressing and pickled reedit radish.

Our eyes became bigger and mouths more watery when we took the lids away and saw the amazing colours: bright yellow, green and black carrots, golden onions and potatoes, orange sweet potatoes and red juicy tomatoes. Three appetizing pieces of chicken, we didn’t wait too long until we tried them. They were succulent and rich in white meat.

Lamb Tagine Berbere

We couldn’t resist to order the Lamb Tagine Berbere on top of it even though the portions are very generous. And we didn’t regret it! It’s not easy to make sumptuous lamb because often it tends to be very dry, but Mona performs magic in the kitchen! The lamb sausages covered in tasty vegetables and mediterranean herbes overcame all our expectations.

The Noon is a very peaceful and enjoyable place, you will doubtlessly lose track of time here. This happened to us, only after 4 hours we realized that it was time to go back home and it’s only because it was already dark outside, we could’ve sat there for much longer. It became my favourite café/restaurant in Bruges to visit and I will definitely recommend it to everyone who loves healthy and delicious food and who is not afraid to be different. Ah, and vegetarians will be definitely spoiled there!

Opening Hours:
Mon – Thu 11:30am – 4pm
Fri -Sat   11:30am – 4pm
               6pm – 11pm 

Roji, follow the stone path to Antwerp’s Japan

The ancient stone streets led me to the hidden pearl of Japanese kitchen in the heart of Antwerp. Fortunately I discovered the magnificent restaurant Roji, which is located on the main restaurant street of Antwerp’s Old Town, close to the Grote Markt. The place, where you get served various delicacies and even dishes that are not available anywhere else in Belgium. Plan to spend the whole evening to enjoy the memorable dining to it’s fullest!

Roji's sacred entrance

Roji’s sacred entrance

The building used to be a monastery, that was built in the 13th century by monks, so even if the weather is pleasant outside, don’t hesitate to explore the secluded indoors of the restaurant. You will be immersed into a tremendous room with ancient interior, arched vaults and modern design. The warm colors, dimmed lighting, wooden furniture and playful fireplace give the area a cozy and intimate atmosphere, which you will enjoy for the rest of the evening. An impressive fact about Roji, being a very classy and exclusive restaurant, yet the atmosphere doesn’t give off a pretentious and pompous feeling.

Dancing flames

Dancing flames

Not only the visual aspects of Roji left us speechless, but also the outstanding service. Very polite, professional and knowledgable waiters were emphasizing our memorable experience the whole evening. When we entered the place we were led to a big comfortable couch just next to the warm fireplace. We received hot, moist towels to clean our hands, which is a great opportunity for very hygienic people!

Welcome snack: baked sweet potato

Welcome snack: baked sweet potato

Afterwards we were handed a menu with drinks, which spoiled us for choice! Various cocktails, that you won’t find in every bar or restaurant, sounded delicious and the funny addition to the description made us giggle. So in the end after much deliberation we decided to try the non alcoholic “Bangkok Non-Stop” and Gin-based “Budo”. The description of “Budo” said it’s a perfect start of the wonderful evening and it was indeed! Both cocktails were refreshing and delightful to enjoy. Judging by the great quality of the cocktails the prices, which vary from 7-15€, were more than acceptable.

Refreshing Ice Tea "Bangkok Non-Stop" in outside area

Refreshing Ice Tea “Bangkok Non-Stop” in outside area

Did you know that Japanese Whisky is one of the most exquisite all over the world, receiving international top honors? So if you have passion for this strong spirit, then Roji will be a Whisky epitome for you! The menu includes various splendid Whisky sorts, including the famous Hibiki and Yamazaki.

Time to taste Roji

Delicious starter, various fingerfood

Delicious starter, various fingerfood

The beginning of our delicious journey started with a collection of fingerfood, including delicacies like Tempura Soft Shell Crab, fried to perfection, Edamame beans, flavored with a touch of sea salt, scrumptious Tuna tartare accompanied by ginger, wasabi and avocado and last but not least royal springrolls filled with juicy crab. The ensemble was perfectly culminated by a trio of Japanese sauces. My favorite of which was the unusual red salty yuzu, with a note of citrus. Every masterpiece on the plate was divine! My tip, you can order mixed plate with 7 different components just for 17€ p.P. Amazing deal for amazing quality!

Tasty Gin-based cocktails "Basel Smash" & "Roji Aviation"

Tasty Gin-based cocktails “Basel Smash” & “Roji Aviation”

More drinks! After a phenomenal starter we turned our attention back to the cocktails. Jackpot! We found a liquid jewel, that perfectly complements Japanese cuisine: Basil Smash. A gin based cocktail mixed with basil, sugar and lime. An ideal example that perfection lays in simplicity.

Not every sushi is the same sushi

French-Japanese sushi fusion

French-Japanese sushi fusion

Nowadays sushi is a familiar and beloved meal all over the world. The same sorts are available in every city, so to find a unique sushi taste is a challenge. Roji’s creative hands will surprise you with an unexpected fusion of French sophistication and Japanese tradition. We were spoiled with a plate full of various rolls, including Tako, Tamago, Tokyo Roll, Roji Roll and sashimi with salmon, tuna and seabass, which had a delicate fresh taste. We were seduced by the indescribably delicious Sexy Rolls, filled with scampi, spicy green onion, eel, flying fish roe and small orange fish eggs, masago. The prices may seem extravagant for sushi but let me remind you, the symbiosis of the French and Japanese kitchen in one little roll, will make you experience fireworks of flavors in your mouth. And if you’re interested in trying experimental dishes, believe me, every penny would worth that one!

Neverending highlights

Black Cod, White Miso-Saké, Japanese Sweet Potato

Black Cod, White Miso-Saké, Japanese Sweet Potato

After sushi followed black cod, marinated for 48 hours in white miso-sake, served with sweet potato, pumpkin and soy sauce with salted citrus. The fish was tender, melting on the tongue like butter. The choice of flavors and spices was a perfect match to bring the best out of the dish. We enjoyed every bite of this culinary delight.

Have you ever heard about the most expensive and high quality beef in the whole world, Japanese wagyu meat? If not, then it is time to widen your foodie knowledge. Wagyu is a Japanese beef cattle breed from Kobe, where “Wa” means Japanese and “Gyu” means cow. These animals are famous for it’s breeding and feeding techniques. The cows get massaged and fed with only beer or sake, which logically influences the texture and quality of the meat. The beef is intensely marbled with softer fat and is lower in cholesterol than any other competitor. Exactly right, it has a unique taste and it’s additionally healthy for you.

Japanese delicacy, Wagyu beef

Japanese delicacy, Wagyu beef

Savoring one highlight after another we reached the climax of our magnificent dining experience. After our positive surprise finding Wagyu on the menu, we couldn’t resist to experience the exquisite taste of this Japanese delicacy. Later on we were also informed that the chef personally flies to Japan every 2-3 months to choose the perfect slice of wagyu meat. Although he expands his knowledge in Japanese cooking techniques and methods, to prepare masterpieces on the plate in an authentic way. But back to the wagyu beef! I will warn you now, once you’ve tried this Japanese deliciousness, you will realise the value and genuine taste of beef. The tenderness, succulence, smooth velvety texture and delicate but rich character will linger on the palate! Words can not describe the excellent flavor, you must experience it yourself. Roji is the only restaurant in Belgium, that serves this slice of paradise for it’s guests. Moreover you can enjoy wagyu for the modest price of 78€, which is even cheaper then in it’s homeland.

Every good thing has an end…

Sweet&sour dessert, lemon cake with flambéed meringue, homemade vanilla ice cream

Sweet&sour dessert, lemon cake with flambéed meringue, homemade vanilla ice cream

An ideal way to round up your magnificent meal is doubtlessly with a great dessert. Especially if you prefer a light, tasty and not too sweet dessert with lemon notes, then it would serve you well to chose Roji’s brand new final course. A lemon cake with flambéed meringue on top and honey crumbles with homemade vanilla ice cream on the side. The trio of sweetness, sourness and crustiness will leave a refreshing aftertaste and satisfy your senses to it’s fullest potential. By the end of the evening you will be floating in culinary Nirvana.

Interior of Roji

Interior of Roji

My verdict is that Roji is an amazing place for a memorable dining evening and a must visit in Antwerp. If you finally found a date and want to impress your chosen one, Roji has all the ingredients to make your rendezvous to fall in love with you. People who are not on the love path can come here for a celebration or family gathering to never forget. Finally if you are looking to treat your stomach as a king, there is no better place than incredible Roji! Bon appétit and kanpai!

 

 

 

The Jane, classy seduction in Antwerp

Antwerp is a very old and cultural city but you can also find the fusion of ancient and modern designs. One of this masterpieces and treasures for the eyes is “The Jane”, a restaurant famous all over the globe. The history of the building goes back to 1906, when it used to be a military hospital. Nowadays the area is surrounded by fancy and pricy lofts. The carcass of the building stayed untouched but the insides became the creative freaky but tasteful and modern interior. The architectonic composition is not the only reason though, why that place reached high popularity. It’s also the high quality cuisine that is the epitome for the taste journey.

Sexy Upper Room Bar, The Jane

Sexy Upper Room Bar, The Jane

If you have the desire to visit that unique restaurant, then you should reserve a table or place in the upper bar 1-2 months in advance. You can do it easy and quickly online directly on The Jane Website. That place is always full booked, but it doesn’t feel crowdy or busy, because it has enough space to enjoy the interior and sweet conversations. Furthermore be prepared to spend 3-4 hours in The Jane’s wonderland.

Asian Amuse-Gueule, The Jane

Asian Amuse-Gueule, The Jane

We were lucky and could get 2 seats in the upper room bar, the modern kitchen surrounded by the bar where you can sit and observe the chef creating magic on the plates. It is a moment when gastronomy meets the show. From the top bar you can also admire the view of the imposing giant skull, unconventional paintings on the huge windows, original chandelier resembling dancing molecules and the restaurant on the lower level.

 

Montobello meat with breadsticks in a basil and garlic sauce

Montobello meat with breadsticks in a basil and garlic sauce

The Upper Room Bar’s menu offers you diverse selections of smaller experimental dishes, every single one is a tiny ensemble of the tastes with the ultimate experience. An ideal choice is to order the 8 courses tasting menu for 65€ per Person. The portions might seem tiny in the beginning but there will be plenty of them, so by the end of the divine food trip you will be well fed, satisfied and happy. The cherry on top: you will be served by very friendly and professional staff, that will emphasize the exclusive experience. 

Cured Ham

Cured Ham

Chicken liver Pate with radish

Chicken liver Pate with radish

The Jane has a great reputation for it’s exquisite cocktails, in my opinion though a cocktail is something that you need to savour separately from the dish. For this reason I’ve ordered Sauvignon Blanc and was positively surprised about the wine full with delightful herbal flavors. The water is by the way gratis, so you can drink the essential liquid as much as you want.

 

shrimps, The Jane

Sea Shrimps with basil sauce

The menu is constantly changing in the Upper Bar, so you will always be surprised what will appear in front of you on the miniature plate. Although every dish is a masterful combination of sophistication and simplicity, intensified by rich flavors.

Fish soup on point

Fish soup on point

One of my favorite dishes was a fish soup in a bouillabaisse style. The soup consists of a mixture of fish varieties, various vegetables as potatoes, green beans and the main part of it, that gives uniqueness in the taste: herbes and spices.

Prosciutto, The Jane

Prosciutto with caviar

Trendy lounge music played by known Djs in the background during the degustation, gives the fragrant scene a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere.

Chocolate divine in the fruit garden

Chocolate divine in the fruit garden

The unforgettable evening reaches it’s climax with the last amazing dish: chocolate ice cream and brownie served in combination with various berry compositions and raspberry-basilicum sauce. A delightful happy ending for a memorable evening in the seductive Jane!

 

Top 10 best Belgian beers

Belgium is famous all over the world for it’s tender love for beer. Since centuries the historical country takes this passion seriously and develops more and more different beer flavors, so by now it offers a wide variety of this beloved drink. No one can say the exact amount of Belgian brands, there’ve been numerous discussions but let’s stop at the number between 700 and 1200. To know that there’s just plenty of it, is already enough information. It’s probably not even possible to try all of them. Only if it’s your life goal!

So you are heading to Belgium soon and you have the serious intention to get to know Belgian culture as close as possible. It’s the top beer country, all local boys and girls drink it like water and with so much choice of different beer brands it can be confusing to choose the right one. These top 10 Belgian liquid love statements will show you how individual the beer taste can be. Let’s start!

  1. Westvleteren 5,8% – 10,2% is the beer that is brewed by monks since the beginning of the 19th century. The monks don’t see the brewing as a business, so they produce only a limited amount of bottles, just to be able to finance the monastery. By the end it’s more about the quality than quantity, that’s why Westvleteren was crowned as the best beer in the world.

    Tripel Karmeliet

    Tripel Karmeliet Beer, Belgium

  2. Tripel Karmeliet 8,4% is a Belgian beer still brewed according the authentic recipe from 1679 by using three cereals: wheat, oats and barley. The golden clear drink is served in of the most elegant glasses and has a brilliant fruity character of banana, vanilla and a note of citrus.
  3. Gouden Carolus 8,5% is a strong, dark beer with complex flavors, that improves with age and by the end tend to be higher in alcohol. The recipe of this beer goes back to the 16th century, which makes the ruby-red colored liquiform so special. The dominating taste of sweet caramel, raisins and complicated aromas of plums, oranges, toffee and passion fruit will make this experience unique and memorable.

    Delirium Beer

    Delirium Beer, Belgium

  4. Delirium 8,5% is a heavy blond beer, which once was rated for a long time  as a champion between beers. You can recognize it by the symbolic pink elephant on the bottle, this one became a cultural phenomenon in Belgium. The interesting ensembles of the fruity flavors of banana, apricot and green apple will surprise you how exclusive the taste can be. The reason why this beer gained so much international fame, is also the Delirium café in Brussels, which has a collection of almost 2000 different beers.
  5. Westmalle Tripel 9,5% has a vivid yellow colour of autumn and has the nickname the “mother of all tripels”. There is a reason why it has the word “tripel” in it’s name: the amount of ingredients used is larger than standard beers. As a result it’s a heavy blond beer with a herbal and earthy bitterness. After all it will seduce you with the sweet banana aroma and surprises you with the strong character.
  6. Rochefort No 8 9,2% is a strong milk-chocolate divinity captured in the glass. Considering the rich and complex aroma, it’s a beer you need to enjoy until the last sip. You will taste the sweetness of caramel and chocolate finished with the malty bitterness. A beer to remember!
  7. Zeppelin 9,0% is a special beer, that you can only find in t’ Waagstuk in Antwerp. The name came from a German airship, that dropped bombs on the Stadswaag, during the 1st World War. Nowadays there is this wonderful café, that serves very dark ruby-red coloured delightful liquid. The beer starts with a caramely, nutty and chocolaty taste with the aspect of fruitiness. These scents continue until the pleasant aftertaste of the coffee roasted bitterness and tiny sour touch come in it’s place.

    La Chouffe Beer

    La Chouffe Beer, Belgium

  8. La Chouffe 8,0% is a strong unfiltered blond beer, which was made according to the myths by a gnome’s recipe. It combines a great balance of fruit, spice and sweetness: sweet honey and banana taste with a herbal fragrance, followed by the pleasant refreshing citrus aroma. The golden colour and flowery character resemble to the summer captured in the 33cl tulip-shaped glass.
  9. Duvel 8,5% has the highest reputation amongst the strong blond Belgian beers. The original recipe comes from Scotland and it takes 90 days to create the liquid gold with fresh and subtle hop aromas. This beer guarantees a bouquet of noblest herbs and ecstatic bitterness in the aftertaste.
  10. Kriek 8,0% is a famous Belgian summer beer with pleasant fresh-fruity cherry aromas. Traditionally it’s based on the lambic beer: a sour and dry Belgian beer. Additionally the big amount of cherries and cherry juice was added to emphasize full sweetness and sourness of cherry taste.

So next time when you are in Belgium, sitting in one of the historical pubs, you won’t be confused by the variety of the beer brands. Just don’t forget to write them down! CheerzZz!

Antwerp, Rendezvous with De Rooden Hoed

It was one of the romantic days, St. Valentine Day, when my boyfriend wanted to make me familiar with the Belgian kitchen. I didn’t have any idea where we will go and what to expect. So we were wandering through the old gorgeous city of Antwerp, the area which is car-free and filled with restaurants. For tourists it’s a big struggle to make the right decision: all places look inviting.

It was a cold and rainy day, what is actually typical for Antwerp, so we couldn’t enjoy the picturesque view of Handschoenmarkt on the terrace. We entered the restaurant and I was immediately cheerful with the idea of dining indoors. The beautiful hostess received us with a friendly smile and helped us to find the way to the reserved table. The waiters brought us the menus promptly and asked if we knew what we would like to drink. I wondered if I could try one of their Rosés, because I had bad experiences with my favorite wine. Without any hesitation the waiter brought me some rosé for the degustation and it was heavenly good, just the way i like it: fruity, a bit sour and fresh.

The interior of De Rooden Hoed is intimate, cozy and pleasing: the wooden floor, discretely decorated in an old-fashioned, elegant design room with comfortable sofas. It was pretty busy ( not only we wanted to spend the celebration of love in that legendary restaurant ), by the end we needed to wait some time until we could order.

Tartar

Tartar on point, Antwerp

My boyfriend told me that this place is famous for it’s seafood and tartar, so we decided to order it. I ordered tartar and it was the best decision that I’ve ever made. I was served with 250 grams of fresh beef tartar with yolk on top of it. On the side I had crispy fries and a salad with a flavorful dressing. The combination of all three components was divine. Furthermore the portion was descent, I couldn’t finish it all, so I needed a help of my boyfriend and it’s not that I’m eating like a bird.

My boyfriend ordered roast trout with almonds and castle potatoes, which was also done on point: the potatoes were steaming and crisp and the fish was very tender. The flavors and herbs completed the dish, so we could experience some new senses of taste.

Concluding the evening in the delightful De Rooden Hoed, I was very glad and grateful that I could experience something so delicious. So now I love my boyfriend even more, because as we all know love goes through the stomach, it’s not gender biased.

Burger time with three monkeys – Ghent, Belgium

Do you know that feeling, when you just have arrived in a new town, you are hungry and your only goal for that moment is to sit down and realize where you are now. But then you face the challenge: Where should you go? Most of the time you just run after all tourists to the main street and land in the one of the expensive restaurants, but you are so desperate so you are ready to pay all you have just to get your little cup of coffee. Sometimes though, fortune gives her hand and you end up accidentally in an unexpectedly delightful place. So that happened to me in Gent! I discovered an adorable restaurant with the name “Three Monkeys” .

What is so good about that place? First of all the service is very charming, friendly and quick and this is already half of the price! Secondary the food is divine: The portion of the meal gives a smile on your face, the optic forces you to pick up your camera and memorize it and last but not least, the taste of the food is just fantastic! Tertiary the prices are low if you compare it to other restaurant in Gent or in Belgium in general.

We ordered Tuna burger, fries and salad. All these were done on point: the fries were crispy and garnished with parsley and lemon-lime mayo, tuna steak was seared to preserve it’s juiciness. So after we finished our meal we left the restaurant not only satisfied but with the feeling that we had a really nice experience.

So if you are in Gent, don’t hesitate and visit that charming place!

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén