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Category: Antwerp

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!

 

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.

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