What my degree in IPE didn't teach me about baking, DIY, fitness, and life…
Earlier this month hubby, me, and two other couples had the culinary experience of a life time. We went to the 3 Michelin starred Hof van Cleve, number 42 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. There head chef, Peter Goossens, really puts on a show. And he’s not the only one. The wait staff, both attentive and friendly, explained and elaborated each dish in all its fun detail. Everything, down to the origin of the knives, had a story.
Because it was total experience, we went for the 5 course meal, which turned out to be closer to 15. Each course had sub courses, plus the pre-appetisers (hapjes) didn’t count. Neither did the cheese course, dessert cart, or coffee course. You ready do go on this adventure? Here goes…
We started by sitting outside, where we had an aperitif (just water for me. I was Bob – what the Belgians call they’re designated drivers, long story) and our hapjes:
After that we went inside to start our meal (yeah I know, “start”!). They greeted us with an overflowing basket of homemade breads. I choose the bacon and cheese, which was a-ma-zing! But hubby really liked the spelt.
With the bread and wine ready, it was time to begin the meal with the first appetiser course based around Mackerel. The chef used the flavors of avocado, smoked eel, and bouillabaisse in his three preparations.
Next came the salmon course with the complimentary flavours of dashi, peas, and algae.
Time for the main course, which was a veal course with artichoke, eggplant, and tarragon. This course also came with a special knife. Everyone at the table picked their own and then the waiter told the story of each knife, as each was made from a different plant of animal bone.
Mains done, it was time for the cheese.
Now let the dessert begin =) The first dessert course was a pineapple course, paired with young carrot, almond, and butternut squash. The carrot and the pineapple worked surprisingly well together.
Dessert course number 2 was based around figs.
After dessert, we went back outside (it was an absolutely beautiful day and the restaurant is surrounded by lovely fields) for more dessert and coffee. On the way out, we choose what we wanted from the dessert cart – yum!
Even coffee (actually I had tea) came with its own special dessert.
The meal was a 5 hour dining experience unlike anything I’ve ever done before. I couldn’t have asked for a better day, better people, or better food. This was definitely one to cross of the bucket list. I think the pictures of the food say it all, but in case you still have any doubt, this last picture is worth a thousand words.
What’s your most magical restaurant experience? Leave a comment and join the conversation =)