During my first years in New York I was really impressed by the sparkling 5 stars restaurants in The City. I remember entering in the restaurants and service welcoming smiling like if I was a well know celebrity, in their elegant suits and trying all the luxury “french” ingredients in the refine dinning rooms. It was quite a big change coming from Spain and it was difficult not to embrace it. But behind these sparkling restaurants scene, I was missing something. It took some time to realize, it’s hard when you are drunk with all that luxury. We started to readjust this dining gauge and see what was missing during a dinner at Franny’s and later on while eating at Noma.
These restaurant experiences were not about, smiley service and fake welcomes, gold silverware on a nice white table cloth… the real restaurant experience was about taste; taste not only of food, but taste of chef’s hard work, taste of the chef’s background and respect of the environment and people who surround him.
In the last 5 or so years this farm to table cuisine has found a wonderful union with high level technique. This combination has wowed diners not only with ingredients that many would have thought inedible but also with craft and the story they tell. With all that said Kobe Desramaults is making magical stories out of the lush Belgium landscape. Is this called progressive cooking, I don’t know – but this is what I was missing back in New York
Kobe’s restaurant is situated 40 minutes outside Lille, in the border between France and Belgium in the middle of green fields that can only be accesses by little roads where most of the american cars would not even fit. As Pam Young described, “It is one of the most beautiful places on Earth”. It truly is! It is a restaurant in the middle of nowhere similar to the likes of Mugaritz or Etxebarri.
For lunch the restaurant has two tasting menus: the long and the short one, paired with nice byodinamic wines. I don’t have to say the one that I ended up picking… The menu as you can imagine is vegetable forward and proteins are used more as a garnish than the actual main ingredient. The only exception is their famous pigeon that sadly I couldn’t try this time. What a great excuse to come back with Elise..hint hint.
Lunch started in their beautiful cocktail area with small appetizers. Onto the pictures.
My favorite dish was the Oosterschelde lobster with buttermilk. I cant get over how f***ing good that dish was. It was so elegently simple: poached lobster, buttermilk/potato emulsion and a few herbs. Sweet and sour. Incredible!
Overall, this is the type of food experience is what I am looking for, minimalism that is deliciously energetic and pure without the flashy fine dinning NYC attitude to muddle it up. At the end of the day what you get is a creative and flavorful tour of the region’s terroir. Eye’s opening!
In De Wulf – Chef KobeDesramaults Wulvestraat 1 8951, Belgium 057 44 55 67 E
Chef Kobe is an emerging chef and as a result you must go
More pictures in flickr: