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Bream / ponzu / apple
Belgium could be famous for so many things, yet the ones that are mostly catching the tourist attention, are hardly the things making the Belgians most proud. There are a few exceptions like waffles, chocolate and beer, but underneath the lacy cover of the obvious, there are so many other remarkable things to discover. I don’t know how many people may be considering Belgium the culinary capital of Europe, yet there is a constellation of rising young chef stars, opening trendy restaurants and delighting the eager guests with stunning dishes and modern and fragrant cuisine.
Quail / pumpkin / vadouvan
De Kwizien restaurant in Hasselt is one of these creations. Charming, family restaurant with a central open kitchen and surrounding tables hosting no more than 40 guests, the place looks open and bright yet cosy, intimate and embracing. Making a special reservation for a family birthday lunch, we have indeed chosen well, despite taking the risk of selecting an unknown restaurant. Starting with a traditional toast of champaign, enjoying each other’s company and sharing gifts and our love with the birthday quest of honour, could not have been done in a better location or accompanied by better celebratory food. Starting with small bites of various flavours as a compliment of the chef, the main dishes of the season menu placed on our table looked like a piece of art too beautiful to savour. But savour them we did, every bite bursting with flavour and harmonious perfection.
Pineapple / grape / lavender / coconut
Looking around in the restaurant, we where initially surprised to see so many flower bouquets gracing the counter top of the kitchen. Have there been other festive celebrations next to the one of our own? But when the young lady chef, Anne-Sophie Breysem came go say hello and enquire if we have enjoyed the food a whisper settled around the table, that she is someone special, a rising star who only a couple of days ago has been awarded the prestegious Lady Chef of the Year title for her culinary accomplishments. Having tasted and fallen in love with her food, we completely understand why and we were trilled to see such a young lady receiving recognition for quality, creativity and class.
De Kwizien, is just one of so many delightful places to visit and it is a privilege and joy, looking underneath the obvious to be continuously surprised of the beautiful treasures that Belgian could offer.