Of course right when we’re about to move ramen shops start opening in Antwerp! At least we were in time to try Takumi, a Sapporo-style ramen restaurant that just opened on the Marnixplaats! We met our friend Joachim who just returned to Belgium after traveling for almost a year. Glad we could catch up before Stockholm!
This year for Koen’s birthday we headed to one of our favorite seafood restaurants in Antwerp – Fiskebar Fiskebar on the Marnixplaats. We enjoyed oysters, North sea shrimp, and fish…plus we were excited to find a limited edition sea buckthorn beer from Mikkeller on the menu!
The most beautiful and most delicious steak tartare in the world!
I love any excuse to eat at Het Gebaar – my favorite restaurant in Antwerp by Chef Roger Van Damme! This time we went with Koen’s parents to celebrate Dook’s birthday! Het Gebaar is located very close to our apartment right next to the Botanical Gardens. The cuisine is typically Belgian with local, seasonal ingredients and can’t-miss beautiful, fantastical desserts!
Museum Plantin-Moretus is one of my favorites in Antwerp. I always recommend to visitors that if they only have time for one museum to go here. You get a little bit of everything when it comes to Antwerp’s history. The museum is the former house and printing press of the family Plantin and Moretus. By walking through the building you’re able to see their relationship with Peter Paul Rubens and art-loving mayor Nicolaas Rockox, as well as discover how they lived and worked in the 17th century.
Nicole and Adam were in Antwerp for Easter weekend. So for Easter day we prepared a delicious brunch with fresh fruit, fresh baked bread and pastries, and poached eggs with Hollandaise. Yum! We needed the energy for our walk through Antwerp in the afternoon.
For our first dinner with Nicole and Adam, we chose the restaurant Graanmarkt 13. The food is seasonal, with a weekly menu based on what vegetables are in season. From the site: “Graanmarkt 13 offers a daily varying choice of fish or meat along with various vegetarian tapas-style dishes to share with your company.” Chef Seppe Nobels won the prize “Best Vegetable restaurant 2015 of Flanders” by Gault Millau. So this was the perfect place to take our guests!
You never know who you’ll meet – while on the Trans-Siberian Express, the 5 days from Moscow to Irkutsk, we met another couple who’ve turned into good friends. Nicole and Adam had a similar planning to ours and throughout our 3 week trip we met up in Russia, Mongolia, and China. So why not add Belgium to the list?
It’s perfect – celebrations of our relationship twice a year!
This March 29th we celebrated 12 years together!!
Where to go? To celebrate we decided on lunching at the 1 Michelin starredThe Butcher’s Son at the De Koninck Brewery for delicious steak. To quote the Michelin guide, “De Koninck brasserie is the perfect blend of smart, urban design. Red meat showcased like artwork in display cabinets reminds the visitor that meat is the star of the show here; it is traditionally prepared by the chef and served with delicious side dishes. Balanced flavours come above all else at the Butcher’s son. “
For Koen’s birthday we held a second edition of the Chili Cookoff! In 2016 Koen placed in 2nd, so now after two years he was ready to compete again!
The rules: everyone invited brings a chili to be evaluated with the winners announced at the end of the evening. The prizes: 3 hot sauces. The world’s hottest chili for the winner, 2nd hottest chili for the 2nd place, and 3rd hottest chili for 3rd place.
For Koen’s birthday, we decided to try Les Saveurs de Yamada, a Japanese restaurant specializing in Kaiseki Ryori. We had the pleasure of discovering kaiseki when we were in Kyoto in 2016 and were excited to discover we could experience it in Antwerp, as well!