Restaurant Siphon in Damme is where Koen used to eat every summer with his family when they’d stay on the coast. When I came to visit him for the very first time, Koen took me to the Restaurant Siphon for dinner for a delicious fire-grilled steak with a glass of red wine!
It was such a nice coincidence when our friends suggested having dinner here because they were staying in Knokke, on the Belgian coast. Of course we were very enthusiastic and gladly drove 1.5 hours to have dinner 🙂
Ingredients out and ready for our handcut steak tartare!
On Sundays we love preparing brunch at home. One of our favorites is steak tartare! It may seem a bit daunting, but it’s not too hard to prepare. You need to flash freeze your steak, then chop it up finely. I recommend doing half very fine and the other half a bit more roughly chopped to have an interesting texture. Once you’re finished, add plenty of salt and put back in the refrigerator – the salt kills any bacteria. Then play around with whatever flavors you prefer! I like my tartare a bit sour and spicy, so lot of mustard, capers, red onion, and tabasco!
For my birthday, I wanted to spend a quiet day with Koen in Zeeland. I know about Cadzand because of Sergio Herman. He has two 1 Michelin starred restaurants, Pure C and Air Republic, both located in Cadzand and I was curious to see the appeal!
For my birthday lunch we headed to Gent to eat at the 2 Michelin star Vrijmoed. Koen and I were both really excited to try the vegetarian menu, which was awarded Best Veggie Menu Benelux 2016 and 2017 by Gault Millau. And of course we ordered an extra dessert – the Stilton “sorbet” which was awarded dessert of the year 2017 by Gault Millau. So many award winning dishes to taste!
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!
Every couple of months Koen and his friends have a Boys’ Weekend. This time Koen was the host, so I was very happy to escape the boys and stay with Hannah in Leuven for the weekend. We had beautiful, sunny weather and decided to explore the Belgian vineyards of Hageland.
We visited the heart of the Hagelandse wines – Wezemaal (Rotselaaar). They have a visitors center in a 19th century neo-gothic building where you can learn about the Hagelandse landscape and watch a video of the winemakers themselves sharing their passion. We didn’t realized you needed to make an appointment and were lucky we were able to join another group!
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. “