I will tell you about two fantastic restaurants in Antwerp without actually showing you some food. The thing is, I don’t have any pictures of what we ate. I was too excited about the food I guess.
So we spent a great weekend in Antwerp, Belgium, which is only two hours by car from where we live. It was a nice short weekend trip.
It is an open secret that I have a soft spot for fries with mayonnaise so what was the first thing we did when we arrived in Belgium (the country of fries)? We stopped at a “Frituur” to have a big portion of fries. After that we took a nap. Of course. Apart from that our trip involved excellent food on Friday and Saturday night. I found two great restaurants called Fiskebar and Le John.
On Friday we had dinner at the Fiskebar, a lively and laid back fish restaurant in the trendy south of Antwerp. It is probably the best place to have fresh fish in the city. The menu is on a chalkboard on the wall and either you speak the language or the people at the restaurant are happy to help. We had Ceviche and mackerel sashimi to start with. I had swordfish with a beetroot risotto and Philipp took catfish with mashed potatoes and fennel. It all tasted divine.
Good food and great atmosphere. The look of the restaurant is quite Scandinavian. We really liked it and would definitely come back.
Saturday night I chose Le John for dinner. A rather fancy and hidden restaurant and bar. They offer fusion cuisine with a Mediterranean focus. Minimalist interior and friendly service.
We both had pasta for dinner. Philipp had wild boar ravioli and I chose fettuccini ai funghi. We had a good red wine from Sardinia. My food choice was ok.
After dinner we went upstairs to have a drink. They have a nice lounge and bar upstairs. It was great to lounge on a sofa after dinner to have a drink. Love the concept. They have a wide variety of drinks. We can recommend this place as well.
Le John: http://restaurantlejohn.tumblr.com
I recommend making a reservation!
The blog Green Kitchen Stories by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl was one of the first food blogs that I bookmarked. Their healthy and simple cooking style has definitely inspired me over the past few years. So I was very excited when they released their first book this year. “The Green Kitchen” is a collection of beautiful vegetarian recipes and tips on how to get a healthier and more versatile pantry. You should definitely have a look at this great book!
Pumpkin soup is an all time fall classic for us. My version is based on vegetable stock and coconut milk, flavored with ginger and various spices. Usually I make a big pot, which we warm up the next day or to make myself a work lunch. I love pumpkin soup. Sometimes I intermix leftover vegetables such as carrots or parsnip.
There is another pumpkin left in the kitchen so I would say: pickled pumpkin! I am a big fan of pickles but I am a total beginner when it comes to making preserves. But making sweet and sour pickled pumpkin is quite easy and super tasty.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend – maybe with a hot pumpkin soup!
4 cups (about 450g) of pumpkin, deseeded and chopped into small chunks
1 piece of ginger as big as a large thumb, peeled and finely diced
2 1/2 cups (about 550 ml) of vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups (about 400 ml) of coconut milk
1 heaped teaspoon turmeric
1 heaped teaspoon coriander
1 heaped teaspoon cumin
1 heaped teaspoon cardamon
Salt to taste
Sear pumpkin and ginger with some olive oil and the spice mixture for about 5 minutes. Add vegetable stock and let everything simmer over medium heat for 15-20 minutes until the pumpkin is slightly soft. Add coconut milk and then purée everything. Season to taste with salt.
Good bye, summer!
We probably had the last beautifully hot days at the sea last week, soaking up the sun and swimming in the ocean. We spent five days on my beloved island Juist in the North of Germany. I read two books, we spent most of the time outdoors and we kind of ate all day long – perfect short holiday I’d say. I can’t wait to be back to the island for my sister’s wedding in October, when all the crowds are gone.
I am becoming even more crazy about Japanese food! We had a Japanese friend over last weekend and she showed me some new things and, what’s more, I found a new Japanese supermarket in our city, where I discovered cool new stuff such as Daikon sprouts.
So this week was all about Japanes food. I made ramen from scratch, we had freestlye sushi for dinner twice and I had bento-box-style work lunches.
I have a cake for you to make this weekend and it’s the best sweet thing I have eaten in a while. Seriously. It’s also quick and easy to make. Looking at the great weather outside that’s a plus, too.
A Galette is a rustic cake which can be both sweet and savory. Leaving out the sugar in the dough you can easily make a savory version with a vegetable filling. Today I have decided to make the sweet version as I have been waiting for fresh blueberries so long and now the blueberry season is finally here.
After a hot week in the office I am looking forward to some outdoor action and swimming. So less words today. Enjoy your weekend!
1 3/4 cup rye flour
1/3 cup raw cane sugar
150g cold butter
A pinch of salt
3 cups whole fresh blueberries
Juice and zest from one lemon
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 180°C. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, egg, butter and salt. Transfer the dough to a working surface and roll out the dough into a round shape. In a bowl, combine the blueberries, lemon juice and zest, honey, cornstarch and vanilla extract and mix well. Spoon the filling onto the dough, leaving an uncovered border. Fold the edges over the filling. Bake the Galette for about 45 minutes, until it is golden brown. Allow to cool down. Serve plain or with whipped cream.
Last saturday was the first time I attended a supperclub dinner. Supperclubs are private underground restaurants or actually dinner parties, which are organized at somebody’s home or at secret places. They are advertised via the internet, social media and word of mouth and the number of guests is limited. The host invites a certain number of “strangers” for a self-cooked dinner menu.
I just recently heard about supperclubs and was well excited about the idea to spend an evening with total strangers who as enthusiastic about food as I am. It really was a great experience. The atmosphere was unique and we had a four-course-dinner accompanied by great wines. I would definitely do it again.
We have been cheering for my cousin last weekend at the Düsseldorf Triathlon. I love sports events. Especially running and Triathlon. So since Sunday I am even keener on getting a racing bike. It is such a good thing to have – especially in the summer. The Rhineland has so many great routes and you are quickly out of the city.
I should get one.
And you should make this salad.
Chia is a plant, native to South America, which is famous for its nutritious seeds rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds recently became quite popular amongst health food enthusiasts. I discovered them some time ago and use them quite often instead of flax seeds in my muesli or in different kinds of smoothies. When I was in Argentina over Christmas I brought two big packs of chia seeds home. In Germany you can find them in some organic supermarkets or health food stores.
A cool thing to use chia seeds for is to make a pudding. When you soak chia seeds overnight in milk, they turn into a pudding with a consistency similar to tapioca but much much more tasty. Topped with fruits, chia pudding makes a great breakfast or dessert.
Strawberry and coconut is my delicious and refreshing chia pudding combination for this summer.
Before we left for Japan, I read that Kaiseki dinners are the pinnacle of Japanese cuisine – of course I was hooked!
The best place to experience this special type of dinner is to stay in a Ryokan in Kyoto. Ryokans are traditional Japanese guesthouses, where the rooms have a tatami flooring and sliding doors. We chose to stay at a charming Ryokan called Gion Hatanka – a calm and friendly place where we stayed for two nights.
So a Kaiseki dinner is a multi-course Japanese feast. You can say it is the counterpart to Western haute cuisine.
Traditionally it was a vegetarian meal served during tea ceremony. Nowadays it also includes fresh local meat and fish. The single dishes are beautifully presented and garnished and resemble shapes found in nature. The decoration of the food also plays with flowers and leaves. Both the ingredients used for the dinner as well as the tableware change according to the season.