It took me a lot of time, but I finally had a meal at the restaurant with the most beautiful view over Antwerp… I’m talking about 2 Michelin star awarded restaurant ‘t Zilte. I’m not sure why it took so long, but thanks to a good friend of mine, who insisted (a few times)I just had to try ‘t Zilte, I finally made it there (in his company)… and I’m happy he did as I had a wonderful experience. I have to correct myself I was already at ‘t Zilte, but this was for the press conference of ‘Taste of Antwerp‘, but that time I didn’t have a meal.
What makes this restaurant extra special is first of all of course its wonderful location on the 9th floor of the MAS… which gives you the best view over city of Antwerp. And secondly the vibe. The first vibe you get when entering somewhere is the most important one (or it is to me), so the same goes for when you enter a restaurant and although I was sure the vibe at ‘t Zilte would be good, but you never know 100% in advance.. anyway it was good 🙂 and it only got better by the minute…
I know it is expected of restaurants like’ t Zilte that they serve very nicely presented plates, but still it must be said they have outdone themselves as we saw some very nice looking dishes that day and with keeping my preferred saying in mind keep it “simple”. As even though all the dishes looked amazing they still wanted to make sure you understand what is in your plate and want to respect every product/ingredient.
As I arrived last (my table guest was already there) I just joined him with starting our lunch with perfect drink, a glass of Blanc de Blanc Ruinart champagne 🙂 With this we got served a variety of delicate “amuse bouches” which were great to already start to tickle the taste buds and stimulate the appetite (for as far as I needed it 🙂 ) and as if that wasn’t enough they came to us with a breadcart filled at least 15 different kinds of fresh bread!!! I’m a huge bread lover and it was more than only a treat for the eyes as man that was some good bread!!! I would already return just to have more of their bread.
I wasn’t wrong was I when I said there dishes looked very njammy?? And they tasted even better. Anyhow now it was time for some real business…. As it was lunchtime it seemed best for us to go for the lunch menu… although I must say the other menus also seemed great, but sometimes you just have to make some though decisions… but as a peace offer we took and extra course with our lunch menu… as who could say no to turbot with porcini?
Finding the right wine with your food is never an easy task, especially when they give you a wine list from which you would want to order everything that it on it… luckily ‘t Zilte has not 1 but 2 sommeliers to help you make a choice. One of the sommeliers was another reason I wanted to come to ‘t Zilte as it is none other than my friend Gianluca that you might remember from my blogpost about Spiga d’oro(the better Italian restaurant) as Gianluca is the son of the owner 🙂 (and their former sommelier). So to make a long story short I was pretty sure I was getting some great wine pairing 🙂 (with a bit of consulting by the long time sommelier from ‘t Zilte Sepideh Sedaghatnia)
The first dish of our menu was a Crab and foie gras “pâté” with tomato, mushroom and curd (this some kind of drained yogurt ). With this dish my good friend paired us a Slovenian Rieseling from Joannes Protner, because because the minerality of Riesling goes well with the crab, greasiness and filming character for the foie gras and acidity of the wine is for the tomato and the earthy character of the wooden casks for the earthiness of the mushroom. BTW these are Gianluca’s words, I really couldn’t define it as well 🙂
The next dish to put our teeth into was the turbot, for this dish we had a bit of a blind wine tasting as we got served two wines that both fit this dish but both in another way… and as it was a blind tasting we didn’t know in advance which ones we would be trying. The first wine was a 2010 Burgundy – Meursault Tessons Clos de Mon Plaisir which is actually a Chardonnay. The other wine was a wine that if I had to pick on on color this would be my preferred one 🙂 it on top of that came from a region in Croatia aka Istria where I still have some family living (my grandfather was originally from Croatia), it was a white blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Malvazija, and Pinot Gris called Ottocento made by Giorgio Clai. I’m still not sure which of both wines fitted more with this dish as both gave the dish another dimension
The last dish we got served before the dessert was lamb with zucchini, ricotta, panisse (kind of polenta made from gram flour) and cremolata. The lamb was cooked with perfection and melted on the tongue. With this came a lamb tartar and a lambstock with herbs. This time Gianluca chose a Austrian red wine to go with our dish, a 2010 Burgenland which has lots of common characteristics with Syrah wines, but the Burgenland is a bit smoother.
I’m glad the menu “ended” (it wasn’t totally over yet) with a refreshing dessert with strawberry varieties with crushed Gin ice and white chocolate… I must admit that I wasn’t really a fan from the Gin ice, but together with the white chocolate it got balanced (I don’t like bitter tastes 🙂 ) . I normally don’t like wine with my dessert, but who could refuse it when it is presented with so much enthusiasm? He did surprise us by giving us a glass of Riesling (not a dry Riesling obviously) with the strawberries, it was a 2011 Kabinett from the Reinhold Haart wine estate.
But best was yet to come as now instead of the the bread cart, the now came with the “cookies” for with the coffee cart 🙂 I wasn’t planning on being greedy, but I just couldn’t stop myself and I honestly didn’t care what they thought of me!! everything looked just sooo good, like the mini Berliner’s (in this case grease is very very good) or the Madeline set in a rum, vanilla and sugar jar… you would think it would have a too strong taste, but it didn’t it was juuuuust right 😉 … the reason to go back for a meal at ‘t Zilte just keep adding up 🙂 (BTW I didn’t take a picture of everything I had, that would have been to confronting 😉 )
I can only say that I had an amazing lunch that because of the good coordination and professionalism from Viki Geunes’ team (multicultural team even) became an every greater experience!! I’m sure this isn’t the last you’ve seen of me. Thanks!
Restaurant ‘t Zilte
Address: Hanzestedenplaats 1, 2000 Antwerp – Belgium (in the MAS museum at the 9th floor)
Phone n°: +32 (0) 3 283.40.40