Every time a new restaurant opens I try to hold myself from immediately wanting to eat there. I say again, I try it as mostly in the beginning the machine is not oiled up yet… but sometimes (more than I feel like admitting) I am weak and get tempted on going there after all 🙂 A good example of one of those places is restaurant ‘Te Kook’ by Johan Segers or as I like to call it” ‘t Fornuis light”. Te kook is the newest restaurant from chef Johan Segers, who is first of all known because of his 2 other restaurants in Antwerp ‘t Fornuis that already holds a Michelin star since 1986 and “De Koraal”. (Funny enough all 3 restaurants are a stone throw from each other) But I’m sure most Belgian People know him because of his cooking shows on Njam TV.
The reason why Johan Segers wanted to open another restaurant is (or so I think) as he already has 2 classical restaurants serving classical French/ Belgian cuisine it was time for something more modern, but still having the same respect for the products as in his other 2 restaurants and keeping it simple… so basically classic dishes in a modern jacket.
What tempted me to come here was besides the fact I wanted to see the yellow bar/counter everybody kept talking about, and that I wanted to try the ‘light’ version of ‘t Fornuis (that has already been on my wishlist for a while now) and this way I get one step closer to ‘t Fornuis 🙂
Although it is a different chef/ team(Thijs Vervloet) cooking you still see the touch of John Segers. With he best example the ‘Crab sandwich0’ I found on the menu. I know lots of you might think a dish like this doesn’t belong here and probably lots of young chefs wouldn’t serve something like, but to my opinion it does deserve a place on this menu!! A dish like this is exactly what I’m talking about when I say ‘keep it simple’ and a dish like this proves that when it is prepared with the best fresh ingredients possible even something as simple as this can taste incredible.
How the menu at ‘Te kook’ works is you can either share ‘tasters (can be taken per 2 as portion is big enough) or you can take the tastings as a starter and afterwards choose a main course from the main course menu 🙂 and that’s what we did. We took 3 tasters , 1 main dish and when I saw they had ‘pain-perdu’ aka ‘French toast’ I just had to have a dessert 🙂
The tasters without the picture of the Crab sandwich from before: (scroll over the pictures to see what it is)
The Main course
The Pain Perdu:
My personal favorites were besides the ‘pain-perdu’, the Portobello mushroom and the Langoustine. Oh oh and it really made me happy to see that they have some Oroloso sherry by Lustau on the winelist (which I obviously tasted). I love it!! As for the other wines they suggest us first the aFrench (Loire) chenin blanc Arcane by Chateau de Fosse-Sechè and as red Italian wine, a Nau di Sardegna cannonau (you can never go wrong when serving me good Italian stuff 😉 ). I also think they kept the best for last as I got one of my preferred sweets with my coffee, the ‘canelé de bordeaux’ (see picture below)
I’m not going to lie about it, Te kook isn’t the cheapest restaurant in Antwerp.But then again you can make a lunch/dinner as expensive as you want and I’m sure you aren’t all as greedy as me :-). On top of that they do also only use the best and fresh products that are prepared correctly and you don’t go home hungry… and I’m sure I’ll be back (after I have finally tried ‘t Fornuis that is, as I can’t wait to taste one on Johan’s famous stews!!!)
Before I forget to mention it, ‘Te Kook’ is more something to do with 2 or 3 as it is not the place for big groups as you can only sit at the Yellow bar/counter… just FYI
Restaurant Te Kook
Address : Vrijdagmarkt 7, B-2000 Antwerp
Phone n°: +32 (0)3 689 39 29