I’m still writing this blogpost as a 29 year old, but I have to face it tomorrow I’ll officially old! Tomorrow (27/05, so today) I’ll be having my 30th birthday (at 11:15pm to be precise). If it were for me I would have celebrated it in a modest way (with food obviously) and do nothing special… but my friends and especially my beautiful fiancée thought otherwise and they gave me a birthday to remember. I also didn’t know my friends were such good liars or better so good at keeping a secret 🙂 as I really didn’t know anything about it.
The first part of my threefold birthday celebration was with friends at the restaurant of a lovely hostess and friend of mine aka Comocomo which you might remember from one (or more) of my previous blogpost. I can say for a fact that my friends really love me as they spoiled me with gifts!! I’m not worthy to have such great friends 🙂 🙂 I can’t thank you enough. One person (besides my beautiful fiancée) I want to give a special thanks is the lovely Stephanie Straatman! She and my fiancée designed a brand new logo for my blog!!! A true beauty they designed, don’t you agree? Thanks again to ALL of you, you guys ROCK!!
For the second part of my birthday surprise my sweet woman took me to the restaurant from the chef that still up to today has made the best lamb meat I have ever eaten!! It is true I might have given a few hinds about where I wanted to go (yes woman of mine, two can play that game 😉 <3). The restaurant I’m talking about is Giovani Ooster’s “Vous Lé Vous” located in the gastronomical heart of Europe (blogpost) aka Hasselt. I wanted to come here as the few dishes I had tried from Giovani in the past just made me want to have the whole Giovani Oosters Gastronomical experience!
To summarize my whole “Vous Lé Vous” experience… Giovani Oosters is the type of chef I like and that for fits perfectly into the list of my favorite chefs like Ingrid Neven (Pazzo) or Wouter Keersmaekers (Schone van Boskoop) to name a few. Why? Simple you can really see the passion and sparkle in their eyes when they are talking about food or when they are preparing the food and they try to share that passion with everybody (a bit like me) . I just love it! Passion is the best motivation in life!! What I also like about them is their respect and pride of local products which try to use as much as possible. You mostly notice this in the little things like in Giovani’s case the homemade herb butter or the fact that he has his own vegetable and herb garden at the restaurant for example….. This is to me what separates the cooks from the chefs! Take what I said above companied with the perfect team with that same passion you can see on their faces and you have the best gastronomical experience one can have! (with a smile)
Let me start talking about the food, as that is what is all about (besides spending time with my woman) 🙂
We started our evening with a variety of “amuses bouche” a feast for both the eyes as the taste buds. Rice croquettes, cucumber bonbon, salmon and asparagus role … just to name a few…. I had a classical “Gin tonic” with it, but they had replaced the gin with a local grain jenever.
It might see unbelievable, but it got even better. Let me present to you the menu “Vous Lé Vous” served us:
Mackerel Escabeche with green celery, black olive crackers and crumble and something called green star accompanied with a 2011 (white) Spanish Arindo Verdejo from Bodegas Shaya
Fried green asperge with a wild garlic mayonnaise, an Alken goat cheese crème and frog legs accompanied with a 2012 South African (white) Chenin Blanc/viognier from Bellingham vineyard
Langoustine with a asparagus carpaccio and mango and citrus flavors accompanied by a 2011 French (white) La Gascogne aka Gros Manseng – Sauvignon Sec wine by Brumont
Veal sirloin with chateau potatoes with lemon verbena, grilled asparagus and mini mushrooms accompanied by an 2011 (red) Italian Avignonesi from Cantaloro vineyard
Cod fish with chateau potatoes with lemon verbena, grilled asparagus and mini mushrooms accompanied with a 2010 Argentinian (white) Septima (chardonnay/torrontes)
Desserts: Chocolate and coconut explosion, a rhubarb, hibiscus and Wellen strawberry dessert, a yogurt, pictache, pineapple dessert accompanied by a Spanish Moscatell Priorat from Rotllan Torra vineyard.
With the coffee also came some njammy delights! Even a chocolate “praline” with mustard
Wasn’t I right that it was a treat for the eyes? If you also want to agree with me on the taste part I can only suggest for you to go to Vous Lé Vous and try it… or to “Limburg proeft” where Giovani will also be present (amongst other great chefs/restaurants). Also a very good selection of wines Harald (sommelier) paired for us!
We stayed overnight at Vous lé vous’ chocolate room… this way we didn’t have to worry about drinking too much.
I don’t mind celebrating my birthday, but I don’t like the spotlight being on me (you know what I mean?) So I never tell when I’m having my birthday dinner… but I didn’t organize it… ok ok I’ll stop b…shitting, it is nice to get the extra attention…
Thanks again to Giovani, Harald (sommelier) and the rest of the “Vous lé Vous” team and to my beautiful fiancée for looking and being as great as always!
My birthday wouldn’t be my birthday without also having my family and especially my mom with me to celebrate it (yes, I’m a mama’s boy, so what?!)…. so the third and last part (unless I still have something coming?) was at my brother’s place for some lovely cake which was the perfect ending of a perfect weekend and now I’m all ready for a new decade!