review

Joran: 50 shades of cider

© Saskia Vanderstichele
Onze score

There is now a place in Schaarbeek/Schaerbeek devoted to promoting the increasingly popular fermented drink, cider. Its name is Joran…and the drinks are better than the food.

The truth about genuinely good restaurant ideas is that they are few and far between. That’s why we were thrilled to hear about Joran at a time when Crowdfunder was being used to bring the concept to light. We had to salute an establishment that described itself as a “cidrothèque”, a place where you can discover the whole range of flavours that the fermented beverage has to offer, combined with somewhere to eat galettes (savoury pancakes). A few months later, Joran opened its doors a stone’s throw from place Dailly.

It was not without trepidation that we paid it a visit one evening at the end of September: would the place live up to expectations? And would the galettes be as good as the ones we’re used to eating in Brittany on our trips there several times a year? We’ll give you the good news first. A lot of work has gone into the menu. Clearly, the manager has searched far and wide to bring back gems. The fruit of his efforts is a large selection, which features bottles made by producers such as the excellent Belgian Cidrerie du Condroz and Eric Bordelet, the cider master. Better still, it’s also possible to sample the ciders by the glass. There are several barrels from which cider is available on tap and is thus vibrant-tasting and served at the ideal temperature.

Ramborn Farmhouse from Luxembourg (€5 for 30cl), Oak Cask Blend from England (€3.50 for 30cl), Thistly Cross Whisky Cask from Scotland (€6.80 for 50cl), etc., you can appreciate all the nuances of cider. As for the food, we were unimpressed. Listed on a large green board, the options are somewhat limited, consisting of five snacks and three galettes. To start with, we chose the black olive tapenade (€7), which was served with some slices of excellent bread. The dish was delicious, due especially to the kalamata olives, which proved the owner’s talent for unearthing good quality products. It was, however, let down by the crockery, which smelled less than fresh (the manager apologised and deducted it from the bill). As for the galettes, the “Chèvre” (goat’s cheese) version for €7 seriously lacked appeal. The ingredients – cheese, honey, walnuts, and raisins – were underwhelming. They seemed juxtaposed rather than matched. You would be better off with the “Complète” (€7), a combination of egg, cheese, and excellent ham that worked better but that was still nothing to get excited about.

Joran
rue Jacques Jansenstraat 3, Schaarbeek/Schaerbeek, 02-315.01.44
wo/me/We, do/je/Th & zo/di/Su 12 > 23.00, vr/ve/fr & za/sa/Sa 12 > 2.00

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