Since we wrote a book with Matthieu Chaumont, the creator of Hortense, we will not give a report on the cocktails he takes responsibility for in this former tea room: one cannot be both judge and an interested party. However, we have permitted ourselves to judge the work of Nicolas Decloedt, a chef who is passionate about vegetables and well-known for his table d’hôtes in Jette.
He now practises his craft in the afternoons and evenings within this baroque setting. To summarise his approach as “vegetarian” would be to miss the point entirely. The man renders vegetables sublime, revealing hidden nuances and inviting you to venture into new culinary territories in which animal proteins are a distant memory. This ambitious work is complemented by a rigorous sourcing process, with obscure vegetables – yacon (ground apple), purple salsify, etc. – and skilled suppliers such as Dries Delanote’s Le Monde des Mille Couleurs in Ypres.
We embarked on this journey with the six-course menu (€45), to which we added the “truffle” option (€10). Out of the whole table (four covers), there wasn’t a single fault in any dish. Every bite revealed the same delicate balance between sharp notes, crunchy textures, and vegetable flavours.
Like with an impressionist painting, it is impossible to describe the composition in its entirety, but essential to take note of the brilliant details: the velvety red beetroot spiced with horseradish, the nearly-crisped cauliflower brought to life with a beer reduction, the roasted purple salsify, the red cabbage mixed with apple in the form of a spring roll, the exciting combination of Jerusalem artichoke and black truffle… This chef is far from having exhausted his potential.
wo/me/We > zo/sa/Sa: 12.00 > 14.30 & 18.00 > 22.00
zo/di/Su: 12.00 > 17.00