Foodsterbox 2

New month and a new arrival of a foodsterbox, my second and allmost the last one. What did I get this time?? Let's see:

  1. A small box of Cuberdons or 'neuzekes', a popular Belgian candy originating from Ghent and originally made with wraspberry flavour. A good quality.....vanished in seconds...
  2. A bottle of original Belgian ketchup, 'Brussels Ketjep'. 
  3. A jar of 'sucre a chouquettes', sugar in pearls. Used for as decoration for pastries, breads and more.
  4. A 'Supersec' box with ingredients to make  a potatoe mash with Cèpes mushrooms. Just add milk, butter and some parmesan and you should have a tasty, velvety mousseline. I'm quite curious about this one, will keep you informed. Supersec is an online shop offering all kinds of mushrooms in dried form. Nice concept!
  5. Another trip down to memory lane, a bottle of syrup with 'pomme d'amour'-'candied apple' flavour. Carnival food in a bottle.
  6. Finally a jar of tomato sauce 'a l'ancienne'. Pure concentrated sugo without food preservatives. Will go great with some fresh pasta.
Nice box again, though the first one had me a tad more excited but I'm surely looking forward to prepare that Cèpes mousseline!!




Paradox Jura - Brewdog

Another brew by these Scottish rebel-brewers and not the easiest one!

Name: Paradox Jura
Type: Oak aged Imperial stout
ABV: 15%

Pour: Pitch black with a thick brown/creamy head with big bubbles.
Sniff: Roasted aroma's, dark fruit, wood.
Sip: Complex, again dark fruits and some oak. Caramel, coffee and a hint of alcohol. Sweet impression and a small bitter, roasted/burnt ending. Flavour keeps building in the mouth with a long pleasant aftertaste.

Overall another very complex but tasty beer from Brewdog , not for the faint of heart. To be savoured with ease and approached with caution or it will bite you in the tongue!!




L'épicerie du cirque

L'épicerie du cirque is situated in the hip area called 't Zuid in Antwerp. A vast choice of good bars and quality restaurants can be found in this neighbourhood so chef's need to prove what their worth here to keep customers satisfied.
The chef, Dennis Broeckx, and his team surely offer a high quality experience with their contemporary interpretation of French cuisine using freshest produce, high quality ingredients and uncommon products.
The welcome upon entering the restaurant was very friendly and casual. It's a young team but the service is like a well experienced team, smoothly and without error.

The interior design is clean, pure and with some surprising-humouristic-elements and made us feel at ease.

You can eat 'a la carte' or choose a 4- or 6-dishes menu giving you a nice interpratation of the chef's cuisine. We opted for the 6-dish menu at a more than reasonable price of 65€ without drinks.

Allready on the table was a bowl with a cream of cauliflower with chives and spices which tasted very good and rich with the 'pumpernickel'-style bread.

Cauliflower cream and bread
I had a Gin tonic, Sipsmith gin with Fevertree tonic as aperitif. A very smooth,easy gin. They have a nice combination of gin's to chose from.
Sipsmith Gin

We received 2 amuses, a flan of kale with a rosemary crumble and a spring roll with caramelized chicken. Both were good and promising for what was still to follow.
Kale flan
Spring roll

First dish was a combination of sardines-mi-cuit-, Maroccan carrots and  Rucola pesto spiced with cumin and some M'hamza handrolled couscous. The velvetty texture of the barely baked,fresh sardines was delicious and combined very well with the carrots and cumin. Great start of the menu for sure!
Sardines/Maroccan carrots/Cumin

Next we had pan seared scallops with braised endives, radicchio, mustard seeds and a jus of Geuze beer. A winning combination of sweet,sour and bitter.

Third dish was a pré-salé of cod wit chickpeas, a chickpeas broth, miso cream, leeks confit and ijskruid( Ice herb??). Again a very fresh quality fish in a tasty broth. The 'ijskruid' on top of the fish  was a very nice touch giving the dish a fresh,crisp texture.

We continued with a combination of an organic, soft-poached egg with braised veal cheeks, vadouvan and a cream of celery root. Very flavourfull composition but the overall texture of this dish was a bit the same, all creamy/fatty and not appreciated by all at our table. But still not bad at all, just a matter of personal taste.
After this dish we had our last main which was duck breast, beets in different structures, Sainte-Maure goat cheese, crispy fried polenta and herb sauce. 3 succulent pieces of sweet, medium-rare duck breast; savoury and rich goat cheese, the earthiness of the beets and the richness of the crispy polenta made this my favourite(together with the sardines) dish of the evening. I wouldn't have refused a second serving of this! Very nice composition, again!
Our experience ended with a fresh and light dessert, rhubarb with structures of citrus. I was happy to end with such a fresh dessert, not too heavy on the stomach after all these culinary treats.
Coffee was served with a nice dish of different, homemade mignardises.

We had an excellent experience here and highly recommend this resto to everyone. The chef is at the top of his game and shows he knows how to combine and prepare his dishes in a perfect way!

I'll end with the quote that was hanging on the wall of the restaurant and that caught our eye: 'We prefer the beauty of chaos over ugly perfection'. True words but I could only find -near-perfection in the dishes.




Dulce de leche brownies

This is a  recipe I found on a belgian blog(in Dutch), Baked Louie's, made by a young baking enthusiast named Louie. This fella sure knows how to bake and he's only 16!
 A blog filled with delicious recipes for cakes, cookies and pies off all kind. A blog worth reading!

This recipe is packed with calories but sometimes you just have to ignore them and just indulge ;)

The recipe takes 2 steps; the dulce de leche and the brownies. Start with the dulce de leche.

Dulce de leche:


  • 1 can of condensed milk, 305ml

Put the can, unopened, in a high cooking pot. Submerge in water and bring to a boil. 

Turn the fire lower when the water starts boiling vigorously and let it simmer for about 3 hours. Let the water cool down, take out the can, open it and pour the dulce de leche in a bowl and stirr untill you have a nice creamy texture. 

You can lick your spoon clean but don't be tempted to eat the whole bowl cause this is simply delicious.....



  • Dulche de leche
  • 340gr. dark chocolate, chopped in bits
  • 230gr. unsalted butter
  • 50gr. unsweetened cacao powder
  • 280gr. pastry flour
  • 400gr granulated sugar
  • 100gr. pecan nuts, chopped
  • 6 eggs
Put some aluminium foil in a baking tin(+/- 20x30cm) and grease it up with some oil. 
Preheat the oven on 175°.
Melt the butter in a large pan, add the chocolate and let it melt in the butter. Then add the cacao powder and stirr well. Add the eggs, one by one and keep stirring. Add the sugar, let it melt in the mixture and then finish by adding the flour. Stirr well untill you get a thick mixture and add the chopped pecan's.
Pour half of this mixture in the baking tin and add about 4-5 spoons of dulce de leche, divided over the mixture. Swirl in the dulce de leche with a knife, creating a nice pattern and add in the rest of the mixture and repeat the step with the dulce de leche.

Put in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes.
Let it cool down, cut into pieces and serve! Delish!!!!



Brewdog - Tokyo

What the .....??!! Eh,excuse my language but with an ABV of 18.2° few other words came to mind when I bought this bottle.
This is the (in)famous 'Tokyo' beer from the (in)famous anarchy brewers of 'Brewdog' in Scotland. Brewed for the first time in 2009 and at that time being world's strongest beer. They had their share of trouble with this beer as it was considered too strong for something as 'normal' as a beer but it gave them a fair share of publicity and got them were they stand now....A brewery defying all limits of brewing as we know it, they're truely not afraid to mix things up.

I ordered some of their core beers and some specials, I'll be reviewing them soon here.

But now, this baby......

Imperial stout, ABV 18.2°, IBU 90

The beer poured pitch black with a medium thick, brown head. First scent gave away some roasted coffee and dark fruit. At the first sip I still had the roasted coffee note with some chocolate, prunes,cranberries and other red/dark fruit on the palate. Some vinous notes and some oak. Full body and velvetty. Surprisingly very little alcohol in the mouth, with an ABV of 18.2° I was afraid of this but it melts right away between the rest of the tastes.

But sill at 18.2° having a 33cl bottle is guaranteed to give you a good night's rest and so it did!
This Oak aged Imperial stout might be one of the best I ever had, nice mixture of rich tastes and very satisfying but to be enjoyed with ease!!

And no better ending to this review than the words that you can find on the bottle:

'The irony of existentialism, the parody of being and the inherent contradictions of post-modernism, all so delicately conveyed by the blocky, pixelated arcade action have all been painstakingly recreated in this bottles contents.
This Imperial stout is brewed with copious amounts of speciality malts, jasmine and cranberries. After fermentation we then dry-hop this killer stout with a bucketload of our favourite hops before carefully ageing the beer on French toasted oak chips.
It is all about moderation. Everything in moderation, including moderation itself. What logically follows is that you must, from time, have excess. This beer is for those times!'

To be continued.......



Bistronomie guide Belgium

Bistronomy is the new thing(well, perhaps not that new) and hopefully here to stay cause it stands for a new approach of the food culture. It's the combination of a easy entry bistro with the culinary approach in the kitchen of a high-level restaurant. So all the goodies for a reasonable price, basically making it accesible for everyone with a foodie heart.

The book/site Bistronomie offers a guide trough the world of bistronomy in Belgium. Here you can find a restaurant with the label 'bistronomy' near you and following your budget.

Edition 2013 was launched 04/03/2013 in Antwerpen in the old De Koninck brewery. Read about it here:

Order the guide here:

Bone marrow in the oven

Simple, basic but oh so yummilicious and nutricious(no need to use words like fat, cholesterol.....) and very satisfying when prepared correctly.


  • 1 or 2 bones per person
  • Fresh thyme and rosemary
  • some oil
  • butter
  • Pepper and fleur de sel

Soak the bones in salted water for about 12 hours, draining and refreshing them +/- 2 times to remove excess blood. Clean them and dry them and put them on a oven plate greased with oil. Sprinkle some thyme and rosemary on them, some pepper and put a knob of butter on the bones.

Put them in a preheated oven(230°) for 20 minutes, take them out, dress on a plate, sprinkle some fleur de sel on the bones,take a small spoon and start spooning the rich,gooey inner center of the bones.Or just suck it out....(and burn your lips)

 Satisfaction guaranteed!!!!

And toss the bone at your dog if you have one.




Duvel Tripel Hop 2013 - Avant première

Yes, it's that time again.....
My favorite brewery Moortgat/Duvel is launching the new Tripel Hop again, version 2013. Every year they select a new kind of hop to add to the beer giving it another flavour without losing touch with the original Duvel. This years version is upgraded with the distinct Sorachi hop, an old hop originating from Japan with a rather high alpha level. 2012's version had American Citra hop as flavouring agent. I allready tasted the Sorachi hop in the Xtrem Hop series of Delhaize so I knew I was in for a very bitter, fruity/exotic flavour bomb!

The event was held in Brussels in the Chinese pavilion next to the Japanse tower, see the link?? ;) It's a beautiful place with an impressive ornamental decoration, fit for the star of the evening. The first thing we received upon entering the place was of course....a Duvel Tripel Hop 2013. What else?

We missed part of the speech of CEO Michel Moortgat and head brew master Hedwig Neven due to the traffic inferno around Brussels but I remembered the brew master promising us a lot of exotic flavours like coconut, mint, citrus and the CEO telling that they are a company that like to keep the customers close. The origin of the Duvel Tripel Hop is a perfect example of their bond with their fans/customers. When the original Duvel Tripel Hop was brewed back in 2007 it was limited to 20.000 bottles and sold out very fast leaving a lot of people with a taste for more.  A bet between some fans, de 'lambikstoempers', and Duvel was made. If they were able to get 10.000 fans on a facebook page Duvel would start brewing the beer again! And the rest is history......

I had a short chat with the director of quality, Dimitri Staelens who is in charge of the quality of your brew. A nice person with a heart/passion for his job. He previously worked at Inbev,one of the biggest brewers worldwide, and he said that the passion/effort for creating a perfect beer is big at Moortgat and that is something that I taste in every Duvel  I drink. Inbev brews lemonade,they really do, Moortgat creates beers with soul. My opnion!

This Years Tripel Hop has a nice floral,fruity nose and on the palate it delivers a nice explosion of lemon, lemongrass and other exotic fruit ending in a nice dry bitter aftertaste.This beer is surely going to give me a lot of pleasure this year.

As a food pairing they offered some sushi, there is that link with Japan again but unfortunately the good people of Duvel forgot one thing....A Duvel Tripel Hop can make up a big appetite and all the sushi were gone in about 20 minutes leaving us no choice than to still our hunger with another Duvel. The consequences were for me an earlier visit to my bed ;)

Had a real great evening and looking forward to more Duvel Tripel Hop 2013.

Special thanks goes to Jo Lories, marketeer@Duvel for inviting us and my wife for going the extra miles to get us there!!