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Image 1: www.hofvancleve.com Chef: Peter Goossens
About an hour drive from Brussels into the countryside, this is the place where Peter transforms his fresh local produces into many world class creations.
Image 2: Discovery menu: €190 (9-course); €160 (6-course)
Lunch 3-course: €90
Closed on Sunday and Monday, and major holiday.
Image 3: Our server welcomed us by sweet melon juice in a shot glass blanketed in an airy yogurt foam. Next to them was sardine resting on a sesame toast garnished with a tiny cube of refreshing mint jelly and a touch of mango chutney. Wow, a nice start!
Image 4: More amuse bouche – a foie gras custard sat on top of cauliflower mousse. Inside the hollow eggshell was a warm pumpkin soup with a meaty mussel.
Yes, more amuse bouche. It was a red beet jelly topped by diced baked onions.
Image 6: Hard to believe, but there was one more amuse bouche: prosciutto, quail egg, and a parsley purée. It was a superb set of amusement! We could already sense the innovation in the meal ahead.
Image 7: To finally begin the tasting menu, an elegant artwork of tuna two-way: Rolled & Seared. It was decorated by sesame seeds, mashed avocado, with a fabulous teriyaki peanut oil surrounding the rolled tuna and tiny strips of cucumber underneath the seared tuna! The flavour from this intelligent combination of teriyaki and peanut oil carried nicely throughout the dish.
Image 8: The tuna was accompanied by a Soya & Tomato sorbet topped with diced black olives. Peter is very interested in Asian cuisine and he definitely makes the best use out of it here.
Image 9: More seafood - diced razor clam on its shell laying on Belgium gray shrimp risotto in a basil and lettuce broth. The soft crunchy razor clam, the al dente risotto, the hint of basil - we like it a lot!
Image 10: Covered by the foam was a piece of pan fried langoustine sitting on a tiny piece of chicken accompanied by cubes of tomato paste and eggplant purée in a fish stock. The langoustine was beautifully cooked and the fish stock at the bottom did a good job of bringing everything together. Great dish!
Image 11: Sea bass with a mixture of eel, mussels, onion and herbs. Again, good range of texture from this course. If you are a seafood fan, this is the place!
Image 12: An interesting arrangement of various items: a stuffed tomato with escargot, a cube of pork neck, a roll filled with crab meat, and a piece of artichoke on its purée.
Image 13: For the main course, a filet of very rare looking pigeon breast and a grilled pigeon leg with chopped mushrooms at the bottom with two tiny cubes of foie gras terrine. On the side were with two apple confits on the right and green pea purée on the left. The meat, the sauce, the foie were a bit too heavy by themselves but the apple confits made it a very pleasant main course.
Image 14: As a pre-dessert, it looked like a simple raspberry sorbet but no, it was sitting on a thin raspberry jelly underneath covering a layer of cream followed by a layer of diced watermelon! The combination of the whole thing was brilliant and the passion fruit flavoured popcorn brought an extra dimension to the texture. Amazing!
Image 15: Our final dessert, a beautiful selection of mini-desserts: apricot; marshmallow; passion fruit ice cream; pistachio cream wrapped in a pistachio cracker; mango mousse; and a warm madeleine. That wasn’t all yet…
Various dessert drinks - vanilla & sesame; coconut; and whisky ice.
Image 17: Time for petits-fours. They even had a tea menu with an extensive list of 70+ teas from all around the world!
And one more petit-four!
Image 19: And some chocolates to really conclude this impressive contemporary meal. Every dish was perfectly executed, a truly world class cuisine!