Finally secured a table at The Jane following fails on a couple of previous planned trips to Antwerp. It was worth the wait. The area, the setting, the building ….. weren’t as expected, all slightly incongruous for such a hallowed dining dining mecca. Once inside...though, the building, a former chapel to a military hospital, is infact the perfect backdrop - majestically high ceilinged & stunningly decked out, it’s a beautiful & rather special environment. Decor is modern & the atmosphere laid back. Staff were young, polished, committed & informed, but also friendly & easy going. I loved their ‘Jane’ logo sneakers! Tables are widely spaced, I’m not sure if Covid has dictated this, but it is an enjoyable aspect & all have a view onto the kitchen, housed within a kind of glass conservatory. I spotted proprietor/chef Nik Bril amongst the team, beavering away at the stove. The menu is fixed, the same come lunch or dinner, consisting of 11/12 courses & priced currently at €215 per person. Seafood predominates, with just a couple of meat dishes. You can inform The Jane of dietary requirements ahead of your visit but may be charged if you want to make amendments on the day. There are some seafoods I’m not a fan of such as oysters but I figured that within a tasting menu & at the hands of such a super chef that I would just roll with it & allow myself to be surprised. Sure enough even these tasted great! Wine pairing is charged at €125 per person, €90 for the non-alcoholic version. I opted for champagne & wine by the glass & found them to be fairly reasonably priced given the occasion. Food was absolutely sublime, really complex, accomplished, creative stuff. The influence of Nick’s time in Asia adds a zingy & refreshing touch to the menu. Courses are very well sized & balanced, I didn’t feel overly stuffed as is sometimes the case with multi course menus. Set aside an afternoon or full evening for your visit, the experience is premised upon allowing around four & a half hours. I was asked if this was ok & only because of later commitments did I have to request that this was speeded up a little to nearer three & a half hours. Either way, the timing works, neither rushed nor laboured, the additional hour allows you to pop in a cheese course & coffee if desired. Presentation was also stunning, as were the very arty, individual plates & dishes used to showcase the food. Placed on my table was Nik Brils book which I initially nonchalantly flicked through imagining it would contain recipes etc, but ended up being quite enthralled by his story & honest, straightforward philosophies.
To conclude, a terrific overall experience, worth the splurge & highly recommended to fine food lovers.More