Preface: I don't like to contribute to tripadvisor unless the site is an obscure one found in my travels, or it receives a strongly varied response from previous reviewers to which I feel I must contribute my experience.
We would have liked to visit De Karmeliet, its 3-star parent, but didn't have the budget. We had read the reviews on Tripadvisor and didn't know what to expect. We got a superb meal.
Among other things, this meal answered a question I had never though to ask: when they breed special pigs to be raised on special diet for the famous (and costly) Jamon Iberico, what happens to the rest of the pig? Answer: they sell it to restaurants such as Refter, which offered me a pork chop which melts in the mouth, including the fatty portion I would normally cut off, together with seasonal vegetables well prepared.
However, the first course was mixed.While I had a superb veloute based on fresh seasonal green peas, my wife had an also-seasonal asperges a la flamande that was no better than one that local friends had served us a few days before.
The restaurant was less than a quarter full, and we were seated near the kitchen, where we could watch and hear the front and back staff with their repartee across the serving window. This is a restaurant where the (young) staff are having a good time, too! We felt part of a party.
Is this experimental? Yes, with its up- and downsides.
Is it value for money? Yes.
Would I return? Yes indeed!
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