FROM BALLS & GLORY TO THE JANE – ANTWERP
Last month Tom and I went for a short culinary trip to Antwerp. A couple of months ago I knew that the regular market in Haarlem where Tom can be found every Saturday was moved to a different location and since that is usually not the best place, Tom didn’t want to go. The perfect opportunity to plan a quick trip. Of course if you’re going for a dinner in Antwerp there are so many options to choose from! Initially we planned to go to The Jane but we decided last minute to ad an overnight stay.
And where did we sleep? I had my eye on the Bed & Breakfast of Simone’s Kitchen for a while. I mean, what are the odds of a place with my name on it? So I booked a room and we stayed there for the one night. Apart from being a B&B it is also a vegan restaurant and well, what can I say… The room itself was fine, although the lock on the door was broken (as in we couldn’t close our room door)
We slept on the top floor of the building and literally every single floor was covered in junk. And with junk I mean that it looked like someone was moving house. I don’t know… that is not what you expect when you go into a B&B right? You’d want them to clean it up at least a little bit. So while it was fun meeting the “other” Simone’s Kitchen I wouldn’t really recommend to sleep there. If you’re into vegan food, it gets good reviews on that. We didn’t try the food so can’t comment on that.
BALLS & GLORY
Our first stop after arriving in Antwerp was Balls & Glory. It was one of those places on the wishlist of Tom. I mean a filled ball of meat… that sounds like a dudefood dish for sure.
Tom tried the seasonal pork with stoemp (mashed potatoes) and I had the classic pork (filled with cheese) with a salad. We were at the Theaterplein location that hasn’t opened for that long. But we parked the car close by so it was the logical place to go.
What did we think?
Well nothing wrong with the meatball itself. The salad I thought was a bit disappointing. Tom’s ‘stoemp’ was good. Nice place to go for lunch but I wouldn’t pick it for dinner.
Dinner in Antwerp
After having strolled through Antwerp for a couple of hours, we got hungry again (of course!) so after a small but short online search we decided to either go for tapas or Vietnamese food. We both felt like going for the last option so we chose Bún antwerpen. They have a noodle bar and a regular restaurant. Of course we were late with making a reservation so we could only go at 6 pm if we wanted. And yes we wanted that. And wow what a great place with great food!
The dishes are all meant to be shared and there is also an option to order a chef’s menu. But we saw so many delicious things on the menu that we decided to go for a la carte. The recommendation from the staff was to go for about six dishes with two people and that is definitely enough to fill your stomach. However, we couldn’t choose so we went for seven. Tom liked the crispy pancake so much he ordered it again for ‘dessert’. Hahaha… I chose the banana pudding as dessert.
The crispy pancake was filled with lobster and pork belly and sooooo delicious! As I said, it was so good that Tom ordered another portion. It’s not a cheap place to eat but more than worth it. Vietnamese food on a whole new level.
THE JANE – ANTWERP
At The Jane (concept by Sergio Herman) you can choose to eat downstairs or you can opt for the more informal Upper Room Bar. Here you are placed literally at the bar which gives you a great view of the actions of the chef in the middle of the bar area. It’s fun to sit here and I don’t know how it was downstairs but in the upper room is was good!
We went for lunch by the way. In the Upper Room Bar they have a new concept since recently, called Izakaya. The dishes itself were delicious.
Before we went, we heard varying stories about the Jane. Bad service was one of the many complaints we had heard, but we didn’t notice anything of that nature. We sometimes had to wait a while before getting an extra glass of wine, but we were in no rush. The food was delicious and nothing wrong with it.
Surprisingly though, our absolute favorite of our trip for a dinner in Antwerp was not the Jane but Bún. Surprisingly delicious, great atmosphere and just plain very good food. Price-quality wise it is hard to compare the two as we visited Bún in the evening and The Jane in the afternoon. We ended up paying more at Bún, but we had more dishes and more wine. So like I said, hard to compare. In both cases definitely not cheap but if you love Asian food and Vietnamese in particular it’s a must go!
Thinking of going to Antwerp? Also check out all post here