Staying in Bruges, we decided to visit the city of Oostende. Located on the waterfront where a famous battle took place during the Second World War, Davarin is a fine diner recommended by The Michelin guide and Gault et Millau. We decided to give it a try.
The menu designed by Chef Laurent Vandekerckhove is varied and will appeal to everyone. Choose between the formula for €36 for three courses or the tasting menus of 3, 5 or 7 courses. We went for the a la carte choices of four starters, two main courses and two classics.
Lunch started with a mise en bouche, a bite of local Belgium endives and Parmesan cheese. A sponge cake like bite filled with cream and sprinkled with bits that looked like bacon. Spongy and moist, followed by crispy bits that leave a salty taste and an enjoyable after note. A lovely first impression.
Corn croquant then landed in the table. Small circles of chips topped with a barbecue sauce. A crunch followed by a sweet note, interesting! With that another plate, shrimp flavored chips with green drops of cream. Wow, until now, everything was superb.
Now for the table. Perfectly set with three glasses, red wine, white wine and water. Silver cutlery and a soft table cloth and a center table with salt, pepper and butter. Service is professional and mastered to perfection. Bread followed, amazingly cut in quarters and served with a stone on which stands a portion of shrimp butter. I found the bread to be too condensed.
Back to lunch. We didn't even start but tasting bites continued on landing on the table. Two bowls, one with pork cheek and the other with cauliflower and olive oil. I'm not sure if this restaurant has a star or not, but it surely deserved one. Fine dining creations of a thousand and one flavors. A bite, not more, one single bite that's enough to make you smile. I was so eager to eat lunch.
While waiting, let me tell you about the place. An open square with a view of the waterfront filled with round tables under a low ceiling decorated with crystal chandeliers. Gold painted walls, flowers, black curtains, silver metal facades and the bar. A place that inspires finesse and class.
Savarin uses Earth Water. Drink Earth Water and save lives they say. A glass bottle filled in the Netherlands Anl'eau located in the natural green reserve of Het Hunzedal, all profits are donated to water projects supported by UNESCO.
Lunch was served:
- Langoustines: Served in two plates, the hot preparation and the cold one. A rectangular plate of three langoustines, perfectly grilled, leaving them with a soft and juicy touch with a smoky after note. What amazing finesse! We couldn't stop looking at each other with amazement. A star for sure.
- Anguille fumée: Eel served with red beetroot slices. A painting, a piece of art, an unmatched decoration, an exquisite taste. My respect!
- Duck, what a plate, I wish I could take it as an art piece to hang on the wall. It was served with a side order of duck and its sauce. A round plate with duck in the middle, a very flavorful duck, in its sauce along with butternut for the sweetness.
- Sole Meniere, is simple but wait until you've tried it. Man, how happy I was. The plate is served with a bowl of lettuce and pomme allumette which are soft and not crunchy. I would love to know how they manage to do them like that.
- Turbot for two is served with potato purée and a lobster béarnaise sauce. Ouf! I'm out of words.
I didn't even feel like writing much as I was happy enjoying the meal. We cleaned our plates to the last scrap. Chef, bravo!
I thought we were done until the desserts were served. Perfection, simple perfection. Extravagant ice cream, an extraordinary chocolate plate, intense chocolate sauce, an impeccable kiwi plate and for more pleasure, crunchy waffles served in a martini cup and two trays of mini cake bites. I believe the best review is to check the photos one by one, you'll understand.
- The presentation was awesome.
- The portions were generous.
- Everything was very tasty.
- The head-waiter looks and acts pretentious. Being humble is the key. He could easily spoil the experience.
- Service is slow, especially that the restaurant had only three tables that day. We waited for a long time before the main plates were served.
- The ingredients of the plates are missing from the menu. Not acceptable in my opinion. We deserve to know what we’re eating and so people with allergies can protect themselves.
I can't say anything, my regards to the chef. Dear Sir, you have a bright future ahead of you. Today we've enjoyed a dinner up to the standard of a starred chef, even better than many I've met around France. Chef Laurent Vandekerckhove I thank you for this memorable lunch.