|Koen on the grill|
My next blog post was meant to be about my time at a Christmas market in Ghent, however on getting to Brugge, the lack of wifi meant having to wait till I was back in London to put some posts together. It was this wait that changed the order of my posts due to the amazing time I had savouring the tastiest rib eye steaks washed down with delighful beers at a restaurant ( In’t Nieuw Museum) 15 odd minutes walk away from Brugge’s historic UNESCO city centre. I need to show you a few pictures of the lovely medieval buildings and canals first, then we can pan back to the steaks.
This city is definitely beautiful and worth a visit during all seasons. It felt like the whole of europe flocked to Brugge for christmas , so visit at spring or early summer if you arent into big crowds. That said am still glad I went a few days after Christmas. The buzz in the air and all the lights made this city look like a magical fairy tale kingdom.
Now the first restaurant I went to in Brugge was a michelin star restaurant called Goffin. I had a tasty four meal course that couldnt be faulted by any stretch of the imagination. The dishes were tasty and pretty creative. However this was the 4th fine dining restaurant had been to over the space of 5 days , so all the dishes were starting to have a similar feel about them. What was needed to cure this fine dining hangover was comfort food, the kind of which you get in your mums kitchen. As it so turns out , I found such restaurant on Tripadvisor and it was highly ranked to boot.
In’t Nieuw Museum
Based on 42 Hooistrat street, a 15 minutes walk away from the city centre tourist traps, this family owned restaurant run by a married couple ( Koen and Marijke ) served some of the best comfort and tastiest food have had in a while. We actually got to the restaurant 10 minutes before they opened their doors, so we had to wait outside for a bit. The exterior was that of an unassuming pub. On entering, the first thing that catches your eye is the massive fiery wooden grill in the corner of the room, however the warmth coming out of the grill wasnt a match for that felt from the owners. This was a very very friendly , welcoming and warm place and you felt it in bucketloads.
|Even the Camembert goes on the charcoal grill|
Due to the openess of the owners, I felt enboldened to ask Koen who was by now placing big cuts of meats, cheese and some fish on the grill a few questions about the restaurant.
Did you always want to be a chef ?
I always wanted to be a chef and was always around food all my life. Dad owned restaurants as a kid, so this is all have ever known. I took over this restaurant from my parents a few years ago.
Has the philosophy of the restaurant changed since you took over ?
Our philosophy has always been the same, with just little changes on the menu. One of the most important thing is that I believe in serving locally sourced meats where possible. We buy our meats from farms around Bruge and try to keep it that way.
Have you changed your cooking methods since you took over from dad ?
No we havent. We still use the same open fire grill that he used. You need to let me know what you think of the taste. Tell me if it stands up to some of your steak houses in London.
|Lightly marinating the freshly cut rib eye over coal|
I looked at him and promised to tell him how it compares after my meal. I was a bit hesistant about asking too many questions whilst he was concentrating on all the multiple meats on the grill. Koen encouraged you to ask questions. This seems to be a man that can do multiple things at once and we all know that’s an oddity in itself. I once tried to make carbonara while talking…..it took a record breaking 70 minutes.
I went back to my seat after a few more pictures by the grill and it was time to order. The menu itself was in the form of a newspaper gazette, with its own table of contents having listings such as this months beer table, this weeks rib eye selection, mains fish, mains meat etc.
|In’t Nieuw Museum Gazette|
I chose some delicious escargot that tasted heavenly as a starter, while my foodie partner ( or assistant as Koen calls her ) chose a grilled camembert that was uterly delicious. On dipping some bread into it, you can still see generous amount of steam puffing out.
Did i mention the free plates of ham you get to tuck into while waiting for your mains to come out?
For the mains I had a medium rare Belgian Westvlaams Rood rib eye steak that was simply sensational. Each bite delivered soo much on flavour, the word intensely meaty flavour comes to mind.
As you can see from the video, watching Koen grill the meat felt like I was watching something as brilliant as Thors hammer being forged from the remnants of a star surrounded by a pool of molten lava. The star in the case being the rib eye and Koen is..well you get the picture.
|Star dust : magical rib eye steak|
|Look at that cut of rib eye : perfectly pink in the middle|
I know any Nigerian reading this right now is probably wondering why the meat isnt well done and burnt to thy kingdom come, but alas am not even going to apologise. This is the way meat should be eaten and one day I shall start a movement in that country that encourages the eating of meats the way they should be eaten…medium rare without the taste of burnt oil. Note: That said I myself still prefer the burnt well done meats on my plate of Jollof rice, so I cant always knock it to be fair.
|Slight marbling of fat through the delicious steak|
I should add that the meat was paired with chips, a tasty home made salad and some nice old beer. Yes you read that right. A beer pairing with the different dishes. I had one called dulle teve. Slightly malty and sweet. Just perfect
|Dulle teve beer|
I calmly walked up to Koen and told him that €45 steak was as good, if not better than the many have had in restaurants across London. Being a fan of Goodmans, it takes a lot to say that.
Marijke brought the tasty desserts a while after seating down and this to was finished with gusto. The creme brulee and that giant ice cream, cream and chocolate beer sauce was mouth lickingly delicious and made you feel like you were 10 again
|The tower of happiness : a top ice cream dessert|
I cant recommend this restaurant enough if youre into your steaks, fish and beer. The atmosphere was warm and you felt the dishes were served by people who cared about making sure they gave their customers very good plates of food. Nice work and hope to visit again Koen and Marijke :).
I give this lovely place, a makele 4.6 out of 5 stars