This post is as much about great food as it is about the power of Twitter. After mutual online stalking for a few months, Why I Am Not Skinny and I met when she was in Cape Town this past week.
An ex-South Africa, living in Brussels, we enjoyed lunch at De Grendel – a delicious choice, and also her recent wedding venue.
Having dined at De Grendel once before, we were excited to see what it would be like during sunshine hours – the answer? Just as good.
After a little Viognier on the terrace, we headed downstairs to the restaurant. Menu options were quite easy, with 3/4 of our table choosing the same dishes. To start, our gracious host ordered a salad for the table – uninspiring in name, only. Speckled with sweet onion rings, feta, avocado and an assortment of herbs, this was no mere salad. Delicious, we polished off the bowl – with most of us admitting we would gladly have eaten only that for lunch.
A gift from the chef then arrived – an amuse bouche of salted, smoked beef. Again, uninspiring in name alone, it successfully combined smokey, sweet, salty and tangy in one dish.
Onto mains – our host ordered the mushroom risotto, with the rest of the table happily devouring the pork belly. Both received praise – I can vouch for the pork. With crisp eat-with-your-hands crackling and a lovely sweet cabbage and fig pickle, it was the perfect dish for the grey skies outside.
Onto dessert – which was perhaps the only less-than-amazing dish – perhaps only due to the fact that it was called Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate – a certain expectation was created. I didn’t actually ask what the dish was, so partly my fault too. A dual-layered fondant with chocolate ice cream and fancy bits, it was lovely, but just not what I expected.
Service, decor and setting – all absolutely lovely (I think I will lust after their bespoke under plates until the day I die) – the food? Yes, worth it. From the humblest of salads to a well-conceived relish for the pork belly – the food was properly delicious. What more could you want?
Note : Our meal was paid for in full. All images and thoughts are my own.