De Mijlpaal (Tongeren)

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The Place

Restaurant De Mijlpaal is a 1 Michelin star restaurant located in one of the shopping streets of Tongeren. The building was previously used as a bakery from the parents of the current chef and owner Jan Menten. Jan transformed the bakery into a restaurant in 2002 and manages the restaurant together with his wife An Penxten.

images(Picture from Bongo.be)

The old bakery was thoroughly renovated into a modern styled restaurant. A long, narrow entrance greets the guests and grey and black colours shape the interior. Modern accents and subtle art flourish the atmosphere.

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De Mijlpaal means milestone in English and the name of the restaurant is derived from an archaeological treasure that was discovered in the neighbourhood: a triangular Roman signpost. Chef and owner Jan also has the ambition to become a ground-breaking milestone in gastronomy. By building upon classic gastronomical traditions and combining them with modern and inventive touches, Jan’s restaurant received a first Michelin star.

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The Chef

Jan Menten gained experience in the famous Comme Chez Soi in Brussels and also worked for star chef Bernard Loiseau in France. It was in these restaurants that Jan learnt to appreciate the classical French kitchen. When he started his restaurant in 2002, he used these learnings as a basis and complemented it with his own personal touches.

In De Mijlpaal Jan is assisted by his wife An, who is responsible for the service. She previously worked as a pastry chef but decided she felt better in the dining room, where she makes guests feel welcome.

The Food

Chef Jan often starts from classical preparations to shape this dishes, but is not afraid to use new ingredients and modern preparation techniques. His dishes are built upon high quality, recognizable products that are complemented with seasonal touches and local vegetables. Together with friends & colleagues Be-Gusto and Hot Cuisine de Pierre (the latter also took the pictures this time), we visited the Mijlpaal on the 20th of March 2014 and enjoyed the ‘Mijlpaalmenu’:

Appetizers

Crisps – Croquette – Tartiflette

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Sushi / Tuna / Wasabi

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Structures of oignon

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Menu

Lobster / carrot / cardamom / bergamot

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Coquille / eel / beet / black truffle

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Maigre / pulpo / cider

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Lamb / royal of garlic / piperade / pasta with lamb shoulder

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Tartiflette / Reblochon / cream of onions / dried bacon

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After the main menu, guests are offered the ‘dessert menu’ where they can pick a dessert of their choice. We sampled:

Crème Brullée

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Cherry, chocolate

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Asian flavours

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Coffee & sweets

Chocolates / Macaron / ‘Neusje’

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The “Belgian Taste Buds” Experience

De Mijlpaal offers a pleasant gastronomical dining experience in the oldest town of Belgium, Tongeren. Jan Menten prepares tasty, rich dishes and his wife An serves them in a trendy and light interior. We enjoyed a well-balanced, correct menu, but missed some seasoning in some of the dishes. The dessert ‘Asian Flavour’s was the best dish of the menu, with an interesting mix between sweet & hearty flavours and soft & crispy textures.

Belgian Taste Buds:

–          Food Buds                                                      7.5/10

–          Wine Pairing Buds                                          7/10

–          Price/Quality Buds                                         7/10

–          Service Buds                                                 7.5/10

–          Experience Buds                                            7/10

De Mijlpaal

Sint-Truiderstraat
253700 Tongeren
+32 12 26 42 77
http://www.demijlpaal.org/

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