Helsen (Kasterlee)

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The Place

Restaurant Helsen opened its doors in 2011 in Kasterlee (Antwerp province). It is established in a white villa that formerly served as a post office.

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The interior is contemporary and combines an authentic wooden floor with classy black sofas and white tables. Modern art adorns the walls and creates atmosphere. In summer guests can eat on the small terrace behind the restaurant. The restaurant offers place for a maximum of 30 guests to guarantee the quality of the food and service.

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The Chef

Chef Fréderic Helsen gained experience in restaurants like ‘t Zilte and Vin Perdu. Together with his wife Wendy he invested in his own restaurant and quickly gained culinary fame in Belgium. Despite the remote location, guests come from far to sample Fréderic’s delicious kitchen. The chef focuses on top quality, fresh products and herbs and prepares pure but gastronomical dishes. Our first acquaintance with Fréderic’s kitchen was during the gastronomical event Antwerpen Proeft, where his dish was arguably the best we tasted on the event.

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The Food

To keep things manageable for the chef and his wife, the menu is limited and offers 6-10 preparations. It is recommended to combine them into one of the menu’s (4 courses € 58, 5 courses € 68, 6 courses € 78). A democratic ‘fast lunch’ is also possible. We opted for the full 6 course menu and enjoyed well balanced, modern dishes, prepared with respect for the ingredients.

The langoustine starter impressed with a beautiful langoustine combined with greasy, tasteful carrot and pistachio accompaniments and a great flavor cohesion. Other highlights from the menu included the wild sea bass with a delicious gravy from crab and the amazing dessert based on citrus.

Appetizers

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Menu

Langoustine – carrot – pistachio

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North Sea Shells – marinated vegetables – mikan

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Wild sea bass and crab – root – gravy from crab

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Cod – celeriac – young leek

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Onglet & black pudding – muscat pumpkin – winter vegetables

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Cheese

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Lots of citrus…

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Coffee & sweets

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The Wines

Lady of the house Wendy Helsen is responsible for the wine selection and offers pairing wines or bottles from the wine list. We enjoyed a great Champaign with our appetizers and were equally impressed by the pleasant wine selection that accompanied our menu.

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The “Belgian Taste Buds” Experience

Restaurant Helsen is a great upcoming restaurant and despite its remote location between Turnhout en Geel, this restaurant is surely worth the journey. You will not be disappointed by chef’s Fréderic delicious preparations, the stylish setting and the excellent service.

Belgian Taste Buds:

–          Food Buds                                                       8/10

–          Wine Pairing Buds                                          7.5/10

–          Price/Quality Buds                                         7.5/10

–          Service Buds                                                  8/10

–          Experience Buds                                            7.5/10

Helsen
Pastorijstraat 27
2460 Kasterlee
+32 (0) 14/729202
http://www.restauranthelsen.be

 

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