Land aan de Overkant (Leuven)
Restaurant ‘Land aan de Overkant’ is one of the few gastronomical restaurants in Leuven. It is located in a beautifully renovated townhouse in the suburbs of the student city. The interior incorporates loads of wood which gives the dining room a warm, Scandinavian look & feel.
(Picture by Luc Viatour)
It also boasts a lot of art, with works from Rita Van Even (the heads on the walls), Luc Versluys (‘Drie Koppen’),Lieven D’Haese (‘Let the beast go’) en Fred Bellefroid (‘De Roeier’). The paintings are from Serge Claustriaux.
(Picture by Luc Viatour)
Luc Roelandt, Patrick Wijns and Wim Dejonghe are the owners of ‘Land aan de Overkant’. Luc manages the dining room and serves the wines; Wim is the chef and manages the kitchen. The young (30) and talented chef has been working for years in ‘Land aan de Overkant’ and has been given the freedom to develop his own style.
(Picture from weekend.be)
Pure, fair, idiosyncratic, real. With these 4 keywords the owners wish to define their restaurant. Their cooking philosophy can be found on their website and if focused on pureness & honesty:
“Pure concentrated flavors prevail in our kitchen. No unnecessary complication, just right for the essence of gastronomy. The pure uncomplicated approach is also mirrored by the interior.
In Het Land aan de Overkant, we do not follow culinary fads or what others are attempting. We follow one thing: our gut feeling. Without compromise. Only then there is real magic. Idiosyncratic? Yes, but always subtle.”
We reserved for the Menu ‘Jong keukengeweld’, an interesting promotion which receives a lot of press attention this year. The concept is simple: young & upcoming chefs present an affordable menu for young people from 18-30 years old. This way you can enjoy a 3-course menu, drinks included, for 45 euro.
Shortly after we were seated we received a first selection of amuses-bouches : small olives and crispy bread sticks, which came with 2 tasty tapenades (1 with mint & 1 with wakame seaweed). The appetizer, an exotic ‘taboulé’, tasted good but wasn’t really surprising.
Oyster, green apple, melon, celery
An interesting combination of a poached oyster with fruit and vegetables. A fresh dish with balanced flavors, but we missed a bit of power.
Farm egg, pumpkin, shrimps
A pleasant seasonal dish with sweet hints of pumpkin; autumn colors and salty shrimps.
A seasonal inspired dish as well, unfortunately the pigeon was a little bit too red.
Chocolate, pear, coffee
A good combination of pear, chocolate and coffee
Coffee & sweets
We got 2 pairing wines with our dishes: a white French wine from the Loire region with the two entrees, and an interesting, ‘rural’ tasting, red wine with our main dish (Axel Prüfer, Le temps des cérises, Avanti Popolo 2010). As the entrees were quite different in both flavor and texture, we felt it would have been better to serve different wines with each dish. However, overall quality was good!
The “Belgian Taste Buds” Experience
Restaurant ‘Land aan de Overkant’ is a good option for a lunch or dinner in Leuven. The atmosphere is right, the interior is interesting, and the food is modern and well balanced. We felt the chef is on the right path, but we think that the use of more creativity and stronger taste combinations could get this restaurant to higher levels.
Belgian Taste Buds:
– Food Buds 7/10
– Wine Pairing Buds 7/10
– Price/Quality Buds* 8/10
– Service Buds 7/10
– Experience Buds 7/10
* Menu ‘Jong keukengeweld’
Land aan de Overkant
Léon Schreursvest 85
Tel.: 016 22 61 81