Le Fox – Ocean frills (De panne)

The Place

Hostellerie ‘Le fox’ is a hotel and a 2 Michelin star restaurant in De Panne, at the Belgian coast. The inconspicuous building is located in a small side-street of the dike, and you can see the sea from the small terrace outside.

Once inside, the place oozes luxury and combines a classic interior with artistic accents. A pleasant location for a gastronomical trip indeed!

The Chef

Stephane Buyens is the chef in Le fox. He originates from a family of chefs and restaurant owners, and has been working in several restaurants his whole life. He emphasizes the ‘modern, classic’ kitchen with great respect to everything that comes from the sea. He’s also known from several cooking shows on the Belgian national television, and as the president of the Belgian ““Orde der 33 Meesterkoks”, a culinary association of chefs.

The Food

As a man from the sea, Stephane clearly stands up for his regional products. Dune asparagus, several sorts of fresh fish, North Sea shrimps … they all got an important place on his menu. And they should.

His style of cooking can be described as classic, with respect for the ingredients and flavors, and with contemporary accents. Food and drinks are all of high quality standards.

Our menu ‘Jonge Gastronomen’ contained several types of fresh fish and sea fruits, all of excellent quality. We started with four original appetizers (amongst which a great, fresh and original oyster preparation).

Two fish dishes were served after the appetizers with a rich, greasy and fresh flavor. The first was presented with cockles, bulgur and North Sea shrimps.

The second fish dish came with bacon, potatoes, several vegetables and a great sauce of foie gras. Normally we aren’t big fans of too much fish in a menu, but here, only a few meters removed from the sea, it felt – and (more importantly) tasted – right.

After these courses, a series of small pre deserts followed. With contemporary (molecular) accents, this was a pleasant surprise!

Dessert was a classic ‘Dame Blanche’, but perfectly executed. Creamy vanilla ice cream, soft chocolate mousse, other hints of chocolate and a crispy butter cookie.

Coffee & sweets

We enjoyed our coffee on the outside terrace, with view on the dike and the sea. A great and rich coffee was served, and together came the trolley of pleasure. Chocolate, cherries served on ice, cookies and several pastries, the perfect ending of a great lunch!

 

The Wines

The aperitif served with the menu ‘Jonge Gastromen’ was the house aperitif: a nice and dry mixture of fresh orange juice, vodka and Campari. Fresh, and not too sweet. Wines were of good quality, and a red wine was served with the second fish dish – which was quite a pleasant surprise.

 

The “Belgian Taste Buds” Experience

Le Fox is a great place to sample the more classic, rich and tasteful Belgian sea kitchen. Don’t expect extreme levels of creativity and innovation, but go here for a qualitative lunch or dinner in a luxury setting nearby the sea.

Belgian Taste Buds:

–          Food Buds                                                         7.5/10

–          Wine Pairing Buds                                          7/10

–          Price/Quality Buds*                                         8/10

–          Service Buds                                                    8/10

–          Experience Buds                                            8/10

* Menu ‘Jonge Gastronomen

Hostellerie Le Fox
Walckierstraat 2
8660 De Panne
Belgium
058 41 28 55

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