Markt XI, De Haan
Restaurant Markt XI is a small gastronomic restaurant located in De Haan, one of Belgium‘s most pleasant coastal towns. The restaurant is located in the centre of the town, within walking distance of the sea. It is housed in a beautifully renovated mansion with a small terrace at the back.
The interior of Markt XI is modern, sleek and minimalistic. White is the main colour in the restaurant and the tables are traditionally covered with white linen. The open kitchen in the middle of the restaurant creates a pleasant dynamic between the guests and the chef. Markt XI is small and cosy restaurant: up to 26 guests can enjoy lunch or dinner here. The restaurant is awarded with a 15/20 score in the Gault&Millau guide.
We had an excellent lunch at Markt XI, initiated by the quality water brand San Pellegrino. In 2015 they organised the ‘Young chef of the year award’ and selected 50 young and promising Belgian chefs together with the Belgian magazine Gastromania. To celebrate the election, the chefs were linked to bloggers to cook at the bloggers’ home or at the chef his restaurant. We were linked to Benny Van Torre and had lunch in his restaurant on the 30th of January 2016.
The Chef & The food
Chef Benny Van Torre was born in a fishermen family and started with a butcher education. He quickly discovered that his real passion lay in gastronomy and started working in top restaurants such as Hertog Jan and Bartholomeus to refine his skills. In 2011, the young chef was ready for his own challenge and bought a small house in the center of De Haan together with his wife Katrijn Blondé. The couple renovated and decorated the interior themselves and quickly developed the restaurant into one of the best culinary restaurants at the Belgian coast. Today, they still work in the restaurant alone (Benny in the kitchen, Katrijn in the dining room) and together they serve their guests with a smile and never-ending motivation.
The chef represents a pure kitchen where tradition and innovation are brought together. He cooks with local produce wherever possible, but is also fascinated by different food cultures which is translated into the plates as well. Benny offers a well-balanced, fine and modern cuisine, full of flavors. We opted for the degustation menu in 6 courses:
NORTH SEA CRAB
Apple, parsley, curry
Potato, oxtail, hay
Mussel, celery, dill
Flower Sprout, celeriac, mustard
Banana, passion fruit, almond
Coconut, kalamansi, verbena
The “Belgian Taste Buds” Experience
Markt XI was a very pleasant discovery at the Belgian coast. Chef Benny Van Torre brings a well-balanced, high-end cuisine with top-quality products. His wife Katrijn serves the guests in style, with discretion and offers elegant, appropriate wines with the chef his dishes. The couple deserves respect for managing this restaurant all by themselves!
We want to thank San Pellegrino for making this possible, and Benny and Katrijn for their hospitality. See you soon!
Belgian Taste Buds:
– Food Buds 8/10
– Wine pairing Buds 8/10
– Price/Quality Buds 7.5/10
– Service Buds 8/10
– Experience Buds 7.5/10
8420 De Haan
+32 (0)59 43 44 44