Markt XI, De Haan

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The place

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

APPETIZERS

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MENU

NORTH SEA CRAB
Apple, parsley, curry

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COQUILLE
Potato, oxtail, hay

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COD
Mussel, celery, dill

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PIGEON
Flower Sprout, celeriac, mustard

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CHEESES
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CHOCOLATE
Banana, passion fruit, almond

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MANGO
Coconut, kalamansi, verbena

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MIGNARDISES

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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!

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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

Markt XI
Driftweg 11
8420 De Haan
info@markt11.be
www.markt11.be
+32 (0)59 43 44 44

What Others Are Saying

  1. René C.L. Pauwels Feb 3, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    Een van de beste kwaliteit/prijs verhoudingen aan de kust! De versheid van het product primeert, de bereidingen zijn af, de decoratie is mooi zonder overdreven te zijn en de sympathieke bediening samen met het mooie interieur zorgen voor een aan te bevelen adresje! Respect voor jonge collegae die dit kunnen!

  2. Jelle Bloke Feb 15, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    Staat op ons verlanglijstje. Leuk ook om te zien dat wij niet de enige Belgische en vooral mannelijke bloggers zijn! Veel succes.
    Groeten Jelle en Bert

    • Sven & Adriaan Feb 16, 2016 at 9:54 am

      Bedankt Jelle! Voor jullie ook veel succes ;-).

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