Trente (Leuven)

The Place

Trente is located in the Muntstraat in Leuven, near Brussels. The Muntstraat is a small and cosy street in the center of Leuven that is crowded with restaurants.

Trente is one of the more modern, gastronomic and creative restaurants here – and of the rest of Leuven. It is a very small house with only 10-15 tables that is very inconspicuous between the other, bigger, restaurants in the Muntstraat. It is a cozy and warm place but because it is so small, the privacy isn’t totally guaranteed. His open kitchen also is incredibly small – only a few square meters – which is surprising when you see the complex and very detailed dishes that are served.

The Chef

Chef of service is Kwinten De Paepe, chosen as “Young Flemish Top chef of 2011” (Gault Millau) and often quoted as one of the raising stars in Belgium.

The Food

Kwinten is working with very fresh ingredients and focuses on flavor balance and presentation. His dishes are very creative, modern and light and he dares to use surprising ingredients in surprising ways. Flavors come really pure but intense and are presented in a colorful, yet minimalistic way.

Our first experience with Trente was in 2010, when we tried a lunch menu promotion (35 euro for three courses). I don’t have many notes of that lunch but I do remember we had very light, delicate and rather small dishes.

We went back on 28 10 2011, for dinner, and had the opportunity to enjoy the ‘Jong Keukengeweld’ menu* which came at 45 Euros for 4 dishes, wines included. We were happy to hear that our menu was the same as the regular menu, as these promotions often come in a not representative menu formula. (The regular menu is normally served in 4 courses for 55 euro, 5 courses for 65 euro, and 6 courses for 70 euro. Wines are 6 euro and beers are 4 euro per course.)

Our menu had the following courses:

Salmon, Granny Smith Apple, Fennel, Dill

Plaice, Oyster, Kohlrabi, Caraway

Guinea Fowl, Butternut, Orange, Chanterelles

Chocolate, Forest fruit, Spices

My girlfriend took the cheese in stead of desert: Pas de Blue, Walnut, Celeriac

The Wines

We had a very pleasant wine experience at our last visit and felt the wines really accompanied the dishes very well. We started with a very light and fresh Vinho Verde (Alvarinho, Forel de Melgaço, Portugal 2010) for the salmon, a nice and crispy Rousette de Savoie (2010) for the plaice, a warm and seasoned Chianti Classico (2007) for the guinea fowl and a surprisingly well Grenache Noir (Maury France 2010) for the desert.

The “Belgian Taste Buds” Experience

Trente is one of our favorite addresses in Leuven because of the fine and surprising food and the guaranteed high quality level. Kwinten knows the contemporary techniques and employs them in a light and creative manner.

We had the opportunity to enjoy the ‘Jong Keukengeweld’ menu which came at 45 Euros for 4 dishes, wines included. A very good deal for young diners!

Belgian Taste Buds:

–          Food Buds                                                     8/10

–          Wine Pairing Buds                                          8/10

–          Price/Quality Buds                                         8/10*

–          Experience Buds                                             7/10


* We had the ‘Jong Keukengeweld’ menu, which is only for people under 30 during a certain period – so this quotation is not applicable for the standard menu(s).


Muntstraat 36
3000 Leuven
Tel.: 0032 (0)16 20 30 30

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