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La Source at La Butte Aux Bois

Wednesday 24 May 2017

As previously mentioned, the hotel I was staying at in Belgium; La Butte Aux Bois, has a 1 Michelin starred restaurant, La Source. I've been very fortunate that I've got to dine in a number of London Michelin starred ones, but I always get super excited about foreign restaurants. Especially in this case Belgium cuisine, as to be perfectly honest I had no idea what Belgium cuisine was actually like!

La Source is incredibly modern, almost on the point of simple, but everything has been chosen and placed for an exact reason and it the neutral pallet showcases the luxury touches off perfectly.

The restaurant describes itself as a gastronomical experience restaurant, which if London has taught me anything, it means there will be lots of creative displays and numerous suppress along the way.

With 8 courses, it was going to be a long night, so naturally I dove straight into the bread (9 courses if you ant to include that). The bread is actually really excellent here, with an almost nutty flavour. And well, who can resist warm baked bread and salted butter?

And of course, the first course was off to a creative start as predicted. The obvious ones were the tiny cuts of octopus on a spiced crisp, but did you spot the food from the pebbles? The more rounder ones were dough balls with spices and a cheese sauce in the middle.

Yes, those are indeed test tubes. Now I will be honest, I can't think for the life of me what was in them but it was some kind of citrus sauce with foam, and it was sure an experience trying to drink/ eat those.

The brioche buns with tuna though was delicious and moorish.

However it was the first starter that really got my tastebuds going. North sea crab with burrata and tomatoes. The delicate crab and the barrata complimented each other so well and was such a lovely subtle flavour.

Next was the turbot with caviar, lime fingers and chives.

It was quite a strange sensation actually as I swear I'd had caviar before, and yet I'd never experienced the bursting sensation like I did with this particular caviar. And I have to say, however controversial, I really liked it.

Finally the last savoury dish was lamb with pea shoots and asparagus purée. I adore lamb so my taste buds were pretty much rareing to go anyway, but I can happily confirm it was delightful. It cut smoothly through, no nasty grisly bits, and the flavours were rich. 

By this point I was flagging in terms of quantity as even though they were smaller dishes they weren't that small to be honest! However it really did feel like a dining experience coming here. The night is certainly not rushed, and the presentation is beautiful and elobrate.

A restaurant after my own heart. A Chocolate brownie in a Michelin starred place, oh I love it. Now I'm very strict about a brownie. It can not be basically a sponge, no it has to be gooey and fudgy and dense. Luckily they ticked all the boxes! 

But you know what? The award for the most surprising and rewarding dessert goes to this orb object. The menu didn't describe it well really and I didn't think it would be anything and yet the texture combination was incredible. Silky ice cream, hot fudge sauce, crisp peanut shell and a nutty granola in the middle. They hit the nail on the head with this one.

Finally 4 and a half hours later, dinner drew to a close with of course, Belgium Chocolate. Well you couldn't come to Belgium and. It have their world famous Chocolate?

La Source feels like such a treat and a pleasure to dine out at. The whole experience is theatrical but elegant, and the food is really exceptional and the flavours are spot on. It's the kind of place you can put your best dress on for and let yourself be taken care of. I wholeheartedly recommend going if you are in Belgium (and the country is that small you can travel to it from wherever you are staying at). 

So if I had no idea before what Belgium cuisine was like, I've certainly started on the best.

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