restaurant review #7 – Restaurant Komkommertijd in Ghent is probably the best know vegan restaurant in Belgium (there are in fact only 3 vegan restos in Belgium). Komkommertijd literally translates as ‘cucumber time‘, a period where there is not much news to report and not much happening. The word possibly originates in 17th century England, referring to the period when there was hardly any business for tailors, because when the cucumbers were in season the gentry left town for the countryside and business was slow for them.
Business is definitely not slow at Komkommertijd in Ghent. It is highly recommended to make a reservation, because every time we’ve been there, the place is packed.
The restaurant has an all you can eat vegan buffet, with soup, warm and cold dishes and also a dessert (most often a piece of cake). At lunchtime, you pay 13,50€ for the buffet, in the evening and during the weekend it’s 16€. You can go and fill your plate as many times as you want, so this is definitely the place to go if you have a huge appetite! Drinks are served at the table by the waiter, but you need to get your food yourself at the buffet. And you are also supposed to clear the dishes yourselves when finished, which does give it a bit of a college restaurant atmosphere.
New fresh plates of food are constantly supplied from the kitchen, and sometimes the dishes change during the meal, so you get to choose from more than the initial seven warm meals. The names of the warm dishes are announced above the warm buffet.
We’ve been here many times over the years, and find this place good value for money. It’s not haute cuisine, and sometimes some dishes can be a bit blend or overcooked, but there are so many dishes to choose from, you will always find something that is to your taste. They also do take away, for which you are given a small (5€) or a big box (7,5€), and also soup (2€) and dessert (3€).
Although I’ve heard many people stating they don’t really fancy the interior, we feel it’s ok and I also appreciate the chairs are rather comfortable. There’s also a small outside terrace in the inner court yard, but we sat there once and it was not very enjoyable, as the toilets are also located in the court yard and there were constantly people passing by (and leaving the doors to the toilets open). About the toilets, one pet peeve: the only towel to dry your hands most often ressembles a wet mop, I’d rather leave my hands wet after washing them than even touching that one with just a pink!