#156 Fine dining at ‘t Aards Paradijs, Nevele

restaurant review #156 – ‘t Aards Paradijs is a gastronomic restaurant in Nevele, which is just outside of Ghent and 40km from Bruges. In 2010, chef Lieven Lootens was awarded the title of best vegetable chef of the year (beste Groentekok) and I had seen ‘t Aards Paradijs mentionned in a facebook group as a place where one could ask a vegan menu. And so we did! I inquired before making the reservation and it was said to be no problem.

Interior, ‘t Aards Paradijs, Nevele
Front ‘t Aards Paradijs, Nevele

The lady of the house warmly welcomed us, and later on the chef also personally came to greet us. He inquired how strict vegan we are (which we do find an odd question, see this post). We chatted a bit about vegan dining out, products and he also showed some products which he planned on using in the dishes, and asked us if these were OK (some brands of soy and rice milk which we hadn’t seen before). He was very welcoming, friendly and open to our questions and suggestions. It felt reassuring.

This was our vegan menu (75€ per person). There were many more ingredients mentionned when the dishes were served, but we just couldn’t remember all of them!

  • soufflé of corn cream, cracker, pepper, fennel and wasabi
  • sea vegetables with citrus, grapefruit (frozen with nitrogen)
  • jerusalem artichokes, broad beans and asparagus
  • leeks, fennel, rapeseed and tamari
  • broccoli besengek, pasta with Morrocan herbs
  • puy lentils, chanterelles, argon oil
  • two sorts of pumkin (chestnut and sweet dumpling) roasted hennep, leaves of Brussels sprouts, fermented soy
  • red beet, pineapple, sage and berries
  • chocolate with red beet and rosemary
  • sorbet of buckthorn and sorrel granité
Drinks: alcohol free aperitif and orange juice, 12€ each (bottle of water was 8€, tonic 3€)  ‘t Aards Paradijs, Nevele
appetizer, soufflé of corn cream, cracker, pepper, fennel and wasabi, ‘t Aards Paradijs, Nevele
sea vegetables with citrus, grapefruit (frozen with nitrogen), ‘t Aards Paradijs, Nevele
jerusalem artichokes, broad beans and asparagus, ‘t Aards Paradijs, Nevele
leeks, fennel, rapeseed and tamari, ‘t Aards Paradijs, Nevele
broccoli besengek, pasta with Morrocan herbs, ‘t Aards Paradijs, Nevele
puy lentils, chanterelles, argon oil, ‘t Aards Paradijs, Nevele
two sorts of pumkin (chestnut and sweet dumpling) roasted hennep, leaves of Brussels sprouts, fermented soy , ‘t Aards Paradijs, Nevele
red beet, pineapple, sage and berries , ‘t Aards Paradijs, Nevele
sorbet of buckthorn and sorrel granité, ‘t Aards Paradijs, Nevele

We had a very nice dinner, loved the food! Lovely presentations too. The restaurant is spacious, and the atmosphere was relaxed. One of the nicest vegan gastronomic dinners we ever had.
Do keep in mind that this is not a vegan restaurant, and the stuffed deer’s head on the wall was rather confrontational (we only noticed after taking our seats that we were straight underneath him…).  There was also a little pouf draped in fur next to each table, and the lady of the house asked me if she could put my handbag on it (apparently that was what it was for), but I declined the offer.
Toilets were upstairs, clean, individual towels to dry one’s hands.
There’s also a large garden terrace, and although it was dark and cold when we visited, I can imagine it’s a lovely setting in Summertime.

stuffed deer head on wall, ‘t Aards Paradijs, Nevele
Toilets, ‘t Aards Paradijs, Nevele
pumpkins at the entrance, ‘t Aards Paradijs, Nevele

‘t Aards Paradijs, location
Merendreedorp 65
9850 Nevele
09/371.57.56

websitehttp://www.aardsparadijs.be/
See our lists of restaurants where vegans are welcome in the menu section of The Bruges vegan! List restaurants in Bruges and outside  Bruges.

We had this little snack in between desserts: chocolate with red beet and rosemary. Delicious!

2 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this experience. If you’re looking to similar experience I can recommend http://www.arabelle.be/ as well, we’ve been there, it is a 1-star Michelin and was also completely vegan on request and sounds similar to your experience. Personally I found it a nice one time experience, now way over the edge on a lot of things (some that you describe as well, like the animal skins around…). Besides the great food, so not in line with how I feel today. Today I would prefer go to a good real vegan restaurant in Belgium and get the rest of my money to animal welfare organizations, now of course that’s me today. It’s overall good that all restaurants receive more and more requests for vegan menu’s.

    1. Thanks for the tip Steven. Yes, it is a dilemma. One the one hand it is quite confrontational and often also unsettling to go dining out in non-vegan restaurants. But on the other hand, if non-vegan restaurants never get the question (for a vegan menu), they will not know demand is growing and (hopefully) change their offer accordingly.

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