All posts tagged: Gent

Vegan caviar on toast!

Recently bought this orange and black ‘vegan caviar’ in Ghent.  It’s made of – among other things – seaweed extract and guar gum (see list of ingredients on photo). The website of the brand Vegetarian Caviar Club also lists a green version (with wasabi), but that one wasn’t available at the store (Moor & Moor). I liked this vegan caviar because of its taste, looks and texture. And of course because there are no animal rights violations involved. Traditional stealing of fish eggs from beluga or other fish for caviar involves killing the fish. This has led to the near extinction of beluga, which has prompted the development of fish farms for the production of caviar (which of course also entails environmental and animal rights issues). I really cannot tell whether it tastes similar to fish eggs or not. I once tasted a drop of caviar in my teenage years, but the taste did not leave a lasting impression (at least not to last 30 years afterwards 😉 But for me measuring up to the ‘real thing’ is absolutely not a prerequisite. We were both more fond …

‘Boterkoeken’ and ‘suissen’ from Bakery Frimout in Ghent!

Shop review #27 – I went to Ghent, and I bought ‘koffiekoeken’. Yeah!! 🙂 These are called ‘koffiekoeken’ in Dutch, which translates as ‘coffee cookies or coffee pastry’. But ‘koffiekoeken’ are not really cookies, nor pastry, nor cakes, so that doesn’t really cover it. If someone knows a better appropriate English term, do let me know! ‘Koffiekoeken’ can be eaten on any occasion, mostly for breakfast or brunch, but also as an afternoon snack with tea or coffee. They come in different shapes and sizes, from the standard ‘boterkoeken’ (butter pastry or cookies) with or without chocolate, raisins, … to round shaped ‘suisses’ or pudding filled ‘Boules de Berlin’. They are sold in every bakery in Belgium, but unfortunately they are not vegan … So it was more than 6 years ago that I had eaten koffiekoeken from a Belgian bakery! In comes bakery Frimout in Ghent! After a request from a vegan living in the neighbourhood a cuple of months ago, Dieter Frimout started making vegan koffiekoeken. He now sells them on a daily basis (next to his …

#74 Nice dinner at vegan restaurant Markies de Salade, Deurle ***

Restaurant review #74 – Markies de Salade opened in the Fall of 2015. It started out as a raw vegan restaurant, but now also serves regular ‘hot’ vegan dishes. Their dishes are ‘plantbased’ and glutenfree, without wheat, lactose, dairy and free from refined sugars (their FB page states they don’t serve soy, but there are now dishes with soy). All ingredients of each dish are listed on the menu. Markies de Salade is in Deurle, which is a 10 minute car ride from Ghent (and 45 km from Bruges). The restaurant is along the road between Ghent and Deinze, so it’s an easy ride and not hard to find. It is a bit of a peculiar ride though, as sections of this road are also well know for its ‘red lights’, which can also be spotted from the restaurant itself. — Update — see below We went to Markies de Salade a couple of weeks ago, to celebrate our 26th anniversary. We were there on a weekday evening, but to be sure we made a reservation. When we arrived there, there was only one other couple dining …

#72 Vegan icecream (and more) at Bar Italiano, Ghent ***

Restaurant review #72 – After our lovely lunch at saladbar Zukini in Ghent (see my review here), we went to Bar Italiano for a vegan icecream. It is only a 5 minute walk from the Overpoortstraat. This was a bit of a trip down memory lane too, as this was the neighbourhood where we lived a couple of years as students! There were three vegan ice-cream flavours: chocolate, speculoos and mint. The ice-creams are homemade and based on rice. I went for the chocolate and mint, my friend for the speculoos and chocolate (2€ for a scoop of ice cream, so this totalled 8€). I had already tasted this icecream before, at Vegan Summerfest in 2015 (see our blogpost with the review here). And it’s really good! Afterwards, we had some tea. There’s a nice selection of teas to choose from at the counter. (2,50€ or if you combine it with an ice cream only 2,30€). There are always vegan options available at Bar Italiano (eg pastas) and on Thursday vegan specialties (like vegan lasagne). The owner was very friendly and seemed very …

#70 Nice lunch at saladbar Zukini, Ghent ****

Restaurant review #70 – Zukini is a new saladbar in the Overpoortstraat in Ghent, which is famously (or infamously if you prefer) known for its many student pubs. It had been ages since I last walked through this street. But sure enough, the pavements were still drenched in the smell of beer! 😉 Apparently I walked by the address of Zukini two times, and then looked up the street number again on my phone, to realise it was in the big building where the university restaurant used to be (many moons ago, that just shows how old I am ;-). The building now houses a supermarket and other shops, and at the left of the entrance, you can also find saladbar Zukini. (UPDATE: see below) I was meeting a friend here for lunch. Salabar Zukini is spacious and bright, clean and tidy. Everyting was spotlessly clean, and also seemed brand new. Nice photos in the bathroom too (see pic below 😀 Although the seats are empty on the photo, the place soon filled up for lunch, with going by their age looked like mostly …

Looking for gluten powder to make seitan. Visit to Gents Bakkershuis

Shop review #22 – My search for gluten powder (for homemade seitan) led me to “Het Gents Bakkershuis“, a shop with baking equipment and supplies in Ghent. (NOTE see edit below) The shop is more aimed at wholesale trade and opening hours for retail is limited. Gluten powder or vital wheat gluten is not so easy to find in Belgian shops.  I had previously bought organic vital wheat gluten in organic shop Biovita in Bruges (only available on special demand), but that was very expensive (+/- 50€ for 5kg, being organic). Last year, I paid a visit to Flourpower in Pouke, a small shop inside the Artemeersmill at Poeke to buy gluten powder (13,70€ for 5 kg). I inquired beforehand to Het Gents Bakkershuis to be sure they had gluten powder in stock.  And they did. So I paid them a visit at the end of 2015. I found the wheat gluten powder, 21,62 for 5 kg. Het Gents Bakkershuis is packed with baking supplies, from pie decorations to rolling pins, packages for chocolates, cakes and other baking or pastry things. I arrived …

#65 A quick vegan bite at Le Botaniste, Ghent **

Restaurant review #65 – This new vegan hotspot in Ghent opened in 2015. Le Botaniste is founded by Alain Coumont, the same founder of world wide chain Le Pain Quotidien. This review and photos of Le Botaniste in Ghent are from a visit in the beginning of December 2015, when I was there together with a friend. Le Botaniste is located in the city center of Ghent, just next to the main shopping street (Veldstraat). On a side note, Dille & Camille (a nice shop for cooking pots and pans and other stuff) is right next to Le Botaniste, so that makes for a nice combined visit. The interior is very nice and refers to an old pharmacist shop, with old bottles and jars lined up, and ‘prescriptions’ written on the menu. Le Botaniste is not really a ‘restaurant’ though. There are no real dining tables, but either low seating table stools at one large low counter or high bar stools at some higher tables. There are also some benches in a verandalike room in the back. So not …

Our visit to Fair Festival at DOK Gent

Two weeks ago, September 5 2015, there was festival on the site of DOK (former harbour grounds) in Ghent. Fair festival is announced as “the place where you can find honest and green products“. It is not a vegan festival like the one we went to a couple of weeks prior in Ghent (see our review here), but since it was with free entrance and there was a vegan BBQ at noon (for subscribers only, 16€, made by restaurant Avalon), we decided to go take a look! We arrived at about noon, and after taking a quick first look at the stalls, we went to the BBQ. This was only for people who had subscribed and paid beforehand: 16€pp. The food was very nice, but we were a little bit underwhelmed. There were plenty of vegetables and things like potato salad and rice, but hardly any real ‘barbecued’ things. There was a sate with chunks of seitan, bbqed mushroom, grilled corn and marinated tofu, but even these didn’t really taste barbecued (maybe they didn’t get the time to really …

#39 Our vegan menu at a communion feast in De Baronie, Lovendegem ***

Restaurant review #39 – A couple of weeks ago, we were invited to a banquet for a communion feast, at de Baronie in Lovendegem. Lovendegem is a small village just outside Ghent. The host had specifically asked for a vegan menu for the both of us and had communicated with me about the menu (thank you!). Still, on such occasions we’re always a bit anxious about what we’ll be served, and whether the kitchen has understood what vegan actually means! Especially in a place where there’s nothing vegan available, and the standard menu is full of fish and meat dishes and lots of dairy. When I arrived at the restaurant, I quickly inquired whether our vegan wishes were noted and the head of the restaurant confirmed it was taken care of. This is what we got. Two appetizers (on the first photo you can only see part of it, I had already eaten half before I remembered to take a photo! 😉 ) The starter was with white asparagus, radish, tomatoes and scallions. Nice and fresh. Main course with dark pasta, …

#33 Our lunch at vegetarian resto Lokaal, Ghent **

Restaurant review #33 – Lokaal is a new vegetarian restaurant/tea house (opened at end of 2014) in the city center of Ghent. It’s about a 5 minute walk from the Kouter, and is located at the corner of the glass alley (red light district). The name Lokaal reveals the restaurant’s concept: using local product (from within Europe) as much as possible. There is always a vegan dish standardly available. In a newspaper article I also read they wanted to grow herbs in the restaurant room and use these in the dishes. Lokaal also offers a couple of dozen sorts of tea. Sounds promising! So we were eager to check it out. Our lunch Options are indicated on the chalk board high up and above in the restaurant. The only thing that wasn’t vegan was said to be the quiche (I specifically asked about the bread and it was said to be vegan). The soup wasn’t red beet soup as indicated, but red cabagge soup. We ordered the soup (4,5€) and then the sandwich with Brussels sprouts and hazelnuts (6€), and the …