Restaurant Eppo (Antwerpen)


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Inside the Yust Hotel, Daan Guelinckx and Laurens Jasperse pamper Berchem’s fine diners at this neo-bistro polished to perfection with tons of light wood tones and waxed concrete by interior designer Nick Bal in collaboration with Rashid Nasarov. Over in the kitchen, Laurens performs a savvy balancing act, confidently dabbling with greens, fish or the barbecue: egg with choron sauce (tomatoey bearnaise) topped with anchovy and toasted brioche with a bite-sized portion of steak tartare and lovage, to get the taste buds going; barbecued asparagus, peas, celery verjus, samphire and a lemony oil, as the lush green appetizer; ultra-fresh sliced Japanese amberjack doused in tomato water, with a drizzle of XO sauce, finely chopped kumquat and dill for an added boost; homemade spaghetti alla chitarra – made by Laurens’ dad, simply enhanced with chicken jus and breadcrumbs; before some tender chunks of chicken cooked sous vide and finished off on the BBQ, served with a creamy tarragon purée, a mound of sliced fennel that had been marinated then charred, plus a crisp shiso leaf. And for dessert? They simply forgot about it… making for an almost perfect evening. // Gordon Zola

FEELING THIRSTY? Daan has cast a lineup of both living and high-born wines, like a picpoul Picapol from Justine Loiseau and Patrick Bouju (€53 a bottle), a morgon from Manuel Girard (€47) or even, just for kicks, a 1986 Saint-Julien gem from the Château Léoville Poyferré (€16 a glass, obvs). Fancy something alcohol-free? The homemade tomato and peach mix does the trick (€5).

PRICE: Menus €56-59 (four courses), appetizers €14-17, mains €29-36, desserts €12.

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