Ossip Restaurant (Antwerp)

© Christine Doublet

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After stepping through the royal blue façade and taking a seat inside this warm and welcoming Japanese/Danish-inspired spot no bigger than a postage stamp, we’re sure buzzing with excitement…. Firstly, because we’re about to discover Magalie Ossip Verbaet, putting on a one-woman show after her adventures at Tapta and Ossip during the Berchem period. And secondly, because we’re about to experience this intimate performance, for no more than a dozen guests at a time. And so, the scene is set for this poetically joyful table d’hôte, where the small plates can (almost) be counted on the fingers of one hand: halibut delicately marinated and smoked, plus Nashi pear and endive petals; a remarkable buckwheat galette packed with shredded duck, cooked to perfection, with persimmon, shredded cabbage, duck gravy and grey shrimp; another galette, folded and toasted, this time simply pimped out with local cheese and sautéed mushrooms; a seasonal salad piled high with radicchio, quince, pumpkin and onions, all seasoned with a reduction; delicious roasted octopus in unison with bone marrow and gremolata; before a rather original floating island for dessert, made from coconut silken tofu, plus crème anglaise and crumbled meringue. As we leave, we pay our respects to the Franco-Russian artist Ossip Zadkine, framed in a black and white photo, who did well to lend his name to such a masterpiece! // Rosa Poulsard

FEELING THIRSTY? Good things come in small packages! Drop by drop, Magalie pours out some stunners from her superb wine cellar, inherited from her first business – and boy, is it good! Starting with a Trousseau de Messagelin (2015!) from Étienne Thiebaud (€79 a bottle), duly downed, and a riesling vom roten Schiefer (same year) from Clemens Busch (€49).
PRICE: Plates €10-23.

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