Ugly Duckling

Ugly Duckling Restaurant (Knokke-Heist)

© Ugly Duckling

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Cocktails flow through their veins! After The Pharmacy, Jan, the Ongevalle patriarch, is at it again in Knokke, this time with his daughter Noa – while his son shakes up Bruges with Bar Ran and Más Eatery. Anything but the ugly duckling of the family, Ugly Duckling is rather the strange bird of an otherwise sleepy seaside town: dark wood and Persian rugs, neon lights and kitsch disco balls, cast-iron bird cages and the signature house duck everywhere you look. And to eat? Duck, of course! The Ugly Duckling Box 2.0 (holy moly!) comes stuffed with lacquered duck, small square pancakes, thin cucumber sticks, fried onions, mint and hoisin sauce served with an XXL brush, perfect for glazing the goods yourself. There’s more: sweetbread croquettes and spicy mayo; Korean fried chicken – also spicy; king prawns barbecued on the Green Egg, paired with peanut sauce; and a bowl of yummy gochujang cockles. WTF bonus: in the toilets, listen to a soothing overhead recording of Andersen’s fairy tales out loud. // Kiko Zushi

FEELING THIRSTY? Mixologies inherited from The Pharmacy (€18-20), also served as a food pairing (three cocktails for €45); kotobuki junmai ginjo sake from the Nakajima brewery (€18 for 250 ml); Ancestral, a German white from Peter Karsten (€49 a bottle); or L’Enfant Rebelle, a Loire Pinot noir from Antoine de la Farge (also €49).

PRICE: Ugly Duckling Box €20-25, small plates €12-35, chef’s menu €75.

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