Another highly anticipated and much lauded restaurant we visited was De Jonkman, a two star Michelin and Greenstar Michelin. An 18/20 Gault Millau rated gem, located just on the outskirts of Bruges. Set in a pretty Flemish villa, where the chef and owner Filip Claeys and his wife Sandra treat you to inventive, seasonal cuisine. The Villa was once a former hunting lodge that has been turned into a cozy restaurant in an intimate setting. Chef Filip has some fine credentials on his CV. Working as a sous chef at the acclaimed three Michelin star restaurant De Karmeliet for almost 7 years and a sous chef for 5 years at Oud Sluis in the Netherlands, another three star Michelin. He then bought his own restaurant in 2006, receiving his first star in 2007 and his second in 2011.
After meeting the chef and tasting his incredible food I witnessed his devotion and passion when it came to using local delicacies. Sustainability is particularly important to him and this is why he was also awarded the green Michelin star.
We had aperitifs and six lovely amuse-bouche in the garden before being moved inside to a modern space with teak wood and large windows looking out into the garden and entrance with contemporary sculptures. Their second dining room in the back will be renovated next year. The chef advised us that they do a new project on the restaurant yearly.
You can choose from their la carte menu or a 185 Euros per person tasting menu. We went for the a la carte as we didn’t think we could manage another large menu. You can also order a full vegetarian menu if you wish. The north sea crab soup and the langoustine three ways were standout dishes. Main courses had choices like catch of the day, turbot, veal sweetbreads, pork and beef preparations. There is a fantastic cheese trolley and a few dessert options but I highly recommend the crepe Normande. You will thank me later for this exceedingly dreamy dessert. They have beehives in their garden that provide delicious honey and honeycomb that they serve in their restaurant.
De Jonkman’s seasonal cuisine is inventive and inspiring and the chef is one of the original pioneers honoring the noble and non endangered fish of the North Sea (he is the son of a fisherman). Chef has access to seasonal produce that showcases ingredients at their peak.
He also had an impressive cellar and his sommelier Dries Corneillie suggested a fine selection of appropriate wine for our dinner. They offer both modern and classic selections. They also carry a large and varied range of beers that pair well with the cuisine.
All in all a memorable evening and highly recommended.