Den Gouden Harynck, Bruges

We were in Bruges for my birthday weekend and wanted to go out somewhere nice for one of the meals. We tried to make a reservation at Den Gouden Harynck before the trip, but were told they did not have any more table for 2 available. Same goes with all the other restaurants we had in mind, all fully booked for the evening. Nevermind, we thought, we’ll just wing it.

Upon checking in to our hotel, we asked them for restaurant recommendations. We were given a list to choose from, and Den Gouden Harynck was on the list so we asked the hotel to book for us. Surprise surprise, they have a table for two! Maybe they had cancellations? Maybe they have tables set aside for bookings via hotel? We’ll never know, and we’re not complaning.

Den Gouden Harynck is a cute restaurant, tucked away from the busy foot traffic of Bruges. It’s on a narrow cobbled street which is frequented by tourist horse carriages. First you hear them galloping up faintly, then you look out through the restaurant’s massive windows overlooking the street, and you see them tirelessly carrying along countless excited tourists. I can’t fully explain it, but it’s a very pretty sight.

We thoroughly enjoyed the food & experience here. It’s a small establishment (about 12 tables) with simple & elegant decorations. Great service, as you’d expect from a Michelin star restaurant. If you have seen the movie “The Hundred-Foot Journey” starring Dame Helen Mirren, her character Madame Mallory reminds me so much of the lady who runs Den Gouden Harynck. Elegant, immaculate, formal, and no-non-sense kinda lady.

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Two set menus are available: 4 course (75 euros) and 5 course (89 euros). We ordered one of each as we wanted to try the 5th lobster dish, but did not want to over order. The lobster dish turned out to be amazing.

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  • Amuse bouche: rice with grilled sardine and soy sauce (delicious!)
  • 1st course: crab meat with cream of basil, cream of basil, cream of sweet corn, and pesto (yum!)
  • 2nd course: Brill (not my favourite because I’m not a big fan of fish, but hubby loved it)

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  • 3rd course: Grilled smoked lobster (AMAZING!)
  • 4th course: Duck with cherry sauce and carrot puree (to die for)

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  • 5th course: Basil jelly with a mountain of fresh berries topped with basil ice cream (I’m not normally a big fan of basil-flavoured ice cream, and they seem to serve basil-flavoured ice cream everywhere now. But this was really yummy, not too basilly, more of a lemon sorbet with a hint of basil. I wish I could have some now)

Bill (without drinks) came to 190 euros (incl 10% tip) – for 2 people

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Not a cheap dinner, but a michelin star experience. Perfect for romantic night out. Make sure you book ahead.

Menu, location, etc: http://www.goudenharynck.be/

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