This restaurant’s online marketing annoyed me so much that it made me actually visit their restaurant. Let me expand on that. De Kersentuin (translated as cherry garden) offers a rather cheap three course menu for 35 EUR. If you share their Facebook post about the current menu on your timeline you get a chance to enjoy this menu for free.
Every day my personal timeline gets cluttered because people keep sharing this “Marktmenu” post. I guess the fact that it’s so annoying is the reason why it’s actually against Facebook’s advertising guidelines ( “Personal Timelines cannot be used to administer promotions, i.e., you can’t require a user to share something on their personal Timeline or a friend’s Timeline to enter.” ). Luckily for de Kersentuin it’s a rule that doesn’t seem to be heavily enforced.
Even if I cannot approve of their aggressive online marketing strategies, I have to say it is a very nice restaurant. The exterior of the restaurant is covered in plants and leaves, the interior is very luxurious and they have a very nice terrace. Just look at some of the pictures on their website to get an impression.
When we entered there were about 25 other people enjoying their dinner. We got a table right in the middle of the main room. Mrs. Strawberry indicated that she felt a bit out of place because of where we sat. It didn’t bother me so much but I do agree that the table was the least intimate. Don’t worry, the other tables to the side of the restaurant all have some kind of barrier so we just got a bit unlucky.
We chose not to take the menu and eat “a la carte”. We also (not on purpose) took four different dishes. I started with a Tandoori made with scampi’s, red apple, leek and green curry. This dish sounds amazing and I couldn t wait to try an Indian inspired dish in a Belgian restaurant. What I actually got was an average dish. It looked nice, and it seemed to have much potential but in the end it didn’t really satisfy me. Most of all because it wasn’t a Tandoori dish. Tandoori dishes are normally created in a Tandoor, a cylindrical oven that produces very high temperatures.
I Don’t expect a non-Indian restaurant to have a tandoor but I do expect the little crispy layer that Tandoori dishes have. The scampi’s where well… just scampi’s. They were either not fresh OR overcooked. Since they are able to make a profit from the three course “marktmenu” at a very cheap price, it’s a fair guess that not all their ingredients are fresh.
I’m not being overly harsh on this restaurant because you have to understand that if they didn’t mess up the main ingredient they would have served an amazing dish! The combination with red apple was a very nice touch, the green curry was good. It’s sad that they failed big with the main ingredient and again, don’t call it a Tandoori dish if it isn’t one.
Strawberry took “steamed Halibut with Coriander”. Even if this this didn’t sound mind-blowing, it was exactly as she expected. Mrs. Strawberry was pretty satisfied and when I took a bite I must agree, it was rather good. Again, I’m not sure if they use fresh fish but since I wasn’t a 100% sure with this dish I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.
The fact that they might not use fresh ingredients should be taken as an observation and not necessarily as critique. On their website they do not claim to use all fresh ingredients and like I said before: if you can order a three course menu for 35 EUR which also included fish you can ’ t really expect them to serve the catch of the day. It would be impossible for that price.
As main I took another exciting sounding item of their menu: “Duck breast with limoncello” . At this point it almost starts to be a little bit funny. Again, the dish was fine! There was nothing wrong with the food. The duck tasted nice. I’m sure they put limoncello in there somewhere (hence the name of the dish I guess) but I kid you not, you could not taste it!
This is a good restaurant but they seemed to be ashamed of serving just a normal Duck roast. It’s like someone said: “ This is the year 2015, we have to be more exciting! ” . NO! You don’t have too! If the restaurant had called the dish “Duck Breast” I would have said it was perfect. Since I didn’t taste any limoncello or get even a hint of anything slightly related to lemon it didn’t make any sense!
Mrs. Strawberry had ordered the Veal escalope with a sauce made of Tarragon. The Veal had been cut in nice equal slices and it looked as a very decent dish. Actually, my duck looked equally nice. The weird thing is that both plates looked exactly the same. It ’ s not illegal to serve every dish the exact same way but why should you? I really am quite puzzled about this. Shouldn’t a chef look at two dishes for the same table and say: “Hmm, maybe I ’ll use a round plate for the duck and a square shape for the veal”.
Garniture was also at the exact same place and consisted of the exact same ingredients. Why they include forest mushrooms and onion in the summer is another riddle I won’t be able to solve. No offence but it’s like you have a talented chef but he seems to be a bit crazy. Seriously I’ve never been so puzzled about a review since the food was rather good they just don’t wish to serve what the customer chose.
Mrs. Strawberry uses Tarragon herself all the time, it’s actually her favourite herb. If she told me that she couldn’t taste any Tarragon I’m sure she wasn’t lying. Like with my limoncello maybe it was hiding somewhere but when you put it in the name of the dish it’s my opinion (and the opinion of the citizens of planet earth) that you should be able to taste it.
And off course with the dessert, they did the same thing. We ordered a “DUO of panna cotta” but it turned out to be a ” UNO of panna cotta”. Again, really delicious but … Whyyyy? I just don’t understand. When we ordered a coffee before we headed home I really expected to get a glass of milk but guess what, they served me a … *drumroll* … coffee. Thank you!
Conclusion: I have no clue what to think of this. I would suggest it for their cheaper menu but never, ever think about ordering a la carte! We cannot give them a good rating. Here is my advice in case anyone related to the restaurant reads this review: “Don’t fix your food, fix your menu“.
Not a Tandoori dish: 19,00 EUR
Fishy fishy fishy fishy: 19,00 EUR
Not a limoncello dish: 27,00 EUR
Dish without Tarragon: 28,00 EUR
Uno: 9 EUR
Another Uno (Oh that makes a DUO): 9 EUR
Total: +/- 165 EUR
Fix the menu!Book your table!
9050 Gentbrugge (BE)
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