Souvenir RESTAURANT - Ypres
A incredible gifted chef, closed to his nature.
An epicurean esthete.
A carnivore, to prove that vegetables cooked with talent have many flavors to be discovered.
I am often asked what my favorite gastronomic places are in Belgium. I would advise Souvenir, for sure.
Through its pure white and wooden design, this beautiful place made by a Belgian-Icelandic couple is a unique spot where tastes meet aesthetics.
Behind an extremely relaxed appearance, Chef Vilhjalmur is undertaking a thoughtful and committed approach of gastronomy by carefully selecting each of his local products, and compose his daily menu according to what nature produces.
I have one thing to say about this gifted Icelandic chef: he is a master of his art and is one of the greatest talents of the new generation.
After presenting raw tomatoes with eggplant caviar and meadowsweet, Vili composed a brilliant creation that is one of my favorite dishes this year: a melting cuttlefish decorated with crunchy cauliflower slices, drizzled with a sweet and tangy fennel juice…
To further illustrate the greatness of his talent, and the audacity that makes the genius of his cuisine, Vili invented some yellow beans sautéed in farm butter with Belgian cheese mousse. Concerning the grilled lettuce heart with Muscat wine vinegar, paprika, linseed, poppy and sunflower, this dish was a wonderful surprise and its acidity made it a real treat for me.
Vili has the unusual and fascinating gift to makes every vegetable yummy by cooking it in some farm butter, roasting it and preserving its crunchiness, or seasoning it with original condiments that exhaust them.
To follow, the tab and the beef loin, cooked for 4 days, was literally melting in the mouth, and its frozen beets and onions have completely conquered me. To perfect his menu, I enjoyed a chocolate mousse with a pinch of salt (my guilty pleasure), and its cherry chianti and chicory.
Souvenir is one of my finest gastronomic moments this year, bringing respect for the product, love of good food and aesthetics. A very powerful moment for The Foodalist.
Vili’s creative freedom of mind and strong identity;
The balance between boldness and taste;
The local and seasonal products;
The beautiful and pure setting;
Surmont de Volsbergestraat 12
+32 57 36 06 06