If they know one thing really well (they know more than that ofcourse, but that is besides the point) in Oostende it is how to prepare fish, so when we heard we would be in Oostende during the two day culinary event centered around fish I did a little happy dance.
The number of fish restaurants in this Belgian coastal town is quite big. Ofcourse I am coming from a town with just the one fish restaurant so remember where I am coming from. Lol.
We arrived in Oostende on the friday evening, due to traffic and work later than we had initially planned for, so after a nightcap in the bar of Hotel Europe, we went to sleep so we could get up early the next morning. Our plan was to visit the ‘vistrap’ which is supposed to be the place where the fishes where unloaded after the fisherman arrived home and I am not sure what I had expected but I was slightly disappointed. So either we were in the wrong place or we just had the wrong idea, as the vistrap was merely a little fish market. Whatever the case, we went back to the hotel for breakfast after which we walked across the boulevard to get some wind in our hair (well Tom is bald so that is figuratively speaking…)
Saturday was also the day that the Disney sandsculpture park opened it’s doors for the first day so ofcourse we wanted to go there. It’s quite impressive how they sculpted all those Disney adventures and a range of Marvel comics too. It was still work in progress for some of the park and they have flown artists from all over the world to work on them. We had been to another sandsculpture event in Almere ages ago, but this one was sooo much better! So if you’re in the area; the sandsculptures are there until end of August. Entrance is 12 euro for an adult.
And ofcourse after all that walking we were drawn into the delicious smells that were coming from the area of L’Ostendaise … Our very first bite was – how Dutch – a ‘kroket’. Ofcourse this was a special one with shrimps made by the team of ‘t Vistrapje. I thought that was fitting given our earlier disappointment with the same named ‘vistrap’ earlier that morning.
The prices where very reasonable. Something they should look at a little more closely at the Taste of Amsterdam where I thought the prices where too expensive. Here we had to either pay € 4,- for a few of the dishes or € 6,- for all the others. Each restaurant had one dish, which also made it easy to navigate the different stands. The one problem really was that we couldn’t possibly taste it all. Because – let’s face it – after a few dishes you’re kind of full. After enjoying a lovely chilled glass of white wine (or two) we walked further along the shore to work up renewed appetite. It was a lot busier at the boulevard and with the sun out it was lovely strolling across the waterline towards the Venetian gallery and back…. All in all we walked roughly 15 kilometers on that one saturday (I wear a fitbit)
So that makes up for all that culinary enjoyment… 😉
In the afternoon we went back to the event for another two little dishes and – ofcourse – dessert, but we also knew we had to be at restaurant Savarin around 8 pm so we didn’t want to eat too much and spoil our appetite!
Savarin is located – like a lot of other good restaurants – along the boulevard and is run by chef Joris Panckoucke. Whom we had seen in action at L’Ostendaise and who arrived in the restaurant just shortly after we arrived to work in his own restaurant. Talk about a long day!
During dinner we could enjoy the sight of the sea and the setting sun, to walk out of there a few hours later to end our first day in oostende.
Here another few photos of our weekend.
Disclaimer: We were in Oostende by invitation of Visit Oostende, but all opinions are as always my own