Local Heart, Global Soul

November 7, 2013

The Maria van Bourgondie Both Delivers And Disappoints…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Another page of my diary as I document our last summer’s travels with our visiting Singaporean friend “Velveteen”. We are currently having dinner in the Maria van Bourgondie Restaurant in Bruges, Belgium, and it’s been an interesting meal so far to say the least.

First there was the Waffle saga where they would only serve waffles between two in the afternoon and six in the evening  and at no other time except this.

We finally succeeded in getting our waffle at a few minutes to six, by resorting to having dessert before our main course, but at least we then had the entertainment of  seeing one of the biggest steaks I have ever seen in my life being prepared for Velveteen on the grill next to our table.

Now the rest of our food arrives and we spend a leisurely evening slowly making our way though our chosen dishes.   The kids get sly and ask for dessert after dinner and we say they may share an ice cream between them, and only after it’s been delivered do the sly pair remind us that this is their second  dessert of the evening:  “Had we forgotten that we had waffles at the start of the meal?”

All I can say is that we were tired and a little on automatic pilot by this stage of the evening, my foot was painfully letting me know that all this walking was probably more than I could manage and that a quiet few days would be in order.  We laughed at the kids struggling though the ice cream, it turned out that their eyes were rather larger then their bellies so Himself ended up helping them finish it.

My meatballs weren’t bad… nothing special, but at least Velveteen’s steak was decent and we finally succeeded in getting our Belgium waffle.  We also educated Velveteen and the kids that “French fries”are actually not French … they originated in Belgium. Service was without a smile (but this is Flanders so no different to the indifferent service we usually get in the The Netherlands) and we were rather shocked at the brusque and inflexible manner the waffle saga played out. After a slow walk back to the hotel we asked for some ice at the hotel reception for my now rapidly swelling foot and they were at least far  friendlier, delivering a whopping party size bag  of ice which, along with painkillers numbed the pain into submission.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 6, 2013

Captivated By the Decoration…

In this travel post of our last summer’s adventures, we are dining in the Maria van Bourgondie Restaurant in  Bruges, Belgium. The restaurant is laden with decorative ornaments and quirky details so even a trip upstairs to the Ladies reveals  decoration galore, which luckily had a calming effect  of restoring my sense of peace and tranquillity after a steep staircase  that was a nightmare to negotiate on crutches. The detail was hard to catch due to the low light available, but Velveteen and I definitely tried…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 5, 2013

When Ordering a Steak Gets You Supplied With A Small Beast!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In continuation of yesterday’s post,  Family Kiwidutch and Singaporean friend “Velveteen”  continue with their topsy-turvy meal in the Maria van Bourgondie Restaurant  in Bruges, Belgium.

We started dinner with waffle desserts and now it’s time to order our main course.

Velveteen orders a steak from the grill,  which happens by chance to be situated right next to our table so we get to watch and photograph it being cooked.

Both Himself and I are well used to Dutch portions of meat, the quantity of which can be summed up in a word: Tiny.

Therefore we were both wide eyed when Velveteen’s steak was added to the grill, the size of this steak was humongous in size  and most unexpected !

It was a great slab of meat, more like an entire small beast than just a steak, and as big a single piece of meat as I have ever seen served in a restaurant in all my time in Europe.

The steak is flame grilled on the cast iron stove, with is beautifully decorated with Delft’s blue and white tiles,  and when it’s almost done, it is carved off the bone (one that Bruge’s famous  doggy Fidel would have envied) and then returned to the grill for the last minute or so before being carved into thick slices which were practically mini-steaks themselves. The plate it was served on was so large, it was really hard to show just how much meat was sitting there…   Himself and I joked that it was just as well Velveteen had had her long awaited waffle first, because there might not have been space left after eating this!

I’m not personally a fan of meat cooked as rare as this, but Himself had a piece and both he and Velveteen declared it to be delicious. I have to admit that steak isn’t something that he and I indulge in at home, since in the Netherlands you get so little meat for such a ridiculous price and the few times Himself has tried, the chefs have generally massacred it. I think it comes down to the logical deduction that you should always try and eat something that is a speciality of the region you are in, and which the chefs are experienced in cooking, otherwise the results tend to be less than wonderful. Here at least the steak was edible and enjoyed, and seeing the process of it being cooked added it’s own flavour to the meal.

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Kiwidutch)

(photograph ©Kiwidutch)

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Kiwidutch)

(photograph ©Kiwidutch)

(photograph ©Kiwidutch)

(photograph ©Kiwidutch)

(photograph ©Kiwidutch)

(photograph ©Kiwidutch)

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

November 4, 2013

Drastic Thinking Is Needed In Order To Achieve The Taste Of Success…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This page of my travel diary finds Family Kiwidutch and our Singaporean friend “Velveteen” (her Internet nickname to protect her privacy) in Bruges, Belgium.  Velveteen and I have just left the canal tourist boat trip, and gone to meet up with Himself and the children for dinner.

We arrive at the Church Of Our Lady meeting point at ten minutes to six in the evening and since it’s still raining hard, decide not to mess about looking for a restaurant too far away, which is how we ended up at  the Maria van Bourgondie Restaurant  just around the corner.

We are handed menu’s at five minutes to six and after greeting the older lady who comes to serve us I happen to mention in Dutch that I’m delighted to see Belgium Waffles on the menu and how  very much we will be looking forward to dessert later on.

Imagine our shock when she replies with a stony face in Vlaams “No, there are no waffles after six o’clock”.

We look at her in amazement, and I ask her if it’s ok then if we please order both our main menu and  our dessert right now, before  six p.m.   …we will have ordered before six, so surely that would be acceptable? My request is met with a flat “No’ and a look that tells me she is rather surprised that despite her spelling it out, that we are obviously rather slow to realise that no waffles after six, emphatically means no waffles after six.

Himself and I explain the difficulty to a disappointed Velveteen, who by now is seriously starting to wonder if her waffle wish is cursed after three failed attempts.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Suddenly as the waitress lady turns to leave I have a brainwave and call her back with a question… “Since it’s still a few minutes before six is it still possible to have a waffle right now please?” She looks surprised, but says, “Yes”. I instantly order five waffles and tell the kids they are ten seconds to order a topping or they will be too late making the order.

They are so delighted at the prospect of eating dessert before the main course that they uncharacteristically manage to make a selection in a nano second  (I think they were probably more afraid of me changing my mind than running out of time).

So this is how Family Kiwidutch and friend Velveteen manage to eat an evening meal in reverse: dessert followed by the main course.  Kiwi Daughter and Little Mr. of course can not believe their luck and can’t wipe the smiles off their faces.

Once Velveteen gets over the incredulously  unyielding manner of the “rules” surrounding obtaining a waffle in Belgium, she is delighted that we found a way to still enjoy one. So what we act like crazy tourists and eat our meal back to front?

We eat our waffles with an extra large dose of satisfaction that we managed to “beat the system” albeit in an unconventional way…  Now we can waffle on about the Belgium Waffle Saga with a grin on our faces and the taste of success in our stomachs.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Here are the links to our previous Waffle dramas…

https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/?s=waffles

https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/new-1248/

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