Witloof – review

Witloof is a Belgian restaurant in Maastricht. It was rather weird to me because Belgium is only 5 minutes drive away and yet somebody had to put the restaurant across the border.

Witloof

It wouldn’t be a restaurant that one discovers by chance, there is no big signage at the front unless you do understand Dutch language to laugh at the jokes they have at the windows. The prominent huge picture of an Einstein looking man at the front did not reveal any hint either. Very often (while walking to the market), I see tourists taking photos or standing outside the restaurant discussing something on the windows or the old man picture.

Witloof

Chicken and shrimp croquettes (kroketten in Dutch)

First encounter with Witloof was the croquette. Ad the owner sent some from their restaurant (less than 100m from where we live) to Willem’s birthday party. He occasionally drops by to one of the neighbours street BBQ or drinking sessions while walking Leffe and Chouffe around the neighbourhood.

Dutch love their croquettes and it’s often found in restaurants’ menu. I have tried several croquettes at different restaurants and Witloof has one of the nicest croquette. There are three flavours that I have tried from Witloof – the shrimp, veal and chicken. Lekker!

Soon I found that Witloof is not just a restaurant, it’s a restaurant with award wining interior design. Even the Chinese magazines had reported on the restaurant. One almost never hears of Maastricht in Asia let alone having a few articles writing about a restaurant in Maastricht. Now I know why the tourists were pointing, taking photos, looking and discussing outside the restaurant.

So after living here for 43 days, I had my proper Witloof experience yesterday. Weather was not extremely warm last evening and it made a good reason to eat indoor. It was rather risky because the owner is a friend and I do hope the food is decent so that I will return. Honestly, I hate to pretend food is great when it is not. I have to do this some times to be polite but it does not make me feel good.

Ad showed us the basement with new design done last year. It was inspired by the Sistine Chapel, I think I will be eating my croquette in between the thighs staring at the tits in the winter. I like the upstair function room with walls covered fully by plates. The main area is resemblance of some typical Belgium restaurants.

They have menu in both Dutch or English and the staffs speak very good English with very pleasant attitude. They have Euro 25.25 2 course menu, Euro 29.75 for three course or Euro 25.25 for three course if you go with the day menu. It’s the most affordable menu I have seen so far, for a proper restaurant eating.

Witloof

Willem's main, roast chicken (baby one) and the Belgium fries

We went for two course meal, in general we don’t have sweet tooth. I had the stewed meat balls as a starter which later I swapped with Willem for the croquettes (you can never have enough of them!). I had chosen to try risotto with scampi as main since Willem failed to make a nice version of it for me few days ago. Mmmmmmmm….  I like~! Not sure about Willem’s oven roast baby chicken since I was too busy savouring my risotto. According to him the chicken was good.

Witloof

My risotto, now you see it...

Witloof

Now you don't!

I was contemplating about writing about the wine we had because I quite like it. However from the name of the wine Willem just gave me, I will leave that to him, I only heard bla bla bla bla… sauvignon blanc bla bla.

Witloof opens from Wednesday to Sunday for dinner. You can check out the restaurant online at www.witloof.nl if you don’t live in Maastricht otherwise, I would recommend you to pop over and experience the restaurant personally.

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About MyTasteHisTaste

Love eating and wine drinking.
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2 Responses to Witloof – review

  1. Willem says:

    The wine mentioned is the Errazuriz Sauvignon Blanc Singe Vineyard (Aconcagua Costa vineyard).
    Often wines are sourced from many vineyards – this one is from only one – a big one, but alas.
    Because the grapes come from this special vineyard, the winemaker at the very proficient Errazuriz Estate does his best a bit more. A bit lower yield for more concentration, and letting the wine rest a few months on its lees (the used yeast for fermentation). The latter gives a more full and smooth character to the wine.
    This wine has more the fruit of sauvignon blanc (some gooseberry and citrus) and less but a little of the ‘herby’ side of the grape. This fruitiness is typical for the Chilean sauvignon blanc. I assume because of climate (especially light, but also warmth), and in my opinion also winemaking culture: they go for pleasing (nothing wrong with that when done well), less than ‘intellectually’ challenging tastes.
    All and all: nice wine!
    (and a bad match with this food, but that as a deliberate choice – we like this wine; I think Witloof food needs rich wines like rich alto adige pinot grigio, rich gruner veltliner, and for the creamy dishes chardonnay – they serve those btw – or with Belgian beer of course!)

    Especially in France the concept of ‘terroir’ is held in high regard: if a wine has it, it is supposed to show the characteristics of the place the grapes grew. I specifically say ‘place’, because I believe that is what it is about. The combination of soil, but especially climate, and even winemaking culture (and of course the type of grapes traditionally planted) make for a wine that has such characteristics that you can recognize the place where it comes from. And that can be a nice sport. And says nothing about quality…

    The word terroir suggests a strong influence from the soil. That is mostly nonsense. Vines are fantastic but simple plants. They need only enough of 6 minerals, and of some of those not too much. These minerals cannot be tasted in the grapes, and thus not in the wine (they are not in the grape). A bad mix of minerals will influence the wine, often negatively. But in general such suggestions as that you can taste that vines grew on calcium rich soil, where the calcium comes from seashells from an ancient sea for example, are all nonsense.

    In winetasting the word ‘minerality’ is often used. I do recognize that aroma. I think it comes from a combination of (lack of) ripeness and winemaking specifics – at has nothing to do with actual minerals. The minerals vines use dont even have smell…

    The most important factor besides the right mix of minerals that soil has for wine, is the hydration. Too wet gives watery grapes. Too dry gives ‘stressed’ vines, which also cannot ripen. Too much ‘food’ for the vines gives too fast growing grapes and high yield and thus less developed and diluted taste.
    For good wine, the vines need a hard life…not too rich soil, not too much water. That is why slopes are often good: the water runs down, and some food from the soil as well. Except for the top of a hill, there is shelter from wind which helps, and in cooler climates the exposition to the sun can help ripen the grapes.

    Personally, I also this concept has something to do with – lets stay positive – the pride they French have on their land. Specifically in the famous Burgundy region, the best wines are single vineyard wines. The ‘Grand Cru’ wines. Sometimes many winemakers share such a vineyard, so there can be several wines with the same ‘Cru’.
    My believe is that the influence of the winemaker is very strong – a good winemaker can get the best of a vineyard, a bad one can ruin perfect grapes.

    For me, the nicest thing about wines from a specific ‘terroir’, is that they give an original taste. Often blending can make a better wine, but variety is the spice fo drinking! And, sometimes, it gives for the most wonderful wines you can image!

  2. Pingback: Friterie at Wyck | mytastehistaste

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