Last week, I was invited to the ceremonial launch of DKZ sur l'O. This is the new business venture of De Kleine Zavel, an established value in Antwerp's restaurant scene. After the recent relaunch of De Kleine Zavel, the restaurant continued to grow, and when one night DKZ owner Jeremie Landweer had to turn down a big group of potential customers, he started looking for a way to expand his restaurant's capacity. Since Antwerp is a city that has grown around the Scheldt river, it seems only logical that his thoughts wandered towards the water. After meeting with shipping company Greenstarline's François Bouvard, the two came up with the idea to use the renovated Antverpia boat to host DKZ-catered events. A super cool idea, because who doesn't want to eat good food while floating on the Scheldt river, taking in the sights, the soft rocking of the boat, the "Lichtjes van de Schelde"?
The invitation also offered a great opportunity to spend some quality T.I.M.E. with my dude. A proper date night, something we don't get to enjoy too often with work and life getting in the way. We had an absolutely lovely time, and our night on DKZ sur l'O was a unique experience that I would recommend to anyone. A perfect setting for a small-to-medium sized event. I can only imagine how cool it would be to do this in the summertime, to sip wine on deck while the sun sets over the Scheldt. I took loads of pictures to illustrate the atmosphere to you, so enjoy!
DKZ sur l'O departs from the dock at Het Steen, a beautiful historical location on its own, a stone's throw away from Antwerp's city hall. Definitely a great view from deck.
As night settled over the city, we huddled together to stay warm and enjoy the views. There's something surreal about how the sounds become more subdued when you're out on the water, almost as if you're looking at life from a safe distance. Or like when it has just snowed! Same sort of peace and quiet.
Of course it was extremely dark, so excuse the noise in these shots. They still capture the atmosphere quite nicely, I think.
After having hors d'oeuvres on deck, we were invited in for dinner inside. Below deck, you're sitting just above water level. I was surprised to experience how spacious the room felt, despite being on a boat with a lot of people. I never felt cramped or claustrofobic. But that might be because I'm a huge boat fan. One of my more typically Dutch characteristics.
The hors d'oeuvres were all amazing, focused on seafood and incredibly tasty, but this one was my boyfriend's favourite: little hearty profiteroles, fresh out of the oven, lined with a garlic-escargot filling. YUM.
My favourite course was the entree: mackerel ceviche with grapefruit, cucumber and ginger. Fingerlicking good.
Main course: beef with artichoke, what seemed to be some kind of celery puree and concentrated, syrupy pear reduction, finished with a serving of choron sauce. Amazing combination of flavours.
Finally, a dessert duo of warm chocolate mousse served over salted butter caramel ice cream, topped with a cocoa crumble. Can you say FOODPORN?
I had an absolutely lovely night and I feel like DKZ sur l'O will turn out to be a great success. The whole concept is so unequivocally Antwerp, the food is amazing (and so was the wine btw, especially the red), and I think anyone would enjoy a boat ride on the Scheldt to see the city from a different perspective. Thumbs up, and best of luck to DKZ!