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Plates come flying out of this kitchen in Antwerp, located near the trendy hub of Het Groen Kwartier (the Green Quarter), like the artistic flying saucers. Delicate morsels of food are brought together in innovative combinations, piqued by delicate flavours, zesty herbs and unique ingredients that you wouldn’t normally find paired with one another. Found in the high-ceilinged and ethereal setting of a former chapel, this is a foodie experience that is out of this world.
This is the legendary restaurant The Jane. But without being remotely plain. In fact, your dining revelation here could be one of the most sophisticated you have ever experienced. Headed up by Nick Bril, an inventive chef who trained under Sergio Herman at three-Michelin star restaurant Oud Sluis in the Netherlands and also runs the restaurant at Hotel August, The Jane has been open since 2014 and is now the recipient of two Michelin stars.
Expect to surprise your taste buds with a tasting menu that’s last over four hours with dishes such as oyster paired with plankton, peach, and cucumber, dutch herring with goat cheese, beans, and saffron and duroc pork matched with langoustine and gooseberry.
You’ll also find the surroundings surprisingly dramatic, upmarket and polished. With the backdrop of the old chapel, once a formerly military hospital, Studio Piet Boon, multi-disciplinary designers and architects were brought in to create the optimum ambience for enjoying Nick Bril’s creations. The altar was replaced by a modern-day shrine, the kitchen – symbolism that we can get on board with – and the original, restored high ceilings gives the restaurant a feel of respectful gravitas, whilst engaging directly with the building’s heritage.
The main wow-factor interior focal point comes from the elaborate and commanding chandelier that hangs from the ceiling, a 800 kilograms-weighing design, 12 by 9 metres with over 150 lights, designed by the Beirut-based design studio PSLAB. The combination of its remarkable shape plus scattered light gives an appropriately divine feel to the space.
Elsewhere the use of high-quality materials such as marble, leather and oak wood mirror the excellency of your experience at The Jane. Whimsical design company Studio Job, who recently moved from Berlin to Antwerp, were brought in to create the wondrous modern-day stained-glass windows, allowing coloured light to shine in, bestowing diners with a celestial hue. Up close, the windows display a plethora of unique symbolism such as apple cores, birthday cakes and penguins.
With reservations horribly difficult to secure, visiting The Jane is an exceptional experience that will tingle your taste buds for some time.