Eat Brugge: Lunch at Aquarel


So we spent a weekend in Brugge, that old medieval city in Belgium which is famous for its canals, towers and the midget who starred in the film In Bruges along with Colin Farell and another English actor. Aside from spending few hours running around the shopping streets, taking advantage of the braderie to find some cool and affordable items, MK and I also spend a good 24 hours meal in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

I am adding a category to my blog which I am calling The World According to My Taste, an account of restaurants and food adventure with each new place that I’ll be visiting, what’s hot and not in the food circle of that particular place, which if of course according to how I like or dislike the food. You are free to agree (or disagree) but since I am the one paying, please respect my preferences and opinions. I am starting with Brugge.
We arrived in Brugge mid-afternoon so we started the eating with a late lunch. What follows are meals and snacks that are either unforgettable or completely dismissible.

It was already 2.30PM and we are tired of haunting the whole city in search of an ATM machine that accepts our Rabobank cards and when we finally found one in Simon Stevinplein street, we immediately went to the restaurant beside the geldautomaat, which turned out to be Aquarel.

According to their website, Aquarel is founded in 1996 by the Teerlinck-Versluys family. It is actually quite a small place, like a usual Dutch or Belgian restaurant that also has a mini al fresco area to accomodate guests who wants to enjoy the sunshine.

Starving is a light word to describe the grumbling in our stomachs that moment because we didnt had breakfast before we went to Brugge. So I thought of ordering something that will surely satisfy my hunger and would still store some energy for the day’s activities. MK initially just wanted to order frietjes, because as usual, we are on a budget trip and the menu in Aquarel is not really affordable. I got pissed off (I usually get pissed off really fast when I am hungry) and urged him to order something which is a complete meal, reasoning out that we dont usually do that in Netherlands. Eating in expensive restaurants in the Netherlands is not really among our favorite things to do because it can be really expensive (unless Mom and Dad are paying). He relented and had for himself Fried Zeetongetjes, EUR21,0.

Zeetongetjes literally translates to “small sea tongues”, a kind of fish which is obviously famous in Netherlands and Belgium (sorry but I still can’t find the English meaning of this). This meal comes with citrus which you must put on your fish and a salad for side dish. For myself, I ordered (to be on the safe side) roasted half chicken with french fries EUR15,0. It also has a salad for side dish but no sauce.

The roasted chicken is only good for its skin (the best part of a roasted chicken, dont you think?) but the meat is dry and a complte disappointment. Had I not been that hungry, I don’t think I would eat past three bites from it. The Zeetongetjes is ok, well fried, golden brown and not burned but without the citrus I think (just like any Dutch fish) would taste bland and equally forgettable. Good thing that we had the salad and the burned french fries to balance the already unbalanced taste (do I make sense?) of the food we ordered.

Fortunately, their red housewines, EUR3,0/glass, is good enough. I got a little giddy after finishing my glass and would have wanted to order some more but we have a whole list to do. We paid the bill of EUR42,0 and regretted that we chose Aquarel. I hope they improve on the taste of their chicken and fish.

Rating: 2 out of 5*
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