Warm memories: De Viskeete, Yerseke

I don’t think I have written about De Viskêête yet, even though I’ve been coming here since 2008, when I first set foot in the Lowlands. I’ve reviewed so many restaurants on this blog but writing reviews becomes boring after a while. So this blog post is not a restaurant review.

De Viskêête is a restaurant located in Yerseke, the famous mussel village in the Netherlands. It is also a fish store.

My father in-law, true-blue Zeeuws, doesn’t compromise when it comes to his mussels. At their home, we don’t eat mussels outside the season, the best months are between the beginning of September until about March, when the weather is cold. And he gets his mussels from the best fishmonger, usually at De Viskêête.

We’ve been coming regularly to De Viskêête through the years, for a steaming pot of mussels or fresh sole lightly breaded and pan-fried in generous butter, paired with a bottle of cold Flemish beer. Always for lunch especially when the sun is shining and the sky is blue, no matter how cold or freezing it is. We also always leave happy, including our pockets because their price is not obscenely expensive for the quality of the food that they serve.

Aside from mussels, this is the only place where I could truly say that the kibbeling is outstanding!

Kibelling is white fish, breaded in flour and deep fried, much like the English’ fish ‘n chips. Again it was through my father in-law that we discovered this unhealthy goodness.

It was Sunday, one late summer afternoon. It wasn’t cold but chilly enough to require a thin sweater. We went to the De Viskêête to buy mussels for dinner. But the husband and I were already so hungry and we want food. The heady, fishy, oily smell of the kibbeling bubbling in the huge deep fryer by the counter was too much for us to bear. So Pa treated us to a double portion. Downed with a can of Coca-Cola, we’ve had the best afternoon snack that day. Even Pa couldn’t refuse the oily treat so he had a few bites.

Once in a while I crave for mussels and kibbeling. And I’ve tried them in many other places; France, Belgium and in other Dutch cities. None had impressed me so far except maybe those plump mussel variety from Bergen, Norway, which I had for lunch during one of my business visits.

It is for this reason that we now avoid eating mussels and kibbeling in other restaurants except at De Viskêête because we know we’re only in for disappointment. And always during the best months of the mussel season, like Pa.

Pa left us after Christmas. Our visit to the De Viskêête will never be the same again. But one thing will remain, the mussels and the kibbeling will remain delicious, especially because of the warm memories that we shared during our many visits to this place.

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