Belgium has a brand new three-star restaurant, included in the Michelin Guide to Belgium and Luxembourg 2021, and it is Zilte in Antwerp.
The 'seafood forward' restaurant's name translates as 'salty' and is led by chef Viki Geunes with a focus on fish, crustaceans and shellfish. Signature dishes include lacquered and smoked eel with foie gras, pointed cabbage and wasabi; and turbot with whelks and vin jaune, salad and pork knuckle.
Speaking during the livestreamed award ceremony for this year's guide, Geunes said: “In these bizarre times, we certainly did not expect it. We dream of opening very soon. But this is the ultimate dream of a chef.” Chefs like Clare Smyth and Gordon Ramsay were quick to congratulate the Zilte team on their three-star status on Instagram.
Zilte restaurant first opened in 2011 and is located on the ninth floor of the MAS museum, with the dining room boasting sweeping views of the city's skyline.
The guide describes dining at Zilte as an "emotional experience", where “you dine on the top floor of the MAS museum, with the city at your feet. The understated design is intimate and stylish. Everything is right here, from the greeting and the professional wine advice to the biscuit with the coffee.”
Belgium continues to propel itself in fine dining excellence, with the Michelin Guide now recognising two three-Michelin-starred restaurants, including Peter Goosens' Hof van Cleve in Kruishoutem. Two new restaurants were also awarded two stars for 2021 and ten Belgian restaurants received a first Michelin-star.
The Belgium and Luxembourg guide now has a total of 137 starred restaurants.
Take a look at some of Zilte's dishes below:
TACO: pickled quail egg, mushroom, pine-nut.
CAVIAR: sweet ognion, katsuobushi.
MACKEREL: goose liver, kumquat, daikon.
TURBOT: vin jaune, whelks, pig trotter.