Chef Peter Goossens is arguably the most famous chef in Belgium, and the grandfather of Belgian fine dining. His restaurant Hof van Cleve got its first Michelin star in the 80s, the second star in the 90s, and the third star in 2005 – and it’s still one of the best restaurants in Belgium today. It still has three stars, and is currently ranked no. 36 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021. The restaurant is located inside an old farmhouse about a 30 minute drive outside of Ghent. You can find Goossens still happily in the kitchen of his restaurant every day, and his wife, Lieve Fermans, warmly welcoming every guest into their restaurant home with a smile. Watch our YouTube video to see the full meal at Hof van Cleve, as well as an interview with chef Peter Goossens.
Looking for more restaurant recommendations in Belgium? Check out our city guide and map.
Did you enjoy this video? Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel.
HOF VAN CLEVE Address & Contact Information Riemegemstraat 1, Kruisem, Belgium Website Instagram Facebook
Since the restaurant is so old, we expected it to be very traditional, and perhaps even a bit out of touch with modern times. We were quite surprised, however, to discover that despite the classic style of service (trolley after trolley!), the menu felt very fresh and relevant. Goossens is obviously inspired a lot by the Japanese cuisine, which gave his dishes a much lighter touch than the classic heavy French style we expected. Every dish was better than the last, escalating in flavor at a perfect tempo. We were especially wowed by the desserts, and particularly the dessert trolley, where guests are welcomed (even encouraged!) to try every cake, tart, and cookie on display. You absolutely want to try them all – fresh from the oven lemon and vanilla madeleines, mille feuille, palmiers, doughnuts with powdered sugar, baba au rum, vanilla flan… and so much more. Next time, we decided we were going to have one dish on the a la carte menu and then indulge ourselves in a dessert feast.
Have you been to Hof van Cleve? Let us know how your experience was in a comment below.