Video: Hof van Cleve Belgium's Oldest Three-Star Restaurant

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
Hof Van Cleve is located inside an old farmhouse about a 30 minute drive outside of Ghent.
Hof Van Cleve is located inside an old farmhouse about a 30 minute drive outside of Ghent.

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.

Chef Peter Goossens is the grandfather of Belgian fine dining.
Chef Peter Goossens is the grandfather of Belgian fine dining.

Chicken liver, melon, and hazelnuts.
Chicken liver, melon, and hazelnuts.
Norwegian salmon, shiso, and rice noodles.
Norwegian salmon, shiso, and rice noodles.
Langoustine with apple, cucumber, avocado, and a sphere of frozen sake.
Langoustine with apple, cucumber, avocado, and a sphere of frozen sake.
Langoustine tartare on steam bun.
Langoustine tartare on steam bun.
Caviar service at Hof van Cleve.
Caviar service at Hof van Cleve.
Miso flan with cauliflower, maté, and caviar.
Miso flan with cauliflower, maté, and caviar.
King crab with sweet corn, mimolette, and chermoula.
King crab with sweet corn, mimolette, and chermoula.
Octopus, tomato, white bean, and zucchini.
Octopus, tomato, white bean, and zucchini.
Matcha, pear, and jasmine rice.
Matcha, pear, and jasmine rice.
Chocolate, pecan, and sea buckthorn – our favorite dish of 2021.
Chocolate, pecan, and sea buckthorn – our favorite dish of 2021.
The dessert trolley!
The dessert trolley!
Try as many treats from the trolley as your heart desires.
Try as many treats from the trolley as your heart desires.
We went for one of each!
We went for one of each!
This dessert trolley was the highlight of our meal – such incredible pastries.
This dessert trolley was the highlight of our meal – such incredible pastries.
A pile of beignets dusted with powdered sugar.
A pile of beignets dusted with powdered sugar.
And fresh madeleines to end an amazing meal.
And fresh madeleines to end an amazing meal.

Have you been to Hof van Cleve? Let us know how your experience was in a comment below.

Submit a comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.