An old chapel has been transformed into one of the world’s most spectacular dining rooms. The Jane in Belgium was ranked no. 66 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021 and has two Michelin stars; a meal here is indeed a religious experience. Watch our YouTube video from our favorite restaurant in Antwerp, including an interview with chef Nick Bril.
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The Jane is one of the most beautiful restaurants we’ve ever been to. It’s located inside the old chapel of a former military compound, but the dining room has been completely renovated and modernized, complete with amazing artwork and light fixtures hanging from the ceilings. The “stained glass” windows are another work of art; instead of religious references, each panel is adorned with cartoon food drawings like ice creams and croissants, and other fun imagery like smiley faces and sunflowers. The Jane is worth a visit alone, if only to see the spectacular venue.
Where the priest would have stood at the pulpit, Nick Bril and his team stand in an open kitchen at the front of the dining room. (Pro tip: ask for a table close to the kitchen to watch them work.) When he’s not in the kitchen, Bril moonlights as a DJ. You can feel his passion for music in the restaurant – he has a live DJ playing tunes during the meal, and sometimes he will take over the decks if the right after party occurs. It should be noted that The Jane is a Krug embassy, so all Champagne lovers will feel right at home.
And then comes the food… well, let’s just say it’s a religious experience. Come worship at Nick Bril’s temple, sing songs of praise to the Norwegian scallop and the North Sea Turbot, and ask for forgiveness for licking the plate clean of the venison jus on the main course. Indeed, chef Bril leads us into many temptations. Sustainability is at the center of his restaurant’s identity, although not in an over-the-top way. Lots of ingredients are grown in their rooftop garden just steps from the restaurant, and come from partnerships with local farms, but sometimes he sources ingredients from a little further away when the quality is superior – like Norwegian scallops, for instance.
The wine pairing was very classical, but the juice pairing was extremely well-thought-out, offering many unique, house-made beverages. We preferred the non-alcoholic pairing to the wine pairing here; aside, from the Krug, of course.
Have you been to The Jane? Let us know how your experience was in a comment below.