Guerilla Dining on a D.A.T.E.
This Is Antwerp invited 12 internationals to Discover Antwerp Through Experience, in short to go on a D.A.T.E. with Antwerp from the 3rd until the 8th of November. We’ll show them the best hidden secrets, jaunt the hottest places, survive workshops together, enjoy the finest meals and much more. But most important they will meet that one important thing that fuels Antwerp to be the dynamic city that it is today: creative people.
This Is Antwerp local Cis
We asked our locals to keep us upD.A.T.E.d (word plays, we know... but it's stronger then ourselves) of what our guest are doing to discover Antwerp. Yesterday we asked our local Cis to join our internationals for dinner at a secret place hosted by Urban Kitchen Squad.
Guerrilla dining with Urban Kitchen Squad
Since a few weeks I had my dinner plans for November 3rd double marked on my calendar. First of all because I was looking forward to meet the international creatives on their welcome dinner. Secondly because I'm a foodie, I couldn’t wait to taste the delicious flavors of the Urban Kitchen Squad. The only thing missing on my calendar was the location where I was supposed to be going. “That’s a secret, we’ll tell you the address a few hours in advance” was the answer of the nice people of UKS. It's all a part of the crazy concept. All you do is make reservations. What you'll have for dinner & where you'll have it is a surprise. The only thing they can assure is that it will be located somewhere in Antwerp and that the food will be great.
First D.A.T.E. dinner
To me, this mystery truly works well as an appetizer as I walk to the address (given only 2 hours in advance). Nr. 33: it is a normal house in a calm street. A bit nervous I ring the doorbell, hoping it really IS the place where we’ll dine tonight. I’m directed through a studio where some fine Swedish design furniture pieces are stored. Closets, lamps, sofa’s and tables get a revamp here, before starting a new life somewhere else in the city. At the back of the studio, I see a large table set out with candles, menu’s, flowers, … the whole shabam. Then I know for sure, I arrived at the right spot.
The dining room also serves as the kitchen so I can see how the two cooks meticulously finish the starters at their small improvised working table. 30 minutes later, I get to taste a chicory salad with goat cheese merengue & kefir-orange soup… Interesting palette! I’m in for more. For starters we have salmon with avocado cream, always a winning combination. Well seasoned, it becomes a true delight. The white wine is subtle, lightly sparkling and a perfect match with the starter.
I must say This Is Antwerp succeeded in finding the right guests to invite for a D.A.T.E. because everybody was chatting away with everybody. Even when they served us our main dish: duck perfectly matched with mandarin-hoisin-chocolate sauce. As I hd a little chat with the two founding fathers of Urban Kitchen Squad, I understand it's a big part of their concept: only one large table for all guests. This way they want to encourage fresh conversations and interesting points of view. It sure worked for this party.
As I’m talking about cycling in Antwerp city with my left neighbour, the desert is served and for one brief moment I feel like I’m walking in a snowy pine forest. In the middle of our urban conversation I discover the true taste of birch in the sweet crumble and pine on & in my sorbet. Later on that night someone told me the chef went to get the pine needles himself by bike, his favorite means of transportation.
I had a very nice evening and I am so glad I finally had a dinner by Urban Kitchen Squad. To me they embody so much more then just only great food. It's naturally connecting with people, in an organic way with a nonchalant cool and of course awesome food!
Don’t worry, you don’t have to miss a thing. We asked our This Is Antwerp locals to cover most of the workshops for you. So keep an eye out for our blog or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram!
text by Cis
pics by Cis