Discover Benelux, Issue 27, March 2016

Page 29

Discover Benelux | Discover Nijmegen | The Netherlands’ Oldest City

Where everybody knows your name TEXT: MYRIAM GWYNNED DIJCK | PHOTOS: BISTRO DE BOK

With its cosy, dark interior, the glowing warmth from the open, central charcoal grill, and its beaming, personable staff, you immediately feel at home at the lively restaurant Bistro de Bok. The bistro, known for its excellent meat dishes, was set up 40 years ago in Nijmegen. The atmosphere has not changed since, remaining laid back and personal. “A great dinner out doesn’t have to be a rigid occasion. We turn every night into a celebration and our staff are very open and informal. We want to get to know our guests and greet them personally by name,” says director Micha Koot.

This ambience also trickles down to the guests, and Micha frequently notices how people strike up conversations at the bar or across tables. “We make people feel at home. We don’t take reservations so if guests need to wait a little while at the bar for their favourite table to become available, we’ll give them olives on the house. When guests sit down, we make sure they immediately receive complementary bread with dips.” All the top-quality meat served at Bistro de Bok is imported from New Zealand where the cattle can roam free. According to Micha, you can instantly taste this. “We are famous for our fantastic tournedos, it literally melts on your tongue. We have guests coming all the way from Amsterdam for this! Aside that the Bokspies, our signature skewer dish with five different meats, is very popular and also our fish is outstanding,” he says.


Life is a form of art that should be enjoyed thoroughly: this is the philosophy of the Flemish, and Vlaams Arsenaal embraces it wholeheartedly. The grand café and brasserie in the heart of the beautiful city of Nijmegen serves Flemish delights that will tingle your taste buds in a cosy and relaxed atmosphere. Flanders, in the north-west part of Belgium, is famous for its delicious fries and waffles, but the local cuisine offers much more: “Eating the Flemish way has a Mediterranean and medieval touch,” Vlaams Arsenaal owner Tim van Delft explains. “Imagine generous meat dishes yarning in blackened kettles, while velvety sauces, swelling Trappist Cheeses and polyphonic beers decorate the table and caress the tongue.” You can find this delightful atmosphere in Vlaams Arsenaal, a place to enjoy sumptuous,

high-quality Mediterranean-inspired dishes with rich flavours. Van Delft: “And for a full Flemish food experience, make sure to taste one of our 40 Belgian specialty beers!” Vlaams Arsenaal is located in a gorgeous national monument in the heart of Nijmegen, and consists of a cosy grand café and a brasserie. It is also the perfect place to have a single coffee during a city trip. And throughout the year, many events take place in and around Vlaams Arsenaal. “Every Friday afternoon we serve delicious, bite-sized snacks on the house, from 5pm to 7pm, during our ‘Early Friday’ happy hour. And in May and July, we’re in the middle of the hustle of the world-class events Giro d’Italia and the Four Days Marches: these add a lovely atmosphere to the already bustling city.” Issue 27 | March 2016 | 29