Discover Benelux | Antwerp | Top Food, Drink & Sleep Spots
Fish and chips in a new and sustainable way TEXT: HEIDI KOKBORG | PHOTOS: BIA MARA
What started as a market store in 2011 that sold fish and chips in Dublin, is today a well-established café with locations in London, Brussels and Antwerp. Bia Mara serves fish and chips like you have never had before – and always in a sustainable way. Bia Mara is a fish and chips concept that was born on the streets of Dublin six years ago. “We thought to start using fish with a milder taste so we really started experimenting a lot with our fish and chips,” says Marco Ferracuti, general manager at Bia Mara. Bia Mara quickly became very popular, and in 2012 they opened in Brussels. Today, they have locations in Antwerp and London as well, and they are opening their second store in Brussels in September.
fish and chips. “We really like to play around. We use a homemade seaweed salt for our fries and we double cook them. These are not normal French fries,” tells Marco. At Bia Mara, they also care a great deal about the environment. “Sustainability is very important to us. We only use seasonal and local fish, which also means you cannot always order the same fish at our place in London as you can in Brussels. It all depends on what is in season, and what we can get locally.”
Web: www.biamara.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/ BiaMaraAntwerp Instagram: www.instagram.com/ biamarabelgium Twitter: @BiaMaraBrussels
Seaweed salted fries Today, Bia Mara has created 60 recipes for fish and chips – and they are not your regular
French-Japanese cuisine at its finest TEXT: CATHY VAN KLAVEREN | PHOTOS: ROJI
Looking for a great place to eat in Antwerp? There are many good restaurants, but finding one combining delicious FrenchJapanese cuisine with great aesthetics and superb service could be quite a challenge. That is, until you discover Roji. Situated at the Oude Koornmarkt, near the Cathedral of Our Lady, Roji combines French cuisine with the umami-centred flavours of the Japanese kitchen. Owner Gunter Landuyt had the idea a few years ago when Axel Vervoordt contacted him about the premises, which were built back in the 13th century. “I decided
pretty quickly I wanted to open a restaurant in the building. However, I only wanted to start this adventure if we did something revolutionary. Something new.” Gunter and the team took a trip abroad and quickly settled on a fusion concept. They decided to marry the outspoken and flavourful ingredients used in Japanese cuisine and the delicate tastes of French cooking. Think black cod, dressed up with pickled lemons and matcha, a Japanese green tea powder. Or a variety of artisanal sushi: rolls, nigiri and maki, made with only the freshest and best ingredients.
The kitchen is spearheaded by chef Bodi de Munck and also serves the highly coveted Kobe beef: Roji’s beef comes from the land of the rising sun itself. But it is not just about the ingredients. “People come for great food, good service and the finest wine, saké or Japanese-French cocktails, as well as that Zen experience. Here at Roji, we put the emphasis on both food and service,” smiles Gunter. “It’s the little details that make big things happen.” Web: www.roji.be
Issue 44 | August 2017 | 27
Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.