L’air du Temps – culinary magic
L’Air du Temps is an exceptional restaurant in the Namur province, Belgium. Previously located in an inconspicuous building in Noville-sur-Mehaigne, the restaurant moved to a new location in Éghezée in December 2012. It is now established in a renovated farm complex in the middle of the fields, which boasts a restaurant with an impressive kitchen and several dining compartments; premises with an extra kitchen for cooking courses; a big, impressive greenhouse; a barn; and several luxury rooms for accommodation.
The interior of the dining rooms is minimalistic and modern and the place conserves calmness and tranquility, keeping a natural transition to the surrounding fields. The garden, the fields and the farmhouse are an important part of the restaurant’s philosophy: almost all of the vegetables and spices that are served in the restaurant are cultivated in their own gardens and fields. Hundreds of different varieties are bred by Benoît Blairvacq, the chief gardener, who is a passionate expert in gardening and cultivates exceptional herbs and vegetables. Next to Benoit, there are 3 other people working in the L’Air du Temps’ gardens to guarantee the highest quality of vegetables available.
Sang-Hoon Degeimbre is the chef at L’Air du Temps and is considered one of Belgium’s most creative and sophisticated chefs. Born in South Korea, Sang-Hoon migrated to Belgium at the age of four. He started his career as a sommelier, became a self-taught chef soon after and opened L’Air du Temps in 1997. He quickly earned worldwide recognition for his extremely creative, inventive, original and molecular cuisine. Together with his wife Carine Nosal and his team (around 20 people) he created one of the most surprising gastronomical restaurants in Belgium.
Sang-Hoon’s drive for improvement and perfection is reflected in
his kitchen. His dishes are technically complex and evocative. Herbs, vegetables and Korean/Asian elements play an important role and most of the dishes incorporate special, unusual ingredients or flavours. His appetiser ‘Belgian mussels and fries’ deceives in presentation: a real mussel is squeezed between an
edible shell of potatoes and squid ink and is served with mayonnaise with the taste of fries. A starter with razor clams, white asparagus, green herbs oil, lobster oil and fresh herbs & flowers is beautiful both in presentation and in taste: when a juice of razor clams is added, the dish transforms into a beautiful landscape of colours and flavours. The langoustine dish demands more effort from the customer: several ingredients like a fresh almond, a condiment of cherry and trout roe are drawn on the plate while the langoustine is grilled real-time on a special Japanese Ishiyaki stone. The dish comes with a timer so you know when to flip the langoustine (or leave it to cook on one side only) and the guest himself mixes the ingredients and eats this Asian-influenced course with his hands.
The sommelier Maxim Demuynck was trained by Sang-Hoon - who started his culinary career as a sommelier himself - and offers interesting wine pairing arrangements with an array of international wines. The restaurant also offers juice pairings, which are highly recommended. The juices are made using ultrasonic vibrations to extract the flavours and colours out of spices, herbs, vegetables and fruits. This way the juices (like strawberry-pepper or rhubarb) have an incredibly strong flavour while maintaining a beautiful colour.
Dining at L’Air du Temps guarantees an unforgettable gastronomical experience with its exceptional cuisine and high doses of creativity. Sang-Hoon is a true food magician and impresses with his dare to use original ingredients and flavours and exceeds culinary boundaries with his combinations and preparation techniques.
L’Air du Temps scored 88 points of 100 points in our rating system. View our Top 60 of the world. Back to the reviews.
By Sven & Adriaan
L’Air du Temps
Rue de la Croix Monet 2
Phone: +32 81 81 30 48