Restaurant Markt XI is a small gastronomic restaurant located in De Haan, one of Belgium’s most pleasant coastal towns. The restaurant is located in the centre of the town, within walking distance of the sea. It is housed in a beautifully renovated mansion with a small terrace at the back. The interior of Markt XI is modern, sleek and minimalistic. White is the main colour in the restaurant and the tables are traditionally covered with white linen. The open kitchen in the middle of the restaurant creates a pleasant dynamics between the guests and the chef. Markt XI is a small and cosy restaurant: up to 26 guests can enjoy lunch or dinner here.
Chef Patron Benny Van Torre is the Manager and Chef of the restaurant. Benny was born in a fishermen family and started with a butcher education. He quickly discovered that his real passion lay in gastronomy and started working in top restaurants such as Hertog Jan and Bartholomeus to refine his skills. In 2011, the young chef was ready for his own challenge and bought a small house in the center of De Haan together with his wife Katrijn Blondé. The couple renovated and decorated the interior themselves and quickly developed the restaurant into one of the best culinary restaurants at the Belgian coast. Today, they still work in the restaurant alone (Benny in the kitchen, Katrijn in the dining room) and together they serve their guests with a smile and never-ending motivation.
The Chef represents a pure kitchen where tradition and innovation are brought together. He cooks with local produce wherever possible, but is also fascinated by different food cultures which is translated into the plates as well. Benny offers a well-balanced, fine and modern cuisine, full of flavours. Guests can choose between dishes à la carte or a degustation menu in four up to six courses.
The fine-dining approach of the Chef can be illustrated with his preparation with north sea crab: a delicate tartar of north sea crab is combined with sliced rolls of apple, a tasty curry cream, parsley cream, and a refreshing broth and sorbet. A delicate, fresh dish and an excellent starter of the menu. As a main course, Benny serves pigeon and combines the delicate flesh meat with flower sprout, celeriac and mustard. The pigeon is of superb quality and cooked to perfection. In the plate, it is served with only a few ingredients so that it truly gets the attention it deserves.
Markt XI is a highly recommended restaurant on the Belgian coast. Chef Benny Van Torre brings a well-balanced, high-end cuisine with top-quality products. His wife Katrijn serves the guests in style, with discretion, and offers elegant, appropriate wines with the chef’s dishes. The couple deserves respect for managing this restaurant all by themselves.
Written by Sven & Frank