One of the most talked about things last year was restaurant Meliefste in the Dutch town of Wolphaartsdijk. The first Michelin star that many had predicted was unfortunately not obtained, but they did get a score of 16/20 at GaultMillau and numerous positive reviews. With the prospect of a weekend in Zeeland, it was of essence for us to visit Meliefste.
Meliefste: a favourite stop in Zeeland
This turned out be a great plan, because we are genuine Zeeland fans and driving through the beautiful surroundings with vast plains, water and slopes immediately conjured a smile on our face. That smile got even bigger when we entered the marina of Wolphaartsdijk as this is the picturesque spot near the Veerse Meer where restaurant Meliefste is located. The lovely cool sea air welcomed us; a stiff breeze that gives you, besides a blush on the cheeks, also a healthy appetite. Bring it on! We are ready to completely experience restaurant Meliefste.
The restaurant is housed in the original Veerhuis in the marina, but it got a solid makeover. The contemporary and stylish interior fits perfectly in the picture. During the recent renovations were amongst others the chairs and lamps upgraded, and the kitchen will be taken care off in the next phase, after which it will be 2.5 times as large. A continuous evolution that makes it clear that restaurant Meliefste is a business with ambition. Definitely a place to follow and to revisit regularly as a lot of things change during that phase.
Thijs & Anushka Meliefste
The head-chef is Thijs Meliefste. Before the chef settled down in Wolphaartsdijk, he proved himself at a series of prominent restaurants of the European gastronomy, including Het Gebaar*, Katseveer* en The Fat Duck***. Anushka, the host and partner of Thijs also gained experience in excellent businesses. Therefore, there is no doubt about the fact that they both had the skills to start a new story themselves, and that is how restaurant Meliefste was born. Geert Rutten, the sommelier, is also clearly a man who knows his business. He learned the tricks of the trade at De Karmeliet ***.
“Nature Reflection” menu – Local products, refined flavors
Next to a talented team and a very nice location, the kitchen is of course the most important thing at a restaurant. Key words here are commitment, passion, knowledge and love for the trade. In practice, this is combined with respect for nature and the region, the main source of inspiration. Every season is therefore different and interesting. At Meliefste they work with quality local products, and you can taste that.
We allow to immerse ourselves in the chef’s philosophy and opt for the 8-course menu that was given the name “Nature’s Reflection“. Those who prefer a more modest meal, can choose between four, five, six or seven courses. The menu is of course not complete without wines, and we have to say that the pairing with the food was excellent and fascinating.
We start off with a biscuit and creamy mimolette cheese.
A very special appetizer … That is the least we can say about the second dish. Somewhere down in the branches of a tree two trunks are hidden, made of salsify and served with a dip of creme fraiche and lovage herb oil.
Pumpkin is the next dish’s hero. The vegetable is lacquered with miso and combined with pumpkin cream and an almond crisp.
To conclude the series of amuses we are served a pastry based cone with a filling consisting of chicken liver cream and a pear jelly. Home-smoked trout eggs complete this dish.
Simplicity and finesse define the first appetizer. Mussels are served together with fermented radish, sea oak, dill oil and pear vinaigrette.
The oyster that follows looks like a jellyfish at first glance because of the jelly layer covering it. 🙂 A stunning and delicious jellyfish in any case, as this dish is very beautiful. The Zeeland Creuse is accompanied by oyster jelly and cream with Jerusalem artichoke and a sauce based on whey and chive oil.
Crab from the North Sea goes hand in hand with pickled chanterelles in a bouillon and jelly.
Hand-dived scallops from Norway with parsnip and celeriac, scallop eggs and porcini mushrooms follow together with a bouillon of roasted onion.
Over to the meat with a preparation of pork cheek, romesco (a creamy pepper base), balsamic vinegar, roasted pig skin and chorizo.
The Zeeland deer which was shot by local hunters is absolutely magnificent. Only fermented carrot, pumpkin and couscous is needed to accompany this dish.
The first dessert we taste is a combination of candied plum, curd, vanilla, muesli with red fruit and huacatay.
To finish off, we get a dessert with apple, beurre noisette cream, raisins and meringue.
There is however no real end without mignardises. At Meliefste the assortment consists of a salty caramel presented on short rib, a financier-pastry, a honey snack and a chestnut chocolate with cèpes and rosemary.
Time flies … We order a glass of house champagne to conclude our visit.
We combined our visit to Meliefste with a weekend in Zealand. We stayed at Hotel Restaurant The Roosevelt in Middelburg. Another culinary stop we made was restaurant De Kluizenaer in Goes. Do you want to know more about these places? Then click on the link in the name and you will be taken to the articles we wrote about them.