Genk restaurant pays homage to region’s mining past

Summary

A stylish new Genk restaurant located on a former mining site is combining great food with a décor that honours the region’s mining history

Sharing menu

If you think a coal mine is no place to find a great dining experience, think again. A new restaurant in Genk is an exciting addition to Limburg’s restaurant scene and also pays tribute to the province’s industrial past.

Partaasch is located on the first floor of Thor Central, the main building of the former Waterschei mine site. A double staircase leads up to a spacious landing where the restaurant’s stylish bar, lounge and dining room are arranged in a U-shape behind glass walls.

The décor was inspired by the valuable coal that the miners brought to the surface, known as “black gold.” Black leather banquettes, marble-topped tables and touches of gold hint at the Art Deco origins of the building.

The name Partaasch is taken from the French word partager, meaning “to share,” in a nod to the mine’s directors, who came from Wallonia. This is the main concept here, with a “sharing menu” offering a choice of three to six courses to be eaten by everyone at the table. Each course is communally served on one platter.

We chose the three-course menu for €40, with paired wines for an extra €18 per person. Our meal got off to a slow start, but the wait was made worth our while with a succession of excellent amuse-bouches.

First up, a sliver of smoked sardine nestled in a bed of pearl couscous, followed by a mini-croquette of duck confit. Next, two savoury soesjes or puffs filled with crab meat that looked exactly like lumps of black coal were served on a wood-handled shovel, in a witty reference to the building’s original tenants.

Our first course was langoustines with avocado and citrus, the sweet shellfish perfectly balanced with the tang of grapefruit and orange. The main course was presa, a tender cut of neck pork, with cauliflower, black garlic and cordyceps mushrooms.

Everything was cooked and seasoned to perfection, the flavours and textures combined with a deft hand.

For dessert, there was an upside-down lemon tart with meringue and pistachio ice cream. The danger in sharing dessert is that each of us was racing to get our fair share before it disappeared.

For those who prefer to order separately, all dishes are also available à la carte. On the other hand, the set menus are a great value, and fun besides. Small plates are served in the bar area.

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