New Bistro Mature takes a laid-back approach to good food

Summary

A contemporary restaurant has opened in an Antwerp suburb that’s not known for its fancy dining

On food and drink in Flanders

The Antwerp suburb of Deurne is not known for its fine dining or Michelin-starred restaurants. Most establishments in the area cater to the predominantly older crowd who know what they like and aren’t persuaded by innovation in the kitchen.

So it was some surprise to the locals when Bistro Mature opened just down the road from Riverienhof, one of Antwerp’s largest and most popular parks. Not only does Bistro Mature stand out from the crowd thanks to its modern and contemporary look, it has a food and drinks menu to match.

That’s no surprise when you find out that chef Kevin de Backer, best known for his restaurant B23 on Brouwersvliet near the MAS museum, is the brains behind it. While B23 is aimed at the gastronomic crowd with its extensive tasting menus, Bistro Mature has a pared-down offer and relaxed atmosphere that won’t frighten the locals.

Whether you just want to stop by for a coffee or a beer, are looking for something light or are ready for a full gourmet experience, this is the place to be.

And you can tell that a master chef is at work in the kitchen. There’s a great selection of fine quality produce on offer, from three-week aged Irish beef and succulent ribs from Duroc pigs to farm-raised chicken and fresh grilled salmon.

The children’s menu is also more extensive and interesting than you might expect, with baby steaks and the Duroc ribs available for junior gourmands. Fish sticks, pasta and chicken round out the offer.

Another feature is the excellent selection of beers and wines by the glass and a large vermouth menu. There is also an excellent selection of iced teas.

When it comes to dessert, the offering is a little more in line with what you’d find at any average bistro. But here again, freshness and simplicity are the watchwords, elevating what could be humdrum to sublime.

You can also finish the meal with an assortment of cheeses from Callebaut, the cheesemasters from Oudenaarde. Although not a vast offer, the selection is well-chosen.

While Bistro Mature is billed as the little sister of B23, it more than lives up to the expectations of its older sibling.