New food bus takes dinner out on the road

Summary

Every week, Flanders Today surveys the world of local cuisine to fill you in on the best recipes for authentic dishes, not-to-miss culinary events and special eateries. This week: Dinner on the Road

Alan Hope on food and drink in Flanders

We’ve had Dinner in the Sky; we’ve had meals served atop the arches in Jubelpark; we’ve dined while trundling through Brussels on a tram. There’s no end to the wacky ways people can think of to make eating a more interesting experience beyond simply what’s on the plate.

Now along comes Dinner on the Road, which claims to be the “first travelling restaurant in the world”. (True if you ignore the Tram Experience and every long-distance train ever.) Dinner on the Road is a customised bus with a kitchen and 16 places for diners around a communal table. It’s fitted with a sort of conveyor belt serving platform such as you might find in a sushi bar, necessary because there’s no room for servers to pass behind the diners.

“With Dinner on the Road we want to offer the public an original culinary experience with a futuristic touch,” explains co-founder David Ghysels, one of the brains behind Dinner in the Sky, which puts diners around a table dangling from a crane above the Brussels skyline. “Dinner on the Road is not just the latest pop-up restaurant, as it goes to pick clients up and later drops them off where they want to be, whether that’s a hotel, an office or a monument.”

They aim to attract B2B customers – perhaps a company that takes over the whole bus for an evening, says co-founder Stefan Kerkhofs – but also members of the public, who will be able to sign up for particular routes. Those include a mining route in Limburg, a trip to the coast or a ride amid the hills and dales of the Flemish Ardennes.

“The strength of the concept is that it could be anywhere, because we come to you,” Kerkhofs says. Within Belgium, the bus will be available for hire, including all fixtures and fittings. For interested parties outside Belgium, the buses are for sale.

The start-up bus uses 25% less fuel than a normal bus of its size. By 2020, Ghysels says, they’re aiming to be fully electric. Dinner on the Road begins on 29 October, and you can sign up now for updates.

Meanwhile, Dinner in the Sky, the pair’s first bright idea to change the way the nation dines, goes from strength to strength, with the concept now sold to 50 countries, most recently Australia, Malaysia, Norway and Singapore.

Artist’s impression courtesy Dinner on the Road