REVIEW | Restaurant SELSation in Hemiksem 

In February, Bert and Wim took me to their favourite restaurant: SELSation, in Hemiksem

Located in a row house in Hemiksem in the province of Antwerp, SELSation is is run by chef Wouter Sels and his wife Sandra. Hence the name. It has nothing to do with salt (‘sel‘ in French).

Sels graduated at the famed Antwerp provincial hotel and catering school PIVA and completed internships with The Jane ** and Hof van Cleve ***.

“My wife and I have transformed a cozy living room restaurant into a new full-fledged gastronomic restaurant”, Sels introduces his restaurant on his website

France meets Japan

Sels loves Japan and its flavours. He blends it with French cuisine. “What you can expect from us? A journey through France with Japan as final stop. In between we will occasionally stop at the Middle East, to end up in the Far East. As a chef, I will surprise you with combinations from these ‘top’ gastronomic countries.”

“I will take fresh produce to a higher level with great care and passion, and your pallet will be challenged. My wife will also be able to surprise you with her smile and personal welcome that will make you feel immediately welcome. Her hobbyhorse is also the careful selection of matching wines with each new menu With us you are a guest, not a customer”, Sels says. 

Bread.

February – April 2022 menu

Sels changes his menu every two months. We had dinner at the end of February.

As SELSation is a small restaurant – we counted 18 couverts – the set menu is wat ypu get. You can choose between four courses (60 euros), five courses (68 euros) or six courses (76 euros). On Fridays, Saturdays and holidays you can only have the 5-course or 6-course menu.

Wine pairing is possible: 24, 32 or 40 euros respectively. 

The menu

  1. appetizer: corvina / chorizo / parmesan / pea / Thai curry;
  2. intermediate course: salmon / zucchini / tsuyu no moto / horseradish / codium;
  3. intermediate course 2: skrei / broccoli / shiitake / dashi – truffle / coriander seed;
  4. main dish: guinea fowl / corn / sukiyaki / miso / sweet soy sauce;
  5. cheese: assortment of cheeses from cheesemonger Van Tricht;
  6. dessert: chocolate / mascarpone / sea buckthorn berry / marzipan.

To these six courses, you can add amuses-bouche before the appetizer and petits fours to accompany your coffee or tea. 

Tasting

The ‘France meets Asia‘ speech is no marketing talk. You do get a mix of French culinary practice with flavours from Asia. The appetizer was a clean hit. The corvina (a fish), with the chorizo and the Thai curry are a wonderful, original cocktail of flavours. 

Different types of mushroom were a recurring theme, as are the tastes of Asia. The guinea fowl was incredibly tender and the miso paired deliciously with it. 

The dishes were and are perfectly executed. The appetizer is memorable. As are the petits fours and especially the ganache tartlet with goldleaf. Yum. They follow up on a desert which ticks my boxes: chocolate and chocolate. That chocolate sauce is a wonder. I’d better not know how the chef prepares it. 

Petits fours.

So?

If you are well-versed in gastronomy, SELSation will perhaps not blow your mind in terms of originality. But a perfect execution, some surprise and and a very competitive pricing for that level of cuisine make SELsation worth an excursion to Hemiksem if you’re in the general area. 

Food, gastronomy and restaurants

18 Comments Add yours

  1. elvira797mx says:

    Wow! & Wow! Looks amazing and irresistible! Enjoy Timothy, you have to do an effort to eat those great dishes, don’t you? Ha,ha, just kidding!
    Have a wonderful week!
    Elvira

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Timothy says:

      Actually the portions were good. I didn’t feel stuffed like a turkey afterwards.

      Thank you. Have a great week yourself.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. elvira797mx says:

        It looks good portions. Ok, that’s great!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Timothy says:

        Yes. It’s not nice when you feel to have to ‘pump’ the food inside. Or that you still feel hungry after six courses.

        Selsation was spot on.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. elvira797mx says:

        Exactly, it is true! Great!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. preetverse says:

    Great post, you can find a restaurant which have mixture of three different kind of flavours. Japan, asia and france.
    That’s great, i think. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Timothy says:

      It certainly is!

      Liked by 1 person

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