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Blend’s Buysse Brothers Return to Brasserie on the Eighth Serving Up Tastes of the Dutch Golden Age

April 5, 2018 Dining No Comments Email Email

Last year, Dutch restauranteurs-brothers Hendrik and Kamiel Buysse made a splendid impression on Hong Kong diners in the culinary showcase at Conrad Hong Kong. In celebration of the fourth edition of Dutch Days in Hong Kong, the hotel, Asia Week Hong Kong, the Consulate of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Qatar Airways have invited the Dutch duo to return and set up a pop-up restaurant at Brasserie on the Eighth from 20 to 29 April, reinterpreting the cooking of the Dutch Golden Age from the 17th century with modern techniques. During this period, the restaurant will also double as a gallery displaying the works of Dutch fine art photographer Frank van Driel, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the arts and culture of the lowland country.

In 2015, the Buysee brothers created the cutting-edge dining concept Blend, a “restaurant” without a permanent address. It opens as a pop-up destination in different countries around the world, merging elements of gastronomy, mixology and entertainment into a multi-sensory experience. The older brother Hendrik boasts tenures at Michelin-starred restaurants in Zeeland, the Netherlands such as Oud Sluis and De Kromme Watergang, where he was exposed to the most advanced approaches in cooking, and developed a passion for the quality, natural ingredients from his native soil. His sibling and partner Kamiel is an expert in mixology and music, having worked at Europe’s top clubs. Each bringing their forte to the venture, the Buysses have ignited a revolution in the global dining scene, with the popularity of Blend shooting up every time they visit a new location.

In partnership with chef Daniel Lee at Brasserie on the Eighth, the Buysee brothers will present two degustation dinner menus with four and six courses. The inspiration behind the dishes, the Dutch Golden Age was a time when maritime and trading activities brought the Netherlands significant wealth, as well as exotic plants and ingredients, which the royalty of the country used to combine with the finest local ingredients to forge a new Dutch cuisine. Recommended items from the menus include herring, beetroot, sunchoke, horseradish and caviar, a collage of the Netherlands’ most common produce and luxuries enjoyed by the nobles four centuries ago. “Duroc blended croquettes” mixes many now-unused cut of a pig which would be used by the people of the time. It is served with curry – newly imported to the country from India then – and micro greens and spicy sesame and paired with Duvel beer, also a Golden Age staple. Another entrée veal sausage, “peekluts” (cooked carrot, potato and onion), mustard cream and misuna black truffle is adapted from a popular recipe among the average families at that time, served in a cast iron pan as how it should be in the past.

The sense of nostalgia extends to the list of newly-designed cocktails by Kamiel. The expresso “Golden Age” cocktail is emblematic of the era, employing coffee beans, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and star anise, all first acquired by the Dutch East India Company from foreign lands. Genever, a traditional Dutch gin, is paired with the oriental flavours of Indian garam masala and mandarin.

Served from 20 to 29 April, the Dutch Golden Age degustation menus are priced at HK$980* (four courses) and HK$1,280* (six course) respectively, with the option of wine and cocktail pairings by Kamiel for another $480*. The special dinner on 24 April (priced at HK$1,488*) will provide diners an extra snippet of Dutch culture, as famous native accordionist Vincent van Amsterdam will perform classic pieces from the Golden Age at the restaurant, as diners enjoy the best food and drinks the low country has to offer. Furthermore, the Buysee brothers together with a Dutch seafood specialist will co-host a Dutch Oyster and Caviar Master class on 28 April priced at HK$688* for a truly Dutch experience.

* Subject to 10% service charge

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