restaurant
‘t Hommelhof
Watou

Watouplein 17 – B-8970 Watou
Tel: +3257/38 80 24

chef-stefaan

Dear clients, dear friends

38 years ago this clean shaven boy , full of expectations turned the key of ‘t Hommelhof for the first time. Armed with pots and pans I cooked to my heart’s intent.

Three kitchens later I am closing the door again and – with some melancholy – this time I leave the keys behind . Between those two moments I have lived an unbelievably fascinating part of my life, a part  that I wouldn’t have missed for all the money in the world. Sometimes there were tough nuts to crack but there were countless moments I cherish. Beautiful memories, amusing anecdotes, wild nights, warm friendships and above all the overwhelming gratitude I got in response.

Hundreds of young enthusiasts learned the trade here. Some continued and did well in the trade, others chose another track in life but all of them came back regularly for a chat with the chef. Without their dedication I would never have succeeded.

Many guests became friends, good friends who helped create the atmosphere and set the course.  They too contributed to the success.

‘It takes a village to raise a child’  or in my case a restaurant. And for this too I am very grateful. Without the kind support of neighbours, colleagues, event organisers, local pub philosophers and understanding local authorities ‘t Hommelhof would not have been able to flourish.

Last but not least I want to mention my family and especially my son Simon and his family. Without them it all would have been been meaningless.

From now on I want to live a more relaxed life, have some more time for my dear ones and best friends.

All the best

Goodbye …

Stefaan

Farewell menu until Whitmonday (lunch) the 6th of June

Terrine of foie gras and “Poperingsche Kruydekoucke” with an ox tail and Cuvée jelly
***
Langoustines with asparagus, morel mushrooms and fresh peas in Watou’s Witbier
***
Young Steenvoorde pigeon in ’t Kapittel Prior with a spring vegetables stew
***
Biramisu with strawberries, pistachios and Kriek

€ 87,00 serv and VAT incl.

menu

Starters

Fried scampi salad, lobster ayonnaise, raspberry beer Boon and

balsamic vinegar vinaigrette
€ 19,50

A salsa of a variety of tomatoes

in Rodenbach with Burata
€ 19,50

Veal tartar with anchovies

mayonnaise and Yperman
€ 19,50

Seabass carpaccio marinated in raspberry beer and lime with

finely chopped vegetables
€ 19,50

main dishes

Leg of ham in

Sint-Bernardus tripel
€ 22,50

Rabbit stew in ‘t Kappitel Blond

€ 21,50

Rack of lamb with parsley, mustard and garlic

in ‘t Kapittel Pater with ratatouille
€ 22,00

(Le Petit nerf) steak brewer’s style with a duxelle of goose liver,

confit shallots,chi-tac-kee and oxtail
€ 25,00

Pan fried cod with wild mushrooms and bacon

in Yperman and truffle puree
€ 29,50

“Catch of the day” with buttermilk potatoes, North Sea shrimp and

a mousseline of St.-Bernardus Tripel
€ 23,00

Paella in Poperings Hommelbier

with grilled vegetables
€ 21,50

Baby lobster braised in Watou’s Witbier

with fresh herbs
€ 31,00

Young Steenvoorde pigeon in sint Bernardus tripel

with spring vegetables
€ 32,00

For smooth service Please limit your choice to a maximum of three different dishes per table

Brouwersmenu

Veal tartar with anchovies mayonnaise and Yperman
or
Seabass carpaccio marinated in raspberry beer and lime with finely chopped vegetables
 or
A salsa of a variety of tomatoes in Rodenbach with Burata
***
Rack of lamb with parsley, mustard and garlic in ‘t Kapittel Pater with ratatouille
 or
“Catch of the day” with buttermilk potatoes, North Sea shrimp and a mousseline of St.-Bernardus Tripel
 or
Paella in Poperings Hommelbier with grilled vegetables
***
Crème brulée with cocoa and fresh cherries
 or
Strawberries marinated in ‘Herbes de las dunas’ and a yogurt sorbet

€ 45,00 service and VAT included

  ( these menus are served for the whole party at your table)

Watou

Watou our village

It is a well-known fact that the Westhoek (Maritime Flanders) is inspiring and it goes without saying that Watou plays an important role in this. Nature, peace and quiet are undoubtedly the most important assets, but vision, respect for the patrimony and tireless efforts are added values which should not be underestimated. Just add some proverbial hospitality and then enjoying your stay to the fullest is merely a matter of will. Since about 30 years thousands of interested people have come here to have a taste of our Kunstzomer (Summer of Arts). What is more, every three years music addicts can rejoice over our Gregorian festival. Music, theatre, visual arts and poetry; that is all that is needed to open up our borders to the public and to let our well-preserved town shine for two months before it slowly turns back to its easy-going self. But do not be mistaken! It may be quieter here in the off-season, but there is still a lot to do. Partly due to the above-mentioned events our arts village has slowly turned into an unalloyed Cockaigne. We have had breweries here for ages and they are still alive and kicking. The hotel and catering industry is extraordinary varied and diverse. The exoticism of the French border created the folklore around Blauwers (Smugglers) and Kommiezen (Customs Collectors) leaves the “feeling of a foreign country” intact. Bicycle routes, trails etc. bring you to the most heavenly places. For the ones who are more substantially-minded, there are tons of museums and places of interest within a radius of 30 kilometres. There is Ypres, Poperinge, Veurne and Diksmuide and Cassel, Dunkirk, Lille, Bergues etc. on the other side. In short, too many to mention. Just come and take a look yourself, and please take your time.

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History

I was meant for a career which “I did not have to soil my hands on”. Still – against all good advice – I ended up in a kitchen. At home, in Antwerp, they called me “an obstinate mule” (even though father was from Poperinge himself), but it was that self-will and a fair share of luck that brought me back to my roots in Watou. ‘t Hommelhof, the meeting point for gourmets with a preference for recipes based on beer, has existed for 28 years now! Of course the path was not always strewn with roses, but the beautiful moments definitely outnumber the less memorable. After my training at “Ter Duinen”, a hotel and catering school in Koksijde, the laborious journey from coolie to chef began. A lot of passionate – both national and international – chefs taught me the tricks of the trade. Eventually I received the key to the tabernacle from the hands of Marc Paesbrugghe. The chef of the former starred restaurant “Sir Anthony Van Dijck” showed me that boundaries do not exist and that you have to go further where others stop. The magic word? Creativity! Cooking means both thinking and doing! It is a fact that tastes complete one another or contrast, but the most important thing is to find the right balance. Like many others I thought that uncommonness was the key to success at first, but I soon started to realize that simplicity is complex enough. Trends and novelties are only granted a short life. Besides, you have to depart from the thought that only the best products are good enough, and for that you often have to wake up with the lark. Gradually I got to know special and devoted producers, who were sometimes living just around the corner. Working with locals offers you the priceless advantage that you can follow the growth and breed process from beginning to end and acquire an unbelievable product knowledge.

Of course you cannot start up a suchlike project on your own. Luckily, we are all on the same page, so work and family are linked up with each other perfectly. Moreover, our team has always consisted of highly motivated people. Some of them have left in order to start on their own, and I am always very pleased to hear that they are doing well. As they often ask me for tips or advice and because I want to please everyone, I wrote down my inspiration in a bulky reference work around “Cooking with Beer”. In this book I have tried to explain the be-all and end-all of using beer in meals, the way experience taught me. Of course I did not invent the wheel and it is a fact that beer has been used in the kitchen since time immemorial, but I can say that my clever experimenting has often lead to pleasant surprises. I am more than happy to continue my fascinating voyage of discovery, as I am sure that the ultimate taste sensation is waiting for me somewhere along the way. Once I have reached that point, you will be the first to share in my ecstasy!

Stefaan Couttenye

Contact


Watouplein 17 B-8970 Poperinge (Watou)


+32 57 38 80 24


info@hommelhof.be


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 Restaurant T’Hommelhof – Cuisine à la bière

Closing days: Monday evening, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday Evening

online reservation

It is a well-known fact that the Westhoek (Maritime Flanders) is inspiring and it goes without saying that

 Watou plays an important role in this. Nature, peace and quiet are undoubtedly the most important assets, but vision, respect for the patrimony and tireless efforts are added values which should not be underestimated.

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