Chambre Séparée is a u-shaped counter for 16 around a large open kitchen dominated by wood fired grills, which do all the cooking. There is a comfortable space out front where you wait for your seat at the counter. They invite you to come early to enjoy the space and a cocktail. Our reservation ran a little late so they started with the snacks out there. I don’t know if this was usual or not. Two seatings fill the spaces for this surprise tasting menu. Wine pairings are available but we chose our own bottles of wine to accompany dinner. Vintage rock records are played on a turntable, smoke fills the air ( which will also permeate your clothes by the time you leave) and lighting is pretty dim at the counter. They have been in this location for two and a half years and hope to move the restaurant to the country in another year and a half when it would be time to remodel the building. It is a several hour meal with good pacing, no lags, and great portion control. At the end of the evening they have a written copy of the menu for you as well as a parting gift of housemade bread and butter. Kobe Desramaults is the chef and he and the other chefs presented the food and described it well. They were all very friendly, spoke good English and didn’t mind questions.
We enjoyed gin and tonics with the snacks that started with an egg yolk reduction and lemongrass in a tart shell. It was good.
Next was a rhubarb, verbena and radish in a crisp thin wrapper. It was lemony and fresh tasting. No heat was in the radish at all.
Moving to the counter we enjoyed grilled mackerel that was baked for an hour then coated with shiso and burnt on the grill. The fish was nicely smoked but I would give it only an okay.
Chilled shellfish included a whelk in mayonnaise that was chewy and tasty. It was served on a fork and the whelk shell contained some whelk broth to accompany it. Razor clams were alongside in their shell and were nice but milder and I found dipping them in the whelk broth brought out some good flavors.
Crispy chicken skin held sour cream and a good sized scoop of Oscietra caviar from Belgium. It was a wonderful combination of the yummy caviar on delicious crispy chicken skin. Yum x2.
A scallop was grilled on one side and placed on a sauce made from the organs of scallops. Grilled lemon juice was the final touch on this perfectly cooked scallop. Very tender but still with some chew to the meat, it was great.
A blue oyster was mixed with kohlrabi and lovage. You could really taste the lovely oyster and enjoy the crunch of the mild kohlrabi- an interesting combination of textures.
In a dark domed bowl was crab and chawanmushi with a cep custard. The juice of the crab was combined with tarragon and fermented apricot to finish it out. The tarragon was a nice addition to the yummy custard and there was a generous portion of wonderful crab. This was another tasty one.
Grilled white dune asparagus was decorated with broccoli flowers and set in a rapeseed, cabbage and broccoli sauce. It was really tasty and the top bits of broccoli were barely cooked but still tender. It was a fun nice dish but the flavor of the broccoli tended to overshadow the subtle asparagus flavor.
Langoustine and paksoi (like bok choy) were next. The langoustine was chopped and wrapped in huckleberry (was the oral explanation but maybe translated it was the paksoi leaf) leaves. The sauce was made from the heads of the langoustine and was strongly flavored and delicious. The leaves were tender and easy to cut and the langoustine cooked perfectly. A good combination.
Green asparagus was plated with green herbs, chard, green beans and roses on a rose oil sauce. The asparagus were cooked nicely but overall the dish was too tart and under salted for my tastes. Some of the asparagus looked over charred but had no taste as such.
A risotto of sunflower seeds and sea lavender was topped with an quail egg yolk and in a broth of lambs ear. The sea beans added a lot of texture to the dish. It tasted good and was well seasoned. I loved the idea of using sunflower seeds.
Chef presented a whole Gurnard fish before you received a piece of it covered in lardo. The fish is caught off the Belgian coast. They roasted the fish bones to flavor the sauce. The richness of the lardo wast ideal to pair with the perfectly cooked fish. An excellent dish.
Grilled snails were served on a skewer on top of ramson, potato and spring onion. Upon further questioning I found the mashed potatoes also contained some buttermilk and cheese. It was a very good grouping.
Grilled quail was brushed with it’s jus and sake then finished with lemon juice. It was juicy, tender and tasty. These are local birds and a good bit smaller then California ones.
Hogget (older lamb) was served with green herbs and a sauce of lamb jus, anchovies and herbs. The lamb was pieces from the shoulder, belly and leg. There was lots of flavor in this plate of perfectly cooked lamb. The dish also offers a nice array of textures through the different cuts. It was terrific.
Cheese from Belgium included Cabriolait, Blinker and Rowan. A jam of plum and some sour dough toast completed the plate. Nice flavors here a good sampling of hard and soft cheese.
Chopped sorrel was with licorice plant on a really thin cracker and served along with asparagus ice cream. The ice cream was okay and the herb tart’s predominant flavor was minty. Overall good.
Poppy seed ice cream was with a reduction of spring flowers and blood orange. It was okay, not real exciting.
Keiemse Witte (cheese), bergamot and raspberry was the next dessert. It was not pretty but made up for it in taste and texture. It was a cheese cake like flavor made with raw cow milk and cooked in a wood oven. It was topped with a combination of bergamot, fermented honey and raspberry vinegar. It was tender and creamy and very good. Nicely done.
Mignardises included a hazelnut cream tart with verbena and bee pollen that was tasty, chocolate truffles with shiso vinaigrette and vermouth that ended up a tad on the tart side, and white chocolate with pumpkin seeds and tarragon that were smooth and nice.
Buckwheat waffles with red syrup fermented from sour dough were topped with powdered sugar and whipped cream. They were super crispy and really good.
At the end of the meal we were presented a printed menu of what was served and a loaf of bread with a block of housemade butter to take with us.