03 March 2009

TARATATA - Hasselt, Belgium

In the middle of Hasselt (Limburg province), there is Taratata, a refined place for mid-30's to have a relaxed dinner on a Friday night either with friends or couple.

The restaurant, whose name derives from 'mixture', 'madness' in Latin, is a clean, quiet place where sober, minimal, modern and elegant architecture (by architects Jo Broukx and Bart Amerika) plays an important role.

The restaurant proposes a fusion, a mixture and a redefinition of tastes and textures by using high quality fresh ingredients to create a well-defined Taratata style.

However, the choice in the menu is a limited one and the too much use of asterisks in the menu indicating the change of price of some dishes draws too much the attention on this (avoidable) aspect.

Among the starters, Taratata is known by its 'Crispy open lasagna with grilled chicken and mushrooms' and the tasty 'Sushi Taratata style'.

Several executions outstand among the mains : the 'Marinated duck fillet, sourdough, mashed sweet potato and Granny Smith apples, sauce of sun-dried cherries and black pepper', the 'Salmon fillet cooked in truffle broth, mushroom ravioli with leek' or 'Grilled lamb with artichokes, mashed lentils and green sauce of black olives and anchovy'.

The concept is good but the restaurant is so worried to define the ideas and values that are claimed to match with the phylosophy of the place and to explain so many things at the same time that it all becomes a bit confusing and ends up by killing the magic.

I regret to have ordered a cinnamon flavoured aperitif, too sweet, unbalanced and which did not match with the food that was about to come to the table.

No comments: