On a test Le Vugo in Mouscron: generous and gourmet cuisine

They analyze and transmit to the brain

The house is now called Le Vugo, a very intriguing sign. We are welcomed there by Clémentine Bataille, the partner of chef Jérôme Axters. It was she who chose this name, which she wanted to be short and arouse curiosity while still having a connection with gluttony. Mission accomplished. The risk of confusion with a homonym is very low. And reference is made to the chemoreceptors identified by the German physiologist Bassa Vugo. These nerve cells located on the tongue identify tastes and smells and analyze the flavor of food to convey feelings of salty, sweet, bitter or sour to the brain. The house logo, which can be found on the map and on the wall of the bar, is the representation of these Vugo receivers.

Jérôme Axters, 36, a Belgian who grew up in Roubaix, notably worked at the Château du Mylord in Ellezelles and at Peter Goossens’ Hof van Cleve in Kruishoutem. Clémentine Bataille was a childcare worker in her first life. Here she is now head waiter and sommelier.

We always start with a vegetable sorbet

Marie and Simon are installed on the terrace hidden in bamboo. They will very quickly realize that the table here is as generous as it is gourmet. They start with hamachi, a fish cooked in salt, sugar and lime, like a gravlax, and on which is very finely grated dried bonito. It is enriched with the vegetable sorbet that always accompanies the first starter.

To follow: plies with a full-bodied bouillabaisse foam and smoked potatoes. Then the best cut of the Iberian pork, the presa, served with broad beans and a Treviso salad whose bitterness is offset by the sweetness of the stracciatella, the creamiest part of the Apulian burrata. Two desserts to end on a high note: a green apple sorbet with cucumber marinated in a light sugar syrup and a chocolate sweetness with a pistachio diplomate cream.

As he leaves, Simon lingers for a moment in front of the moss panel made of plants that have undergone a process of preservation to keep the appearance of living greenery.

Marie is happy with her evening. His chemoreceptors did a good job. They correctly perceived the acidity of the hamachi, the saltiness of the bouillabaisse foam and the sweetness of the crème diplomate. They immediately transmitted the information to the brain. Received five out of five, the message was clear: tasteful dishes and tasty meals!

LE VUGO, rue du Phénix, 29, in Mouscron. Lunch at 30 €. Menus at 43, 58 and 73 €. Closed on sunday and monday. 056/ 34 49 55. www.levugorestaurant.be

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