April 8, 2004
After passing through the curtain, the interior of the restaurant is marked by a playful layout of fluorescent light fixtures. They are more for show, as the overall lighting effect is rather subdued and is complimented by candles at each table. The walls are tastefully decorated with various artworks. The minimalist gold and black bar area has shelves of liquors and glasses all attractively displayed for the patrons to see. With such a fine bar, the list of liquors is naturally a good one. The youthful and handsome wait staff members all seem like natural fits at this establishment.
Diners are treated to a complimentary plate of olives and potato chips (not fries), along with a flavorfully crusty multigrain roll. The menu features International fusion cuisine with a heavy accent on the French side. The rack of lamb was quite tender and juicy, artistically presented with asparagus spears and a tangy parmesan cheese sauce. I enjoyed a glass of Duvel with my meal, a fine Belgian beer that seemed to be a good match with the lamb. You can choose entrees like lobster or steak. I saved room for dessert, which was a generous serving of vanilla creme brulee. The bowl is low and flat, so there is a lot of surface area if you like that crisp caramelized glazing.
Hippodroom is not a cheap place to dine, and you can easily run up a healthy tab with an expensive dessert or a few drinks. It is, however, a fantastic restaurant for a romantic dinner splurge or a casual evening with your good friends. It feels hip yet cozy at the same time. In the warmer months, there is an outdoor patio. The restaurant is open seven days a week.
From journal Bill in Belgium - ANTWERP