I still remember the days when I was a child and I used to go with my father to buy bread at a bakery close to our house in Malta. The baker would be visible in the background, all white and covered with flour. At times, it was he who would serve his clients.
The oven used to be at the back of the bakery, visible to clients and one could get a whiff of the bread baking in the oven as soon as you turned the corner of the street where the bakery was.
Alas these days it is difficult to find a bakery making its own bread. Memories have a great impact on our interaction with food. So a visit to De Superette in Gent last weekend triggered a lot of nostalgia.
De Superette is the brainchild of Kobe Desramaults of restaurant In De Wulf, who dreamt up the concept together with Rose Green and Sarah Lemke. It centres around the bakery. The stone oven and the baker’s work space are at the heart of De Superette. It is a place where you go to buy bread but it is also one where you go to eat breakfast, lunch or even dinner. In the evenings, they use the bread oven to makes pizzas.
“We dreamed together about starting up a wood fired bakery. Thanks to the passion and creativity of a great team, it turned out to be so much more. It became a place where our wildest dreams collide,” Kobe says on De Superette’s website.
To cook breakfast, lunch or dinner they have a grill which uses the embers that are generated from the wood that is burning in the stone oven. This is a great way of adding flavour but also ensuring that energy is not lost.
The bread is excellent but we got a taste of that at De Vitrine (Kobe’s restaurant in Gent) the night before and knew what to expect.
The service is good. This is a place to relax and spend a lazy morning or afternoon reading your newspaper or magazine.
Two of us had the Toast Champignon which came with mushrooms, cabbage, anchovies, green garlic and egg. It was extremely tasty and makes you long for more. We also had a dish of a shrimps and mayonnaise, accompanied by a small pizza dough with an egg in the middle. Both were excellent.
Gent is known as the vegetarian capital of Europe. It is also a great foodie destination with some great restaurants and concepts.
De Superette is one such concept. In many ways it is unique. Probably every city wishes it had such a place.
Is this worth a detour? If you are interested in good food then this is recommended, particularly if you are spending a weekend in Gent. It is slightly off the beaten track but still within walking distance from the centre. We couldn’t resist picking up a loaf of bread to take home with us. That is saying something given we live next to what I consider to be one of the best bakers, if not the best baker in Brussels.
De Superette is open from Wednesday to Sunday. The bakery opens at 8am. Breakfast is served between 8am and 10.45am. Lunch is served between 11.30am and 2.30pm. Dinner is served between 7pm and 10.30pm. It is closed between 5m and 6.30pm.
You can only make reservations for dinner.
It can be found on Guldenspoorstraat 29, Ghent.
For those who will be in Antwerp till 21 December you can get a taste of De Superette. They have opened a pop-up there.