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Saturday 20 April 2024

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Ostend’s fabulous Taverne Koekoek, for bargain chicken lickin’ on the Belgian Coast


Each evening we spent relaxing outside Poco Loco, we noticed a rather enticing, though undiscernable, foody aroma.

Where was it coming from? We looked up and down the street, sniffing the air like a demented cat when a side of beef is roasting in the kitchen, and eventually – appetites sharpened to a point – tracked it down to Taverne Koekoek.

This, we decided, was supper in the bag. They must have a scrumptious menu to exude such exquisitely favourable assaults on our senses of smell. Downing the last of our drinks, we ambled across and were warmly welcomed and seated. Ordering two glasses of red, we politely asked the waitress for the food menu.

“No food,” came the equally polite reply, “just half chickens and bread.” She smiled sweetly and, seeing our bemused expressions, vanished behind the bar to fetch our wine. Just half chickens and bread? We thought for a moment, decided that, at that time of night our alternatives were either that Belgian delicacy of chips and mayo, or a good old McDonald’s’. Maybe this chicken lickin’ was worth a try. And it was food in our book, anyway.

We were, indeed, right in our conjecture. Two freshly roasted half chickens were brought almost immediately to our table, complete with a basket of bread. What a treat! To say the birds were delicious would be a massive understatement. Pre-seasoned to perfection, these avian delights just melt in your mouth. There’s something pleasurably visceral about eating a well cooked chicken with your fingers, the way nature intended. The house wine was perfectly quaffable, too. But the biggest surprise of all was the bill; at a little over 18 euros for the two of us, it was even cheaper than McDonald’s. A brilliant place, superbly run and what a great idea. Well done guys!

Taverne Koekoek
Langestraat 38
8400 Ostend


Tel.: 0032 59 70 89 70


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