The Jane, created by Holland-born chef Sergio Herman and his ally Nick Bril, has made quite a name for itself in Antwerp. It’s hard to miss this spectacular restaurant, which was built inside an old chapel and rehabilitated to welcome over 250 covers a day, booked months in advance. Subversive allusions are everywhere, from the stained glass windows inspired by tattoos to the gigantic neon lights in the shape of skulls, and the stunning open kitchen in lieu of an altar; but they are always coherent. The space, designed by Piet Boon, is completely disorienting; you could be anywhere in the world, New York, Shanghai, or even Hong Kong. Your only point of reference is the massive chandelier (800kg and 12 meters high), made up of 150 lights. Created by the PSLAB agency in Beirut, it gives the space a most particular atmosphere.
Nothing is left to chance, from the electro playlist created by Nick who likes playing DJ in his spare time – and sometimes at The Jane on Saturday nights – to the wait staff dressed in G-Star, wearing “Fashion Club 70” high-tops. And it works. Just like the dishes, which are also over the top: couscous revisited, deconstructed Bloody Mary’s, saffron rice and bouillabaisse- style soup.
Everything is colorful, visually mind-blowing, extremely technical, and filled with multiple textures and assertive flavors.
The 7 to 8 course tasting menu allows no respite for the diner. And if you want to get even more carried away, you can make your way to the Upper Room Bar upstairs with its bold cocktails and tapas. Who said that Michelin-star restaurants had to be boring?