Joël Broekaert eats well-successful prawn tartare

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As a Hanseatic city, Deventer was once a very important trading and port city. The nice thing about it is that it has a relatively large and very rich historic center. De Proosdij is the oldest stone house in the Netherlands (from 1130). Old parts of the city wall are still standing along the IJssel. Deventer is therefore very nice to walk around for a day. And that will eventually make you hungry.

Not far from the Proosdij is a small theater with restaurant: Bouwkunde. It’s an eclectic place: here and there a cactus in a glass jar, designer lamps, decorative green glass vases on the windowsill. There is quite a difference in height in the ceiling and that has been solved very nicely with a sloping work of art made of scrap metal: as if we were sitting under an undulating stage floor.

On the plate

When you open the menu it is immediately clear that this is not just any eatery where you quickly come and chop a steak frites before the show. There are surprisingly nice things in between, such as haddock ceviche and Baambrugs big cheek in the theater menu (two courses with coffee for 29 euros). And further, Prosecutor of Gasconne calf, wild duck, lamb tongues, red gurnard with cockles. The wine list is seven sides.

All dishes can be ordered separately (for 9.50, main 22.50) or as a menu of two courses for 29.50 to four for 43 euros. But first soup. Autumn is already in the air and then it is wonderful to start the meal without a spoon: warm your hands with a cup of celeriac soup.

The autumn salad is an eclectic crescent of vegetables (a sour onion, carrot, mushrooms, leek) that all have their own cooking, parmesan biscuits and porcini mushrooms mousse. The yolk of the quail egg runs neatly and lightly smoked pieces of leek make it just as interesting. That stray walnut and cauliflower rose and especially that shiso-cress as a garnish are completely unnecessary.

The prawn tartare turned out even better. The taste of the raw shrimp comes through nicely, made with fragrant lime zest. A salad of radishes and radish gives spiciness and fresh crunchiness, a very pure avocado mousse provides the greasiness without being bulky and a few sea lavender leaves give a salty touch. This is really a very good dish. A shame about that greasy fried shrimp spring roll that is pontifically over it.

Both entrees give the impression that the chef needs to rely a little more on himself: they are smart dishes, well executed, keep it concise. As with the ravioli with chanterelles. That’s exactly what it should be. Nicely skewed square packages of dough (so you can clearly see that they are handmade), al dente, packed with fresh mushrooms in butter with a good mountain of Parmesan. Do nothing more. Just like the combination of bisque-poon-cockles with a salad of fennel and samphire. It’s just a pity that the fish was fried just a little too long.

There are still some comments: the lamb tongues are great, the sweetbreads a bit sour; the pork belly is perfectly crispy and tender at the same time, only the confit potatoes are large and dry; and the carrot sauce with the duck is more vegetable smoothie. On the other hand, the pointed cabbage is incredibly well prepared in two ways: as a quarter of a head charred dark brown on the grill, the outer leaves almost crepe paper, and gently braised with mushrooms. The duck itself is also pretty classic: red breast, confit leg. And you know what they say: duck all right, all right.

The wine is in most cases excellently chosen. The clairette with the prawn tartar is especially noteworthy: because of the almost vegetable-like acids (you could recognize a broccoli stem in it) in the wine, the tartare does not have to be prepared too vigorously. Wine and food together are the dish here.

Final verdict

There is still room for improvement here and there, I would say leave out some things. Apart from that, Architecture is very well cooked, classic but without too much pretentiousness, and skilfully served. Calling that stage next door a restaurant theater would be a fitting honour.