Many restaurants are into seasonal food and locally grown products, but restaurant Bochica in the small Brabant town of Reusel takes it to the next level. Restaurant Bochica has it’s own vegetable garden!
Chef Lucas and souschef Bart both got a piece of land at a collective vegetable garden just a few blocks away from the restaurant.
You can tell how passionate about food they are as they decided to grow their own besides running two busy restaurants (besides restaurant Bochica you can also find Easy By Lucas in the same building). They had no knowledge of growing your own food when they started but they’re learning as they go and often get advice from the other men that have a piece of land there.
In the garden you can find vegetables like courgettes and tomatoes, fruits like strawberries and blackberries and many herbs like vervain, rosemary and lemon balm. Lucas and Bart also love edible flowers as they make every dish even more beautiful.
I had a look in their vegetable garden and watched them pick some strawberries and edible flowers. After that we went back to the restaurant and my boyfriend and I enjoyed a delicious dinner with ingredients from their garden. We had this rosemary cracker with goat cheese as an amuse-bouche made with rosemary from their garden.
Lucas just started a new project; he planted his own tomato plants in a self-made greenhouse. They’re already growing quite well so in the future he can use his self grown tomatoes for this amuse with tomato cremeux, pickle and basil pastille and a crunch of herbs de Provence.
Restaurant Bochica in Reusel doesn’t have a menu. You just choose if you want 5, 6 or 7 courses and let the chef know your dietary wishes. I asked for a vegetarian menu and it was no problem at all. Our first course was this colorful dish, that almost looks like a vegetable garden on its own. It’s pumpkin with lemon, green asparagus, cantaloupe melon and artichoke.
Before we continued to our second course we got these vegetarian oysters. The oyster shells are filled with soured strawberries, cream cheese and mojito granite with mint from their own garden. A very refreshing neutralizer before we continued to the next course.
You don’t work towards a main course at Bochica, so all the dishes are roughly the same size. This beautiful dish is made with couscous, tomato pesto, basil and a crumble of green vegetables.
Our third course might look like a cocktail but it’s actually marinated tomato, roasted artichoke, mushroom cream, baked out Italian bread and an oil based on green herbs. Don’t worry, we didn’t have to drink it, we got a spoon to enjoy this unique dish.
Our fourth dish was this sweet-and-sour roasted leek, caramelized Granny Smith apple, furikake (Japanese seaweed herbs) and a black truffle foam. All the dishes at Bochica had quite a few ingredients in them but they all matched very well. Especially the different textures and different ways of preparing the ingredients made the dishes stand out.
The fourth dish actually consisted of two dishes. In the background you see small Pomme Dauphines with almond and smoked milk. In the foreground you see Pomme Dauphines with a sauce of bell peper served with a carrot cilinder and avocado. Pomme Dauphines are made from mashed potatoes and got a crispy layer around it.
Before we got to our sixth and last course we got a pre-dessert. We feel very spoiled, as 6 courses and two amuse-bouche is already quite a lot. But I didn’t want to have missed these passionfruit ice cream lollipops covered with white chocolate, because they were divine.
I’m surprised that I still had room for dessert, but I guess when you’re dessert is this nice you make room for it. This dessert is made with raspberries, a ‘Napoleon Crunchy’ and the typical Dutch ‘hangop’. You can see some edible flower petals that we picked in the garden earlier. And the waiter came to shave some chocolate truffle over the dessert at the table.