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LE:EN – tasting the new menu

Restaurant LEEN Explore Utrecht 1

The new menu at restaurant LE:EN
Restaurant LE:EN located on Heuveloord is a favorite of the Explore Utrecht team. Yes, we are a big fan of this Asian Fusion Restaurant and regularly visit for a nice evening out. When I was asked whether we wanted to taste the new dishes I did not hesitate one minute. The appointment was quickly scheduled and blogger Lisa and I went biked to the restaurant for a evening of Asian Fusion dinning.

LE:EN is located in an industrial building on Heuveloord. The property is huge and has a good terrace up front. Inside it is very spacious with different dinning areas and seating areas with comfortable sofas where you can lounge. At LE:EN you can have lunch and dinner, but you can also go for a cocktail with some small bites. The creative lay-out of the restaurant has a comfy feeling and you can pick your own seat to fit your wishes for the evening. The decor is awesome, with giant wall paintings, a large central bar, industrial lamps and lots of green. The open kitchen is the heart of the restaurant, here you can see the chef and his crew preparing the delicious dishes.

The concept? A menu inspired by Asian cuisine with influences from Korea and Vietnam to Thailand to Indonesia. And this makes the menu at LE:EN divers. These are all small dishes that you can share. If you want to;-) LE:EN stands for fair food and pure food. The chef uses meadow meat and sustainable fish for the dishes.

Which dishes did we taste at LE:EN? 
The evening began with a plateau with bread & dips. This isn’t new on the menu and hopefully it will be on their forever. I did ask the manager not to ever take the bread & dips plateau of the menu. It is simple and delicious. I’m especially a fan of the coconut-coriander chutney. Deliciously dipping! To purify the taste buds we drunk a fresh Yuzu sake made from the Wakayama Tsuru Ume fruit, a Japanese citrus.

This was followed by two salads and a soup: raw pumpkin salad, raw beet salad and a Red Lentil soup. The lentil soup was rich in taste and very filling, so we had a few spoons. (Yes, because it was just the beginning.) I don’t like shrimp so unfortunately the pumpkin salad wasn’t really my dish. Lisa on the other hand, eat the whole salad. But the favorite dish of this first course was the raw beet salad with Arugula, sunflower seeds, green chili, cumin and papadumchips. Side note: You should like cumin, because the taste is very present (but not predominant) in the beet salad. Also with these dishes was a matching sake: the Kizan, a fruity sake with notes of Apple and anise, from the island of Honshu.

The third course consisted of four hot dishes: baked haddock, spicy Indian rundercurry, steak sambal, followed by fried broccoli and cauliflower. The haddock was soft and melted like butter on your tongue. I eat all the spicy Indian rundercurry, it was deliciously soft and the spiciness and sweetness were balanced just right. The cucumber raita in the curry was very surprising and delicious. We shared the steak sambal, so this dish is a favorite for us both. The vegetarian dish is a good addition to the fish and meat dishes. With these dishes we drunk a glass of Hakugyokuko sake, a recipe from 1897, unfiltered, complex, robust and very tasty.

The desserts: cake of chocolate mousse and warm Apple gyoza’s. For a chef that has nothing with desserts (huh?!) these are certainly worth ordering. We do like desserts a lot and so we were very excited when they served two different desserts for us to taste. Well, taste..! Let’s just say we cleaned the plates. And the matching biden sake, deep matured with a hint of caramel and almond, was the perfect match. The warm Apple gyoza’s, a traditional Dutch dessert in an Asian style, were delicious.

LE:EN remains in the top five! The building, the atmosphere, the food, the cocktails, the special coffees but also friendly and attentive crew are all USP’s of LE:EN. All of this is absolutely worth a visit. At Explore Utrecht we always give a honest opinion about the spots we visit. I am very glad that it has become a positive review. Otherwise I had to find a new favorite restaurant, to complete my top five. Fortunately I visit LE:EN often and the quality and service is always top notch.

What else I would like to order at LE:EN? Well, the rest of the menu of course! So I will probably see you at Heuveloord, for an evening at LE:EN.

Address: Heuveloord 140
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Photo credits – Michaela – The new life beginning (interieur)
Photo credits – Lisa Peters – City Expert –  (gerechten)

Restaurant LEEN Explore Utrecht 4