OH MY COD: Delicious dish at Macaao

THE black cod came out glistening as brightly as the sea in front of me. 

Imported from Iceland, it was served up with a medley of vegetables and sat on a bed of mash and cep mushrooms, with tiny cherry tomatoes as a garnish.

And, as cod goes, it really gets no better, being as succulent as it was meaty and flavoursome.

It should have come as no surprise, the restaurateur behind Macaao having heralded from a long line of Belgium restaurant owners, not to mention training on the Cote d’Azur, with the likes of legend Alain Ducasse.

Open, friendly and bristling with enthusiasm, Michael Dhondt and his wife Christine are your perfect hosts.

“We ran two restaurants back in the St Tropez of Belgium, Knokke le Zoute, before deciding to up sticks and make a go of it here two years ago,” he explains.

Having employed a fabulous chef Peter Cernac, he knew he had a chance.

Concentrating on fresh, seasonal produce, the restaurant – which is open all year and serving dinner from May to September – has a decent menu with plenty of meat and fish dishes.

There are many specials of the day – including no surprises, mussels – as well as oysters, shrimp croquettes and a ceviche, thanks to the sous chef from Peru.

My starter of Vietnamese ‘nems’ was stunning, rolled up in lettuce and with mint, while my raspberry creme brulee pudding was as fresh and light as could be.

“All thanks to my training with Ducasse,” explains Michael. “But I really don’t want to push that side of things. I just want people to know about our simple, easy beach restaurant.

And we can build up slowly.”

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