Damien Klein’s latest venture in Pétange, Wax, sees the chef pay his own inimitable homage to Luxembourg cuisine.
Anyone familiar with the food artistry of Klein from his days at Apoteca or Rockhal Café may be concerned when they read that the Luxembourg chef’s latest menu is focused on traditional dishes from the Grand Duchy--Ham, Fritten an Zalot or Bouneschlupp, for example.
But fans needn’t worry. Klein has produced his own unique take on the culinary heritage of his native country and the menu is replete dishes that he describes as “revisiting Luxembourg cuisine”.
The setting, on the outskirts of the southern town of Pétange, directly accessible, and well signposted, from the E44, is Wax. A former mill, the spacious building has housed brasseries in the past, but Klein has definite ambitions for the place. Mill machinery still in situ, the venue has an upstairs exhibition and banqueting hall and a downstairs restaurant and bar with access to a large terrace at the rear. Work is also underway to create a luscious lawn in the front which will eventually give the venue a capacity for 5,000 people for events.
But people travel to Wax for Klein’s adventurous cuisine. Using local ingredients where possible--the exception being for the fish dishes--the restaurant’s menu includes a panoply of tempting salads and main courses, including a traditional Luxembourg Judd mat Gaardebounen.
Klein likes to play with his food and his hearty but refined Bouneschlupp (bean soup) is a do-it-yourself affair, with the soup served in a ceramic topped bottle that diners pour over a selection of cooked root vegetables in a deep bowl, accompanied by a mushy pea-stuffed Mettwurscht. A forest appetiser includes a delicious tiny portion of Feierstengszalot (boiled beef salad) served on an edible spoon and a one-bite portion of toast aux champignons, which he has packed with the wonderfully earthy flavour of mushrooms.
The service is attentive and multilingual, the wood-beam dining room airy and unpretentious. And Klein has enlisted the help of Tanja de Jager from Dipso to help create the wine list, which features plenty of quality Luxembourg whites and some great reds.