Snackbar 't Hoekske, Ghent 02-2012

I can't remember why I searched out this place. I think it was because I had read from the Use-It Ghent guide that this was one of the few 24 hour places to get food. Somehow I knew this was somewhere to get a sandwich.

There are a huge number of fillings to choose from. I went for a scampi spread with anchovies and salad. It was creamy, flavoursome and a great lunch on the move.

Himschoot, Ghent 02-2012

Whilst venturing to Tierenteyn-Verlent to get some mustard, I noticed a bakery a couple of shops down. After walking in there a couple of times, on the 3rd I couldn't help but buy something. There is also a cart selling strange purple sweets outside that I wasn't game to try.

It's quite lovely to get some pastries and sit along the riverside and enjoy the warmth and sun, even during my time there in March.

Eetkaffee Multatuli, Ghent 02-2012

It was a nice pleasant walk up to the northern part of Ghent and along the night river. The area was quite quiet and allowed me to take some nice scenic photos. Of course I only really ventured up here to eat at this busy bar and bistro which is known for Flemish food. This is apparently the Belgian-Dutch style more common the north of the country (obviously where it borders Netherlands).

Inside I tried my first ever Kriek - cherry beer. It was sweeter and milder than the usual beer (which I can't handle at all) but enough to make me a little heady. I went specifically there to try waterzooi - a Flemish fish-based stew that I had read about.

- Waterzooi van vis (met saffraansaus en krielaardappeltjes) €16 - fish stew with potatoes and saffron sauce. Also served light bread and dark rye which was useful to mop up sauce;
- Huisgemaakte brownie met vanille-ijs €5.5 - homemade brownie with vanilla icecream.

I had also read about the other local option of stoverij - a beef stew in dark beer. It sounds similar to Irish, but I'd like to try that next time.

Max, Ghent 02-2012

In the plaza of St. Niklaaskerk lie some pretty decent shops. There was a nice local chocolatier where I sampled good quality dark. However the place on my list was Max - the best for Belgian waffles.

In a nicely adorned glamourous room, you sit and eat waffles and drink coffee (if you really want it). I couldn't go past the namesake Wafel Max (vers fruit, ijsroom, Grand Marnier, slagroom) for a cosy €10. Translated and depicted, this is waffle with fruit, icecream, Grand Marnier and whipped cream.

It was a tremendous sight, especially one like me who doesn't tend to eat so many sweets. The waffle was sweet and crisp with a soft core, the fruits blessed with light alcohol, and the icecream adding texture and temperature contrast.

Tierenteyn-Verlent, Ghent 02-2012

Near the heart of town is this store that is known for mustard. An enormous vat contains the lovely yellow thick liquid. I purchased a small jar to carry around to the fries carts.

It's a strong heavy mustard that feels more English than Dijon but with less eye-watering burn. The quality is exceptional as would be expected from a product made simply of ground mustard seeds, vinegar and salt.

It is open Monday-Saturday.

Yuzu by Nicholas Vanaise, Ghent 02-2012

Belgium and chocolate are things that are often linked together. I was a little wary after my first visit to Belgium in 2009, as I'd been told fries were also well reputed, but honestly they are pretty average.

But for chocolate there was greater hope. I'd read that locals eat supermarket chocolate and save the expensive brands for gifts. I'd previously headed straight to the top - Pierre Marcolini and the reputation for dark chocolate. I'd also tried a few other big brands, but my favourite from 2009 had been a small local shop in Bruges (which I never jotted the name down) where I bought a small block of dark chocolate and almond that amazed my tongue a few days later.

Yuzu is a Japanese slightly sour citrus fruit. Nicholas Vanaise (who runs this shop himself) prides on minimalist approach, interesting flavour combinations (including yuzu and other things Asian), and quality chocolate.

On this day I tried a few small pralines, macarons and mailed a large dark chocolate rabbit (the one with the wheelbarrow) back to Australia as an Easter gift. The chocolate flavours were unique - I think I much prefer a nice standard excellent dark with or without nuts, but this was more of an experience.

It is open Tuesday-Saturday.