All posts tagged: Featured

Jacobsz

1st Visit: Lunch Saturday 30 September 2017 (15.5 / 20)  Very enjoyable addition to the upper echelons of the casual fine dining scene in Amsterdam, and here with a sincere mission. That it seems is to put out a high standard of dishes, each clearly well thought through and generally well pitched in terms of flavour, at an accessible price point. For me Jacobsz it’s not yet as good as the leaders in the price bracket – the Daalders or Breda’s of the world, but to be fair its not that far off. We’ll watch this place with some interest. (Click on the score to see the rating system and why I write these reviews) €€€€€ 5 course dinner €49 Gault&Millau 15/20 The restaurant scene in Amsterdam is bubbling away nicely. The economy is doing well, house prices skyrocketing, and almost every week there are new openings of pop-ups, bars, cafes, full-blown restaurants, and sometimes even as in this case, a pop-up becoming permanent. For a city of its modest size Amsterdam really has more than its fair share …

Hertog Jan

1st Visit: Lunch Saturday 16th 2017 (19.25/ 20) Elegant and precise cooking with a real sense of place, set in a beautifully calm, light and informal dining room, though slightly let down by an oddly under par service. Food-wise it was one of the best meals we’ve eaten all year (and ever), but still I’m left with the distinct impression we’ve only scratched the surface of what delights can be found here. We can not wait to return.  (Click on the score to see the rating system and why I write these reviews!) €€€€€ 6 course lunch €195 3 Michelin stars since 2011 Gault&Millau 19/20 OAD Best European Restaurants No. 25 Worlds 50 Best No. 61 Hertog Jan has been high on my restaurant wish list for longer than I care to remember. Widely recognised as one of the better restaurants in Europe, probably at the forefront of innovative fine dining coming out of Belgium, and one of only three 3 star Michelin establishments in the country, this place is ‘worth a special trip’ in the truest sense. …

Lamb en croute

This started as just an idea… can you even make lamb en croute? First there was confidence, then concern, then a strange conversation with myself. ‘If it doesn’t work first time who cares? Erm.. I care. Well then, why don’t you also cook it sous vide and then if it over or under cooks you can serve that instead and then eat the pastry one yourself later!’…. In the end both ended up on the plate (?!) Ingredients: (Serves 2) one rack of lamb a handful of frozen peas chanterelles one leak pate de foie gras (or any smooth pate) two leaves of savoy cabbage one egg for egg wash pre-rolled puff pastry parsley oil optional Method: 1.  Get your butcher to french trim the lamb rack. Life is too short to be doing this at home. Its also far to short to make puff pastry so just buy that! Cut the rack in half and remove the bones from one portion. Place the one still with the bones attached, well seasoned, in a sous …

Daalder

(16.25 / 20)  From a food perspective at least, Daalder, the bistro-come fine dining spot, is already encroaching on some of the starred restaurants in town. And service (for us) is certainly at a new level. This is delivered still at a very sensible price point. But at what point does the food outgrow its surroundings, start demanding fewer covers, more space for its diners, and pressurise prices? Its going to be very interesting (and a lot of fun) to watch how this story progresses… 

Bridges

(16 / 20)  Business dinner favourite in transition to a new team. Well thought out and really beautifully presented dishes which still lack a little oompf but which show a lot of promise. Decent if slightly erratic service and all at a very sensible price point. Recommended already, I expect as the team settles in it will just get better and better, especially if they manage to transition the menu a little more back to concentrating on fish and a little less to hotel menu standards.

Turbot with red wine

This is a pretty easy dish which plays on combinations which might sound a little odd to some but that actually have a long history together: Turbot, red wine, and mushrooms. It was also one of the very rare occasions in which I managed to make a restaurant quality dish at home. Give it a shot and please be careful with frying the kale – read the full recipe first! Ingredients: (Serves 2) Turbot, about 200g a portion Bottle of red wine – here I used an OK Rioja Kale – one stalk Spinach leaves – bag of Chanterelles – handful Butter Method: 1.  Portion the fish and reserve the bones and skin for the sauce 2.  In a large saucepan, place the bones and a dash of oil on a high heat. Get some caramelisation on them – it makes the sauce much tastier later. When there is some good browning, add an entire bottle of wine and cook down until syrupy. Season and pass through a muslin cloth. Add a knob of butter …

Vinkeles

(17.75 / 20)  An absolute gem of a restaurant housed in the beautiful Dylan hotel in the center of Amsterdam’s historic canal belt. Elegant, precise and deceptively simple classic French preparations are given a Dutch twist and sent out to the beautifully calm dining room where diners are taken care of by the current Gault&Millau Maitre D’ of the year. (They also have a Chefs Table which I can’t recommend enough). For me, Vinkeles is so far out in front of the pack of 1 star restaurants in town that I already assume it has 2 macarons –  an oversight I should hope is rectified by Michelin sooner rather than later. 

Rijks

(15.75 / 20) One of the better casual fine dining spots in Amsterdam serving uncontroversial fare with the odd moment of brilliance. Despite now having a star, if you come here expecting Michelin-style food you may well be disappointed. Irrespective, it stays high on my list of recommendations in town, especially for those looking for good price/quality, in a very central location, and where it’s usually possible to get a table.