my very good dutch friend, hugo, knowing that we were in amsterdam, took a train from rotterdam where he was living to have dinner with the 3 of us on 15.4.2014. 🙂
he met us at our haarlemmerdijke apartment and took us across the street, about 30m, to the movies restuarant. that suited us fine as we were taking the first flight the next day to milan on way to lake como at leaving at 6am.
we had walked past the movie theatre several times to go to haarlemmerplein to take the trams and did not notice from across the road that it had a restaurant.
it had a pub like pleasant cosy atmosphere & we could be forgiven to think the food would be like average. how pleasantly wrong we were! 🙂 i realised that it was quite a place to go to for art house movies afterwards.
the service was also excellent, very warm, friendly & helpful! not sure they could smell the baron-ness in my aristocratic looking friend. lol. 🙂
we ordered 4 appetisers & 3 mains.
#1 we did not try hugo’s venison (top photo) but it sure looked good!
#2 the green pea risotto was competent, the risotto done just right, al dente. nothing much to criticise, taste-wise i guess it was good (as could be good for a plain no ingredient risotto), nothing exceptional.
#3 my carrot soup was good, well above average. it was though not as good as the carrot & coconut soup we had at a cafeteria during a cycle stop earlier in the day (that soup was truly excellent & i intend to try out myself at home).
#4 the tuna rillette was quite ok.salad was good.
#5 the duck confit & the slow braised belly pork were excellent, flavourful, moist (not dry & very sinewy like some were) and tender. duck confit not my favourite but this was 1 duck confit i would be quite happy to have, though the helping was too large & i would still prefer to share than to have one all by myself.
#6 hugo’s slow braised lamb turned out to be the best dish, superbly tender & without the very strong gamey taste (the “hiang”=reason many could not take lamb) despite retaining lots of fat. there were 2 large pieces. once hugo started sharing, we ate so fast & polished off 1 of his 2 pieces in a blink! 🙂 i am working on how i can reproduce this dish or with variation, likely using miso marinade or vegetable ratatouille. 🙂
#7 the skate wing my wife had was probably the poorer of the dishes. i guess it was still an ok dish, but this method of preparation would probably render a bland tasteless fish, unlike singapore’s intense chilli bbq preparation which brings out the flavours of the fish with great texture lots of edible cartilage. even the very chinese style of frying with black beans would enhance the flavour a lot more.
overall, i guess this was not quite at the level of zazas though i would rate both mains as better than what we had at zazas. i guess that actually says a lot!
i did not know the total price, but the lamb i think was like euro 22 or euro24 & the duck was like euro18, so it was excellent value by comparison. this would be a very top comfort food restuarant i would be quite happy to return to in amsterdam if i am not specifically trying out other restaurants hoping to find another beulings.