Cream of Carrot Soup

#4 cream of carrot soup

cream of carrot soup

was doing a 10-course vegetarian dinner for my niece’s birthday recently.

one of the dishes i prepared was a cream of carrot soup.

carrot coconut soup @ amsterdam

carrot coconut soup @ amsterdam

one of the best carrot soup i had was in amsterdam, a super tasty carrot coconut soup, on our way back after cycling the waterland route.

i am yet to try that. it is a bit adventurous with the coconut milk. i will try it one day before i serve it to my friends at dinner. 🙂

cream of carrot soup

cream of carrot soup

i have done-

this was the very first time i did cream of carrot soup.

& it was excellent!^^

it was silky smooth & tasty, among the best soup i made.

cream of carrot soup

cream of carrot soup

i added a lot of sliced/cut vegetables – 1 onion, 1 stalk leek, 1 red pepper, 2 carrots (plus some leftover stems from spinach). i fried them in butter till soft, added 2-3 cups of vegetable stock for vegetarian (or chicken stock) & boiled for further 20mins. then i used a blender to blend & added salt & pepper to taste.

when about to serve, i added 3 tablespoon thick cream, and i have some chopped basil from my garden.

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 2 carrots cut to small pieces
  • 1 stalk leek (or celery) chopped
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 1 red pepper
  • (i used some leftover spinach stems)
  • 2-3 cups vegetable stock for vegetarian (or chicken stock)
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • basil chopped

Directions:

  1. add a lot of sliced/cut vegetables – 1 onion, 1 stalk leek, 1 red pepper, 2 carrots (plus some leftover stems from spinach). fry them in butter till soft, added 2-3 cups of vegetable stock for vegetarian (or chicken stock) & boiled for further 20mins. then i used a blender to blend & added salt & pepper to taste.
  2. when about to serve, add 3 tablespoon thick cream, and some chopped basil from my garden.

Another Fabulous Degustation Dinner @ Jaan on 16Jun2014

amuse bouche 1

amuse bouche 1

had another wonderful degustation par excellence at jaan on 16.6.2014. 🙂

regretfully jaan is fully booked for the rest of the year for feed-at-raffles (FAR) discounts. looks like only mikuni & occasionally equinox & prego to  go to.

amuse bouche 1

amuse bouche 1

amuse bouche 1

amuse bouche 1

the new amuse bouche of beetroot macaron, an eel mousse, (can’t remember the last) plus the rye cracker with very good hummus was good, pleasant & quite fine, though no better than previous.

amuse bouche 2

amuse bouche 2 – cepe mushroom tea

the second amuse bouche, a cepe mushroom tea, was the best soup ever, so intense & flavourful & lingering. 🙂

#1 ocean - simply delicious!

#1 ocean – simply delicious!

#1 ocean - simply delicious!

#1 ocean – simply delicious!

# the ocean seafood composition was simply delicious! every item was excellent & there were so many – langoustine, oyster (yummy!), scallop, ikura (salmon roe), eel, caviar, another prawn. i could have this again! 🙂

#1 toast

#2 toast

not quite sure what the toast do? anyway a good toast.

10449914_10152473439324494_5164899544868523926_n

#2 zucchini, tomatoes, olive, burrata

10441386_10152473439364494_8745692823511294731_n

#2 zucchini, tomatoes, olive, burrata

#2 the zucchini trumbetta was nice, pleasant, refreshing, not quite a standout among so many excellent dishes.

64degC 55mins sous vide egg with iberico ham

#3 64degC 55mins sous vide egg with iberico chorizo

64degC 55mins sous vide egg with iberico ham

#3 64degC 55mins sous vide egg with iberico chorizo

64degC 55mins sous vide egg with iberico ham

#3 64degC 55mins sous vide egg with iberico chorizo

#3 the 64degC 55mins sous vide egg with iberico chorizo was quite a complete dining experience with the dry ice foam flowing down. the silky egg yolk added texture combination to the crispy iberico chorizo.

#4 foie gras

#4 foie gras

#4 the foie gras preparation/presentation had changed several times but texture wise quite the same. the inside was soft tender tasty. the outside though was different from the more caramelised preparation which we preferred.

monk fish, white asparagus

#5 monk fish, white asparagus

monk fish, white asparagus

#5 monk fish, white asparagus

#5 monk fish was pretty good – firm, bouncy. meat was slightly sweet. somehow all the monkfish i tried in singapore (& this was a better one) could not match the excellent sweet tasting monkfish ala plancha i had in barcelona’s bouqueria market & tapas restaurants. white asparagus was very good, very tasty & tender. 🙂

#6 hay roasted pigeon

#6 hay roasted pigeon

#6 hay roasted pigeon

#6 hay roasted pigeon

#6 hay roasted pigeon

#6 hay roasted pigeon

#6 the hay roasted pigeon was as usual, nothing less than superb. the medium rare sous vide breast was the best. i couldn’t quite decide if amsterdam beulings’ quail was better or this. 🙂

the best dinner we had at jaan though was on 20.1.2014 where we had miyazaki beef in place of pigeon. 🙂

pre-dessert grape granite

pre-dessert grape granite

the grape granite palate cleanser was refreshingly good. 🙂

#7 choconuts - taste & texture

#7 choconuts – taste & texture

#7 choconuts was supposed to offer different temperature, texture & taste. i supposed it did & its a good dessert, but i thought some of the previous choconuts editions were distinctly better.

petit fours

petit fours

the petit four were good or competent for this level of restaurant, not a standout.

well, looks like i have to try the waiting list & see my luck play out.

c.h.e.f andy

 

 

 

Very Good Dinner @ Zazas Amsterdam on 14Apr2014

10157369_10152323497309494_5545032536535348086_n

amuse bouche

10256102_10152323497709494_6399942943874098560_n

focaccia bread

had a good dinner at zazas on my second night in amsterdam on 14.4.2014. 🙂 like beulings, we planned & booked the restaurant before the trip.

could not recall the amuse bouche but it was good tasting.

the focaccia was good, the usual.

10151979_10152323497909494_5841242465590817956_n

carpaccio – euro10.50

10155957_10152323498109494_2119524832509377819_n

smoked duck mille feuille euro 10.50

we ordered 5 appetisers including the oysters & soup. 🙂

#1 the beef carpaccio was good, sweet & came with foie gras terrine.

#2 the smoked duck mille feuille was good too. smoked duck was good & the pastry too, overall a good dish. taste wise it was not as exciting as it looked. the duck & pastry were competent, good, not special.

10269538_10152323498299494_4627128764076367326_n

cheese ravioli 1/2 portion euro 8.80

10247210_10152323499054494_7766143869966422716_n

carrot soup 1/2portion euro2.80

1798592_10152323499504494_3028973852907956548_n

3 de claire oysters euro 7.50

10157203_10152323499724494_2680572961035819903_n

creamy & sweet de claire oyster

#3 the ravioli was good. couldn’t remember what was in it, I imagine cheese? but this was better than the green pea risotto we had at the movies restaurant the next day. 🙂

#4 the carrot soup (we had 3 servings of 1/2 portion) had some cream at the bottom & was again very good, and also better than the one at the movies restaurant.

#5 the oysters were excellent, very creamy and sweet. we ordered a second helping of 3 oysters. 🙂

1544612_10152323500114494_340378344166841496_n

black cod euro20.50

10171631_10152323500859494_2010623457424816283_n

guinea fowl euro 20.50

we ordered 2 mains to share.

#6 the cod was competent, but somehow the meat were firmer (& less oily??) than the texture i generally liked, as in my own nobu miso cod or teriyaki cod.

#7 the guinea fowl i guess was competent, just was not a dish that we particularly liked, and by comparison, the duck confit at the movies restaurant was much more enjoyable.

the service was very good – professional & friendly. there was 2 taiwanese ladies on our next table. 1 ordered a lamb but didn’t like it. she was requested to order a different main from the menu. the server took back the lamb & later explained politely & cheerfully that the chef tasted the lamb & it was fine however they would replace it with another main anyway. the lady said sorry when paying the bill & the server said they were sorry that she did not like it. all very nice & pleasant. 🙂

overall the dinner came to euro104 including 2 coffees & a glass of wine, quite good price. it was not really much more expensive than the movies restaurant. the appetisers were great but the mains were not as enjoyable for us c/w the movies restaurant.  i would come back again when in amsterdam.

c.h.e.f andy

 

Far Surpassing Expectations @ The Movies Restaurant Amsterdam on 15Apr2014

10257891_10152325852804494_2632755217109860869_n

venison with herb cream & beetroots

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. 🙂

10154562_10152325852834494_4459793439470392742_n

green pea risotto

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.

1781889_10152325852904494_1154807320495409383_n

carrot soup with croutons

#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).

10006587_10152325852979494_7985078250161989342_n

tuna rillette salad

#4 the tuna rillette was quite ok.salad was good.

65382_10152325853094494_378105697178164661_n

duck confit & slow braised belly port

10257795_10152325853149494_7932088257918818626_n

duck confit & slow braised belly port

#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.

10246254_10152325853274494_7263316854447281574_n

EXCELLENT slow braised lamb loin

#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. 🙂

1524568_10152325853354494_24128674503908973_n

grilled skate wings

#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.

c.h.e.f andy

Beautiful Dinner @ Beulings Amsterdam on 13Apr2014

10168113_10152321835374494_374338007924765883_n

arctic char ?? ceviche with salad

had a beautiful dinner at beulings in amsterdam on 13.4.2014. most pleasant start to my amsterdam/como/cinque terre/milan vacationing 13-24apr2014. 🙂

this was the best meal i had during the trip, and that’s when i had several other really great meals at amsterdam, como, cinque terre. not too bad at milan too.

was deciding among beulings, bussia & bridges in amsterdam. bridges (1 michelin star at sofitel the grand), bussia & beulings all had raving tripadvisor reviews. bussia is modern fine italian & we were spending 8 subsequent days in italy, bridges is a bit more high brow, so we decided on the more casual, family-run beulings (husband & wife team i think, bas bont & lisja hu). and the food was simply outstanding! 🙂

10246721_10152321834444494_5608235527699240794_n

nibble platter

10152047_10152321834679494_263020609407433925_n

cheese balls

we had a complimentary nibble platter plus some cheese balls. platter had anchovies (very similar to good ikan bilis!), chorizo (nice) & caviar on something, cannot recall. all very nice. 🙂

10151754_10152321834829494_5523315773161524867_n

very flavourful brioche

1002676_10152321834894494_8798184435718184895_n

love the bread

the bread was great too. we ate up everything! 🙂

10247232_10152321835164494_5956118727844065064_n

the amuse bouche was a carrot soup. it was excellent soup, very smooth, with the sour cream?? taking off the sharp taste of carrots. 🙂

485631_10152321835214494_3491117406645732257_n

arctic char ?? ceviche with salad

#1 the fish (arctic char??) ceviche was delicious, very pretty artisan presentation & very sweet like a good sashimi. the salad & lady fingers added nice texture & taste. 🙂

10262044_10152321835444494_6749480232107010021_n

budels organic beer

my daughter took lisja’s recommendations – budels beer, an organic beer from south of amsterdam. it was light & fragrant, very good beer for euro3.50. we asked but could not find it in other cafes so perhaps its more boutique than popular brew. 🙂

sous vide quail

sous vide quail

1510703_10152321835494494_9087058310987584455_n

sous vide quail

#2 we were served an excellent quail. i told lisja it was much like the sous vide bresse pigeon at jaan, my favourite restaurant in singapore. this was quite exquisite, very tender juicy breast & the leg too was not dry & sinewy. 🙂

10258465_10152321835594494_8381600577268167430_n

pasta with bacon & oyster

10170975_10152321835974494_4294639622969723957_n

pasta with bacon & oyster

#3 the pasta was super! the large fleshy oyster was excellent. the pasta was not quite al dente & yet quite perfect in texture & the slight pickled mildly sour vegetables combined wonderfully. 🙂 my wife & daughter loved this dish!

10259718_10152321835834494_3133439500447512794_n

pan seared halibut

1510348_10152321835934494_4174194777091750944_n

pan seared halibut

#4 the halibut?? was great, tasty. all the helpings including this one were quite good size. 🙂

1237889_10152321836079494_4345113907141076470_n

nicely done rare beef steak

#5 my daughter & i had the beef. it was done perfectly, rare & sweet, and the potato & pumpkin mash were great! 🙂

1533806_10152321836189494_197802663103111113_n

petit four

the petit four were pretty standard. macaron was too sweet i thought, chocolates usual, the madeleines & cakes were nice.

it was a small place with maybe 10 tables, one 2pax table was not occupied. place was cosy, service was attentive, friendly, efficient, casual. there was only lisja & 1 other server, but the chefs in the kitchen including bas all served the tables. lisja was busy but not rushed when serving the table & chatted quite a bit with the diners.  the others too. 🙂

the price came to euro178. we had two 5-course at euro55 & one 4-course at euro45 plus water (euro9.75-kind of ex but maybe it was like cover charge or service), 2 glasses of wine & a beer. anyway we rounded it to euro200.

it was an very pleasant, relaxed & throughly enjoyable dinner for us, definitely a place i will come next time i am in amsterdam.

c.h.e.f andy