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.

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#2 zucchini, tomatoes, olive, burrata

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#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

 

 

 

Trip Planning, Airbnb, Holland Pass, Restaurants & Sights 13-15Apr2014

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haarlemmerplein at night

this my last post on amsterdam.

wife did good trip planning & reserved a haarlemmerdijk apartment via airbnb. it was a huge apartment with 1 bedroom, big hall, full kitchen (with great coffee maker & coffee & tea provided) & dining, great toilets & showers, and was located in amsterdam’s famous jordan district. its a diverse happening place, filled with fashion boutiques, interior decor shops, cheese, specialty food, dining, cafe & of course amsterdam’s famous coffeeshops, just a stroll from amsterdam central station along haarlemmerstraat linking into haarlemmerdijk. 🙂

we purchased the holland pass online, and i bought the 5 tickets pass for 49.50 euors (5% discounts online). it came with a free train connection from schipol airport to amsterdam central (4euros) & a free 24hr city bus ride (7euros). considering that i had used 2 gold tickets for keukenhof (15euros) & rijksmesuem (15euros), & 2 silvers for schipol-keukenhof return bus connection (9euros) & 100 highlights canal cruise (15.5euros), i would say it was well worth it.

we brought a huawei 3g/4g mifi with us (lent to us by my wife’s good friend) and bought a lebara 1gb sim card at schipol (it’s also available in shops around town). so we stayed connected throughout & my daughter became expert in google map guiding us to beulings & zazas (we took the trams) where we had made prior dinner reservations, and also during the waterland cycling trip. 🙂

we made some miscalculations & was not able to get the bikes at zaandan station to cycle at zaanse schans, but otherwise everything went smoothly. 🙂

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cheese - really excellent cheese here

cheese – really excellent cheese here

we were slightly early on checking in. fortunately haarlemmerdijk had many cafes around every corner. 🙂  cheese shops too.

the cruise terminal next to amsterdam central

the cruise terminal next to amsterdam central

multi-storey bicycle park next to amsterdam central

multi-storey bicycle park next to amsterdam central

beautiful amsterdam central station opened in 1889 & handles 250,000 passengers/day

beautiful amsterdam central station opened in 1889 & handles 250,000 passengers/day

after visiting zaanse schans windmill country on my first day arrival on 13.4.2014, we went to holland international terminal in front of beautiful amsterdam central train station, & queued 45mins for the 100 highlights cruise.

rihksmeseum - taken using my samsung s4 4x magnification from tram

rihksmeseum – taken using my samsung s4 4x magnification from tram

i amsterdam in front of rijksmeseum

i amsterdam in front of rijksmeseum

nightwatch

night watch

an old woman reading

an old woman reading

after seeing the dazzling keukenhof gardens on 14.4.2014, we went to rijksmeseum, saw rembrandt’s night watch & an old woman reading, such incredible details. 🙂

city trams - we got quite used to taking them

city trams – we got quite used to taking them

we used the trams a lot to get from our apartment to amsterdam central & to get to the restaurants beulings & zazas, so made full use of the 24hr pass. 🙂

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herons scavenging in the streets – on our way to zazas

we saw herons scavenging on the streets on our way to zazas on our second evening on 14.4.2014. flea market or something in the day?

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dam square – on the left is madame tussaud’s

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dam square

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dam square

after 1/2 day cycling to waterland on 15.4.2014, we had some time to spare before dinner. wife & daughter went to madame tussaud’s at dam square to use up the last 2 holland pass tickets.

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down the road from dam square toward de wallen, the red light district

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canal along oudezijds voorburgwal where de wallen is located

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canal along oudezijds voorburgwal where de wallen is located

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canal along oudezijds voorburgwal where de wallen is located

hashish & marijuana meseum

hashish & marijuana meseum

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sex shops in de wallen

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sex shops in de wallen

i took a stroll down towards the canal to see amsterdam famous de wallen red light district ( i was last here in 1980 after my final exams when studying in england). it was late afternoon so no activity only sex shops & weed museum…haha. 🙂

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back to dam square

walked back to dam square. was walking across the road & tripped & fall mid way.  had a cut at the brow & bled, broke the frame of  my new specs (fortunately i brought spares), and had 2 balukus (swellings) on my chin & below the eye. fortunately it was just a shallow cut and only thing that was badly bruised was my ego. passersby were very helpful & a shopkeeper gave me tissues & let me cleaned up in his toilet. getting clumsy too soon. sigh!

c.h.e.f andy

Zaanse Schans Windmill Country on 13Apr2014

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when i think of netherland 2 things came to mind – tulips & windmills! maybe milkmaids?

zaanse schans is the beautiful windmill country. the train station at koog-zaandijk is just 4 stops 17minutes from amsterdam central, & then a 15mins walk to zaanse schans village.

the zaan region used to be 1 of western europe’s oldest industrial area and boasted some 600 active windmills & factories powered by wind in the heydays in 18th & 19th century. it was also the centre of shipbuilding in the 17th century during the dutch golden age.

now there are some 10 working windmills in zaanse schans. though the windmills were relocated here piece by piece, today zaanse schans is a living & working community, with clog- and cheese-making, shops, boutiques, stunning buildings & meadow landscape.

read more about zaanse schans here.

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we had planned to cycle at zaanse schans. there is what appears to be a good cycling guide and cycle routes/map. it indicated that one could rent a bicycle at zaandam station. i arrived amsterdam on a sunday & we took the train from amsterdam central to zaandam but was unable to locate the bike rental. we asked around in the station & some staff said the rental shop was closed on sunday, which was odd since it should really be catering to the tourist crowd so why closed on sunday?

anyhow we did not have much time as we had only 2 more days in amsterdam & we had purchased the holland pass & would be using the pass for keukenhoff gardens & the museums & canal cruise & also planning to cycle to waterland. so we decided to just take a bus from zaandam station to zaanse schans & skip the cycling.

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zaanse schans village was idyllic as described in the guides & the windmills along the river were magnificent. we had a very pleasant stroll & if we had more time & were able to locate the bike rentals it would be quite fun to cycle in the surrounding meadows.

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we wondered into a cheese shop & factory & the cheese were just fantastic. every cheese we tried were really nice & we bought 3 including a goat cheese. 🙂

we came by the train route (the bus we took from zaandam stopped at near the koog-zaandijk train station as the one that stopped nearer was a 1 hr wait). on the return trip, we took bus 391 which stopped right across the bridge on the other side of the river from the village. it was a 40mins ride back to amsterdam central.

though regrettably we did not get to cycle, it was still quite a wonderful day & we were also looking forward to dinner at beulings (& indeed we had the most wonderful dinner) which we had made prior reservations before the trip. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

 

Beautiful Dinner @ Beulings Amsterdam on 13Apr2014

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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! 🙂

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nibble platter

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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. 🙂

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very flavourful brioche

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love the bread

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

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

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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. 🙂

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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

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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. 🙂

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pasta with bacon & oyster

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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!

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pan seared halibut

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pan seared halibut

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

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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! 🙂

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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