This post is also available in: 日本語 (Japanese)
For our last dinner in Amsterdam, I wanted something special and memorable. When I was researching hotel restaurants, especially restaurants in Amsterdam with a view, this one caught my eye.
La Rive looks delicious. Plus this won’t be a bank-breaking experience. Looking at you 250euro course for ONE human, drinks not included!
We booked a reservation at the concierge before heading out for a walk. Not sure if we got a lovely seat bc of the reservation, but I’m glad we booked. Also grateful bc it meant we’ll wake up from our afternoon nap to make it to dinner.
The first dish that was served before we even got the menu were these two lovely food items.
Mango sauce, bell pepper ribbon in a little puff thing. It was a little spicy and yummy. A bit of a big bite but not an impossible one. I swear it was mango chutney inside.
Virgin Bloody Mary with celery foam. It tasted tangy. I really liked it and wonder how to get the foam to taste like celery. Honestly would be better with vodka (who wouldn’t!?) but I’ll take it.
We decided on going for the ‘left’ menu, a course which includes seafood and meat. Although I thought about the vegetarian, white asparagus and lobster had me sold.
Before we placed our order, another lovely bite came. It’s a fried tomato in ginger ice. The hot and cold contrast was awesome. No idea how the mini tomato is prepared and served at a temperature that won’t burn and kill off my tastebuds. Genius. I’d love to make some version of this during the summer days back home.
Now time to pick a wine. The wine sommelier came with two wine menus, each about the size of an encyclopedia. Not even exaggerating. The Portuguese one sounded interesting, but unfortunately sold out tonight.
We picked another one that caught our eye. It’s a Spanish wine called G22. The grapes are a traditional Spanish type that grows in the region. The wine won many awards in the states because of its wonderful taste. Problem is not many people know about these grapes or the wine. It’s impossible to remember and a mouthful to pronounce. The notes were ripe apple, citrus, smokey and spicy. I especially enjoyed the Smokey aftertaste on this one. The sommelier told us it would go perfect with the dishes. Yey!
Course #1 – Carabineros Prawn | Avocado | Passionfruit
I likey. Simple ingredients, big taste. The dish also had buratta under the avocado paste (which I could call a guacamole). The cheese & olive oil made it creamy and well balanced. The shrimp was perfect. The passion fruit was a nice tangy touch. If they sold the olive oil, I’d buy it in a heartbeat like the time I bought olive oil in Tuscany. This is a dish I’d love to recreate at home. Thinking blanched shrimps, and passion fruit jam on top. With nice fresh cheese, fresh guacamole, a dash olive oil and salt.
Course #2 – Octopus | Chorizo | Paella
The octopus is cooked at 72 degrees, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. It’s washed with soda water and that’s what makes it soft. Problem is the texture is not octopus anymore. It’s just… limp. The sauce was rich with red pepper and cream. The grapefruit was an nice touch. I find it very interesting how they washed he octopus as usually in Japan a lot of places use a washing machine. And yes, it’s a dedicated one used only for octopus, never for laundry.
Course #3 – White asparagus | Lobster | Morels | Hollandaise
“White asparagus never saw the sun. As soon as the head pops up they dig em up. As soon as it becomes green they are not taken seriously anymore, and we call them vegetables.” – comment by our server. His sense of humor is hilarious.
The white asparagus was very nice. This dish was bursting with all sorts of flavors which made it impossible to stop eating. I especially enjoyed the lobster. And surprised how well it pairs with the white asparagus.
He also said “The hollandaise sauce is the richest sauce in the world. Which is surprising coming from such a poor country.” How did I not realize hollandaise is from Holland? Obviously I did not think it through.
Course # 4 – Veal sweetbreads | Risotto | Snails
If this veal dish is on the menu in a Chinese restaurant, I’d have no doubt it would go well. The veal was coated and crunchy. The snails according to my hubby, “tasted slimey”. It’s very earthy, and maybe another seasoning like celery would of covered it. This would pair better with a red instead of a white wine, but I didn’t feel like doing the 7 glass wine experience. That’s a little too much wine (there is such a thing!)
Course # 5 – Kamper Lamb | Eggplant | Ras-el-Hanout
I ordered this. This dish, made with Dutch lamb, was very soft. It did have a hint of the lamb smell as an aftertaste. Which made it go well with the glass of red wine our sommelier of the night recommended to us. Domains la Soumade Rasteau from France. You know it’s legit when the contact email address is a Hotmail account. They are not concerned with technological details, and more concerned with good wine. It’s about 5% Syrah, and it’s not oaked. It has a deep flavor but it finishes very clean, kind of like the Pinot Noir we like drinking at home.
Course #5 – Blackmore Farm Wagyu Flank Steak | Asparagus | Morels
Hubby got this dish. I had a taste of it (wifey perks), and the meat was cooked to perfection. The asparagus that we shall now call a vegetable went well with it. The vegetable had a bitterness that the white asparagus didn’t have. We think that’s what made it go well.
Course #6 – Duckliver | Rhubarb | Pan Masala
At this point I was about to burst into pieces bc I was so full. This dish was served with a mini bread that looked like a mushroom and oh my. The duck liver went so well with the little bread. The sourness from the rhubarb had me going for more.
I want more of the mini mushroom shaped bread in my life.
Course #7 – Lambada Strawberry | Chocolate | Creme Suisse
The bestest palate refresher. I saw tons of strawberries in the markets in Amsterdam. Did I ever tell you I LOVE strawberries? I was surprise and excited it showed up as part of our last course. The little green ice cream in the middle was basil flavored, and the green bits were pistachio. Strawberries made this dish awesome.
Bonus dish – chocolates and bonbons
At this point all I wanted was puer tea. I settled for a Darjeeling as I knew jasmine tea wouldn’t cut it for me. The chocolates were yummy. I especially liked the black licorice that had a little fennel on top.
After our 3 hour long dinner, we wobbled back to our hotel room to chill. Some dishes were a bit on the salty side, but if I were to come to Amsterdam again, I’m eating here.