Yesterday we had another good reason for a celebration. It was 5 years since I officially moved in with SO. And with a celebration one should have a good meal. So we decided to go to one of our favourites the Zwethheul We’ve celebrated this anniversary there before and also a wedding anniversary.
It was a warm evening, but with a good breeze to boot so at around 19.00 it was quite Ok to be outside. Our dinner therefore started in the garden, with a view on the canal. It is fun as you see the big carrier ships pass empty (high on the water and intimidating when this close) or full (deep in the water and moving a lot of water to the outside). Yachts and dinghies with people peering into the restaurant garden with more than a passing interest.
As per usual the menu was such that we had great difficulties choosing so we decided not to choose and go for the 8 course dinner. The thing with the 8- course is that the portions are small and timed nicely apart so often you actually end up feeling less stuffed than with full meals. At least that is what I often find. So what was it all about?
- Mini fennel salad on a spoon fresh starter
- A cracker with anchovies and I liked it to my surprise
- A small roll of beef filled with fresh I think cucumber on a crispy wafer. Nice!
- A piece of eel with something can’t quite remember
- Shrimp cocktail but with a foam twist – nice and yummy
- Tomato threesome. A gel, a foal and fresh I think, Not too tomato but there. Nice blend
- Clogs filed with cheese, rye bread foam total bliss
- Olive oil & salt with mini breads
- Open egg and cheese sandwich with Himalayan salt and airplane sensitised sweetened pepper Yeah right! Eaten together this becomes a optical illusion You set yourself to eat what you think you see, to cute but regular and get hit by cold fruity and coconut flavours! It was so fun and we could see which customers had this amuse as everybody burst out laughing.
I am sure I am forgetting some but they were as amuses should be; amusing 🙂
And there were the official 8 courses
- A small salad with asparagus, apple, lobster, quails egg and cucumber. It was so utterly pretty so cheerful and looked just amazingly skilful that you’d almost did not dare to touch. Instructions were once you have admired the plate enough, scoop all ingredients on the side into the middle (cucumber soup and egg) and enjoy the taste. We did and we loved loved loved it. We would have easily lived with a few Kg of this course. Amazing.
- Next were the langoustines with sesame melon cantaloupe and curry mayo. Dressed as a plate worthy of a painting colours vying for attention, taste buds in overdrive because of all flavours and textures working together in a burst of flavour. Yep we liked it…….a lot.
- Sole, eel tomato with roasted garlic and fresh mini greens. Small in size big on appearance and flavour. A few minutes in a bubble of food heaven. The sort of bubble that never bursts but makes you float away with the wind and leaving you with so many happy afterthoughts. It was a great combination.
- Again a pretty made up salad where Parmesan cheese strengthened the (I think) lavender foam, and together lifted the dish to a festival of simple wonderful fresh salad ingredients.
- Then there was a duck. Duck always very very nice indeed and this one was no exception. Full and rich in flavour and we never would have thought of the beet combination ourselves – but not as innovative and surprising as the previous courses.
- After the duck we had some prime lamb. I love my lamb and this lamb was most certainly no exception – With it was a pesto, but not a pesto All ingredients were there, but not mixed to a pesto. It was a nice way of thinking it up and gave a wonderful mix with the lamb, but it was in the duck league.
- Next stop was a liver containing dish. Not being a liver fan I was hesitant about this one. But as I have done before, “for new flavours that you previously did not like eat it at a great restaurant and maybe you find out how it is supposed to taste” attitude helped. This certainly gave me an appreciation of how good it can be. Pata Negra covered a combination of a red beet sorbet and goose liver foam. So the plate looked a little as if it was the Pata Negra in dressing, nothing too fancy. However after cutting a piece off and tasting it with the dressing I can’t say anything than happy surprise. It was not what it looked like, but so much more and better too. It brought a big smile to my face
- Desert was a threesome of Dutch masters: Mondriaan was in gelled dark chocolate line windows and fruit mouse gel for the coloured spaces. Intriguing and tasty was this one. Escher followed soon and this was a little cake with fresh fruit. The top was an Escher drawing printed on a thin layer of chocolate. SO had the sphere and I had the hands that draw themselves. Once we got past the feeling of this is far too pretty to break we tasted a rich dessert cake that was not heavy, but left us feeling that we wanted more. Another dozen or so would have done the trick. Last but not least was Appel, which means apple of course. A lot of little apple things, a gel, a mouse a sobet etc. On a plate with a ring (painters palet) and a little brush with it. We were told to make our own painting with the ingredients and then to eat it while mixed. Fun, entertaining and ever so nice and fresh to eat. It tickled our fun spot and our taste buds to just the right degree.
For drinks SO had the wine arrangement and I had a nice kiwi apple and applefoam cocktail, an alcohol free white wine – which is nice at the start but after about half the glass sort of goes nowhere anymore and an alcohol free grenadine cocktail. Which was perfect with food I have to admit, but not for drinking heaps of as it was also quite astringent. Very nice thing.
The coffee and tea to close off our meal was good and accompanied by tiny wee sweet things and chocolate and sugar coated macadamias.
As the wind grew colder we had moved inside just before the duck and finished our meal inside. As most of the guests were doing the same the meals and service schedule became a little fraught with misunderstandings, but always remained cheerful and helpful. Once were seated inside things went according to plan again. We’d arrived just before 19.00 and we left just after midnight
Yeah it was the sort of celebration we like! And now again a long weekend to recover.