During my week in the Netherlands I had some lovely food. The best two meals were almost complete opposites of each other.
On Wednesday night I had dinner at a friend's house. We used to work together in the UK, but he, and his family, are Dutch and have recently returned home. They decided to cook me a typically dutch meal - especially because it is quite difficult to experience this - most of the restaurants in town are international - lots of Italian, Indonesian, or Spanish. But they cooked me a fabulous stamppot - mashed potatoes with cabbage mixed in - and an array of locally produced sausages from the Butchers around the corner. It was a fabulous meal - comfort food at it's best - and when you are away from home - a home cooked meal is just what is needed. It was a lovely evening to share with friends.
In contrast, on Friday night I went out to dinner in the only Michelin starred restaurant in town - Muller. It is a very French restaurant, that is just around the corner from my apartment. In fact, every day I take a little detour after arriving back from work and walk past, just so I can look in the window into the kitchen. The chef just looks so stereotypically French and there are copper pots hanging from the ceiling. I was worried when I arrived on Friday night that they would recognise me - 'Isn't that the crazy women who always has her nose pressed up against the glass?'
The meal was perfect from start to finish - we had the taster menu. A few highlights...
** the platter of amuse bouches was a great way to start - especially the truffle creme brulee
** sweatbreads on lobster taratre
** seared scallop with stewed cucumber
** deer rib and rump (rare as rare can be)
** the asiette of desserts - apple done 6 ways including clafoutis, mereigne, and brulee
The two meals were at opposite ends of the 'fancy' spectrum - but both were incredible in very different ways. I guess the common denominator is that both touched just the right spot at the right time...