Thursday, 9 May 2013

Las Palmas, Rotterdam

 

Rotterdam is a city I know very little about. I know it is a big port, and thanks to The Beautiful South I know it could easily be mistaken for Liverpool or Rome. What I wasn’t expecting was a super-new, super-cool city that had a little something of New York about it. Thanks to an excellent host, I got to see a little of the city (including a speed boat ride!) and eat at a famous Rotterdam restaurant, Las Palmas. Specialising in seafood, it is the brain child of a famous Dutch chef and TV presenter, Herman den Blijker.


When we sat down at our table the maître d’ suggested starting with some oysters whilst we chose our meals, which regular readers will know are my favourite thing in the world. He was great fun, and spoke at least six languages! The oysters were big and fantastic, certainly a lot bigger than our own native UK oysters. A simple red wine vinegar and shallot dressing, and some lemon wedges were served with the oysters. Amazing.


To start, another seafood favourite, bouillabaisse. At a basic level, this is just a simple fish-based soup. At Las Palmas it was an event, the waiter introduced and explained the three types of fish that were in the bottom of the bowl, and then theatrically poured over the broth from a kettle. A nice touch (see video above) that just raised this dish from the norm, and it was every bit as tasty as it deserved to be. I’m giving this a SUPER-DISH award, not least because of the accompaniments (croutons, cheese and aioli).


Main course was gurnard, served as a whole fish. It’s not the most attractive fish (it’s a BOBFOC!) but was very impressive when served whole. I have eaten this fish many times before, and this was one of the best; it can be quite labour-intensive to fillet but this was a generously-proportioned specimen. It was served with some un-remarkable vegetables but that just didn’t matter, it was all about this exceptional fish.


For the first time in a long time I didn’t make it to dessert, however I had in effect already had three courses so this can be explained away. What I did have were some excellent petit fours, the chocolate truffle was great and the mini-macaroon was even greater.

This place was simply great great great. The décor was amazing, especially the taxidermy and the beautiful meat hanging up in the lobby. Not as expensive as expected and definitely a great destination restaurant if ever you find yourself in this interesting and exciting city. Very highly recommended.

Heel erg bedankt aan Richard, onze uitstekende gastheer. We hadden een geweldige tijd in uw stad en kijken ernaar uit om binnenkort weer komen!


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