This is somewhere I have visited before, although the first time was for drinks and bar snacks. I was told by a colleague that the food here was somewhat average, but I liked the atmosphere and history so much that I was determined to give it a proper try. The hotel is located at the end of a wharf, adjacent to the Holland America Line terminal; this hotel has been the first pleg of the journey from the Netherlands to the United States of America for more than 100 years.
Starter was a shared platter, which included all sorts of lovely things : smoked salmon, cured ham, tuna tartare, carpaccio, Greek feta salad and plenty of bread with tapenade. All were lovely, especially the tuna. We also had half a dozen oysters to accompany the starter : two wild French ‘fine de Claire’, two small French ‘papillon’ and two local Dutch oysters. All had different, distinct flavours, the ‘papillon’ in particular I enjoyed.
Main course was simplicity itself, half a lobster (served cold) with bread and mayonnaise. The lobster was of a good size and was very succulent. Served with a portion of chips on the side! Pretentious... moi?
Dessert was my favourite, a sort of Dutch version of ‘café gourmande’ called the ‘grande dessert’. This included seven separate elements (count them) : mango ice cream, forest fruit macaroon, raspberry ice cream tartlet, tiramisu, lemon cream, fresh fruit, biscuit and whipped cream. All were good, and the mango ice cream in particular was fantastic, as was the tiramisu.
It isn’t often I am genuinely stuffed after a meal but this was one of those occasions. My second time in this surprisingly great city, and my second great meal. 100% success rate for Rotterdam to date!