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A la Colthard/Amsterdam restaurant review

We ate at four restaurants, each one better than the previous.

We had our first lunch at Jansz the in-house restaurant of our hotel the Pulitzer. I went for the set menu and chose Burrata and poussin. Burrata the milky cheese is burrata – I’ve eaten better – and the poussin was a slab of chicken breast in a buttery sauce. Neither extended a chef’s ingenuity.

Dinner was at the Lion Noir.

The restaurant is known for its courtyard but this was closed. Downstairs where I ate was a cocktail bar and the dining room upstairs. The waiter was scruffy but helpful.

Here I had a Vichysoise with langoustine and breast of duck in thick sauce comprising Pedro Xinenez sherry.

I am familiar with this sherry as I had a bottle lying around for years till someone suggested it’s thick sweet consistency goes beautifully with vanilla ice cream which it does.

I’m not sure it goes as well with duck breast.

The dessert was cheese cake but, according to scruffy, not like a cheese cake. Too true. A raspberry sorbet sat on a wafer and around it were some cheese and berries.

With a few glasses of wine the bill came to 80 euros and my verdict was it was restaurant that experimented and failed.

This could not be said of Rijks in the museum square and next to the Rijksmuseum.

It’s to the credit of the Dutch that they would consider a serious restaurant in a museum area. Here I had a cod in a Spuma sauce followed by beef cheek. Both well cooked.

One oddity was when I asked for cutlery I was directed to a tray in the table containing them. Service was very professional and as everywhere English spoken fluently. Deffo one Daffers would recommend. Again 80 euros per head.

Finally the Ciel Bleu in the Okura Hotel called to say they now had table for last night.

This is a two Michelin star restaurant and reckoned one of the best in Amsterdam. It also offered views over the city though my readers know I am cynical about such views being a substitute for haute cuisine.

Not so here. It was a massive tasting menu which starts as a tour of the world with little concoctions typifying the produce of Vienna, Amsterdam, Aachen, Ghent, Saint Tropez, Osaka and Tromse in Norway.

These were followed by bigger dishes of Dutch shrimp, turbot, lobster and suckling lamb.

There were 4 desserts and petit fours. I could feel the Daffers waistline expanding.

It was superb assemblage of taste and flavour but 15 dishes is a lot to take on.

As with such places each dish was meticulously explained and by the look of our waiter Francesco he had helped himself to more than few of them!!!!

No criticism of scruffiness here, the very helpful staff were dressed in beige suits and much more smart than most of the diners. The tables were well spaced too.

You have to ask whether any meal is worth 300 euros but if money is no object and you want the full gastronomic experience head down to Ciel Bleu …

Daphne Colthard
About Daphne Colthard

After graduating at RADA but finding no roles Daphne went into magazine journalism with Good Housekeeping. Widely recognised as one of the country's leading restaurant and hotel reviewers, particularly by herself, Daphne is the author of "Bedded and Breakfasted", a light hearted chick novel and Grand Hotels DC: the Daffers Dictionary. Daphne lives in West London and is married to an investment banker Oliver. They have 2 boys Humphrey and Tarquin. More Posts