Sometimes you have those restaurants that you really should hear about. I call them ‘hidden gems’. You’re a lucky bastard if such a gem is your neighbor! There is no doubt that Restaurant HOUT Amsterdam falls into the hidden gem food category – even though I’m not a fan of pigeonholing.. Therefore, Elke and I gave it a try last week! To be honest, I needed some quality time on my bicycle with handy man Google Maps to see where this hidden spot was located. And that’s precisely something which I think is great. This way you find places in the middle of Amsterdam’s where not all and sundry makes a splash state, not just hip and happening stuff. Nops. At restaurant HOUT Amsterdam they do it just a little bit different. No frills, no nonsense, no mass production.
Upon entry I was positively surprised by the almost Scandinavian interior feeling focusing on – how could it be otherwise – wood! (Hout means Wood in Dutch) Please, be not be ‘put off’ by the linen napkins and thus the neatly laid tables. Do you just easily want to eat a main course, because you don’t feel like cooking tonight? Or do you spontaneously need a sugar rush? Well, HOUT is the place to be to fix this! At restaurant HOUT Amsterdam you can order each course separately: entree (€10,50), side dish (€9,50), main course (€18,50), or dessert (€7,50). But the thing that’s sets this restaurant apart has to be the option to order a surprise menu with tasty surprise dishes in 3, 4 or even 8 courses!
Yeah, you read it right: ‘surprise menu’. Restaurant Manager Ramon and his kitchen heroes ideally love to surprise you with creative flavor combinations of fresh and pure organic ingredients. That’s why you can’t find the French menu with fresh (fusion) twist on their website. Challenge accepted? Just go for it! Please let them know if you have a food allergy or if there is something you don’t want to eat and you’re sure you’re getting lots of goodies. Oh boy oh boy, it was a food party!
Curious as we are, we decided to go for a 3 course surprise menu. We started with a amuse of crab salad , followed by an appetizer of scallops with shellfish mayonnaise. All home made with daily fresh, organic ingredients and with superb, very welcoming explanation at the table, love it! The main course was veal fillet served with a tomato and beef salami sauce and surprisingly a spring roll filled with beef. With one of the best red wines I’ve ever had on the side (Valpolicella Ripasso) this dish was my favorite of the savory part. Elke enjoyed langoustines with pearl couscous. As I told you in my last blog as a sweeter than sweet tooth, I really longed for the dessert: Grilled pineapple with white chocolate mouse and mascarpone ice cream, my gosh it was finger lickin’ good! And if you want, you can close – or start – your tasty evening with chill drinks at the bar.
Restaurant Hout is only been open for a few months and is the little sister of popular brother restaurant Hout in Haarlem that’s been around for years. I don’t want to command you, but you should mark this new hotspot on your Food Bucket List. A resto with an enormous ‘award factor’! Just the super hospitality deserves a ten with exclamation point. Ramon gave our night out an extra positive boost. It surprised me very frankly that we were the only guests that evening, too bad..They deserve it to be chock-full day in day out. But good news for you foodies that this is still a place to discover, go for it! PS. Nice green side note is that they avoid food waste as much as possible. That’s why sometimes the surprise menu changes every 5 weeks and sometimes after six weeks. Let such a short period be a good excuse to periodically block a night at restaurant HOUT Amsterdam (or Haarlem!)
Sit back and enjoy food epicureans!
Restaurant HOUT Amsterdam
J.J. Cremerplein 34, Amsterdam
Tel: 020-7520350 / Opening hours: 5.30 – 10 pm Mon – Sun
*Sharmaine is one of our guest bloggers from the Netherlands with a sweet tooth. The sweeter, the better! She no kitchen princess so she’s always in search for the best hotspots in Amsterdam! You can expect an article from her once a month!