Brasserie Vlaming

Thank heaven for weekends! Not that I had a tough week – not at all – but it’s always good to sleep in and not go through the predictable and boring morning routine to get ready for work.

Since we didn’t get to celebrate our fourth anniversary, we decided to just make up for it with our occasional Friday night dinners. With age apparently comes the wisdom of concessions. We planned to meet up in the Jordaan after work and play restaurant roulette – wonder what the restaurant gods will have in store for us. Will we be treated to another round of Dutch indifference. Will we be able to go somewhere decent without having to wait long (it was a Friday night after all). Would my partner like the food (for someone who’s quite happy with McDonald’s, he can be very particular about food at times). I asked him if he wanted to try Brasserie Vlaming, and mercifully he said yes.

I’d been wanting to try this place after passing by it more times than I can count, and reading all about it online. It was one of those places that early in my Amsterdam life seemed out of reach – it looked expensive and intimidating. Of course it didn’t help that I was mostly broke. So pine I did until at long last we were now able to find out.

The start of our restaurant roulette didn’t appear promising. We arrived before the restaurant was to open at 6 p.m. so what were we to do. Unlike in the States (or the rest of the world), there is no bar you can cool your heels at with a drink before dinner. They do things differently here, unfortunately.
We decided to walk around the neighborhood to pass the time. Despite the slight drizzle and tourist noise we imagined how it would be to live in the area. It was a nice dream. A few rounds around the block and we were back a little after 6 — but the place still wasn’t open. So much for Dutch precision. We stood outside the restaurant a few more minutes before the manager let us in.
We started off with the Bites Platter which was a three-level plate of appetizers. Pretty impressive start. The beef and fish carpaccio ended up being my favorites.
For the main course, I ended up getting one of the smallest steaks made by man. Angus or no Angus, on a per ounce basis it definitely wasn’t worth the money they were charging for it. And the plating was uninspired.
Same goes for the fowl that my partner ordered. It seriously could’ve been presented better. Thankfully, he liked it enough to finish all of it.

And for dessert, it was slim pickings as nothing on the menu was anything special. We ended up getting scoops of artisanal ice cream. The store-bought Rocky Road I had as a child was better.

It’s a bit sad that the highlight of a meal would be the appetizer but that was what happened. Maybe it’ll take a second trip to get a better impression but for now there are a lot of other new places to go to. As for the service, after a rough start I was happy to find out they did go beyond the norm. Hope springs eternal on that front. I’m glad I finally got to try Vlaming – curiosity satisfied and one more notch on the culinary bedpost.

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