Rating: 4 out of 5.

Two hours in a dentist’s chair, for better or worse, was an opportunity to ponder life. I sat there uncomfortably, nearly motionless, and completely vulnerable, trying to fend off the sound of whirring electronics and spraying water with occasional happy thoughts, though with the same question always popping up in my mind – was this all really worth it.

Steel instruments, needles, and an anasthesized jaw aside, I was able to keep on smiling, albeit crookedly, when I walked out to a nice, Spring-like, Friday afternoon from the dentist’s office into the lively Plantage Middenlaan, and got together with Teko for a well-deserved dinner in the neighborhood. My battle-tested patience and unbelievable resolve needed to be uplifted by a nice meal as a start to a hopefully beautiful weekend, and life needed to be celebrated even at the risk of wine dribbling from the side of my mouth.

Not three minutes’ walk away, thankfully, was the oasis-like Cafe-Restaurant Plantage – good-looking, well-appointed, and nicely-lit. Our window-side table was quiet and private enough to enjoy a well-prepared meal of Spanish leg of lamb, basmati rice, churros, and crema Catalana. Coupled with the great weather and relaxed atmosphere, it looked like we’d found another winner.


The meal was a welcome counterbalance to the past two hours and an effective salve to my mental health. And since it was right next door to Artis Zoo, we had the chance to walk around and spy some pink flamingoes enjoying the outdoors nearby. I still have a few dental appointments in my future and if anything a trek to East Amsterdam is something to look forward to. Dental trauma aside that is.

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