I recently travelled to Amsterdam to take in a Champions League football match with four friends and whilst there we tried to sample Dutch hospitality from bars to cafes to museums to restaurants. Whilst we had great fun during an afternoon enjoying a tour of the Heineken Brewery the classiest highlight of our trip was a meal in a small restaurant called Red.
When the concierge of our hotel suggested Restaurant Red as a great place to eat we, a group of five guys, happily took his advice and headed off in there in anticipation of what great food might lie in wait. There is no truth in the urban myth that this groups of gentlemen descended on there thinking it was part of Amsterdam’s alternative Red culture.
From the outside, on a cold, wet evening Red looked fairly inauspicious with its curtains drawn and dimly lit entryway. On entry any preconceptions of a dull, drab cafe were instantly banished. I’m not one to wax lyrically about interior design but this place oozed cool in a unique style. From the apple eating beauty across the restaurant ceiling to the chairs this place screamed style.
On reflection perhaps not the place a group guys on a football trip would immediately be associated with and certainly from memory we were certainly the most casually dressed of the clientele.
Within ten seconds of being seated in a table central to the small restaurant, surrounded by couples out for romantic meals, we received two surprises. Firstly, the menu delivered to us was in Dutch with no English option and from what we could understand there were only two main meal options to choose from. Our hostess confirmed our fears, provided a drink and then explained the ethos of Red. You have two choices, Fillet Steak or Lobster. You don’t get to choose how your lobster is seasoned or your steak cooked, you get it the way Red cook them, no negotiations.
In reality there are three choices because you can combine the two, the surf’n’turf option of a fillet steak with half lobster which is the option we all chose. The dessert, again one of two choices, was simply sensational. The accompaniments of the main and dessert were both surprising and delicious, you need to try this place if you’re ever in Amsterdam.
I’m going out on a limb here but I don’t remember, in all my travels, eating better prepared food in my life. I’m not going to attempt to explain the textures and flavours but trust me the food at Red is to die for. Again I’m no great wine connoisseur but they served a Pinot Noir with our main meals which was awesome. The beers, wines, aperitifs and post match liqeuers are all delicious as well whilst the hospitality shown us by the owner/hostess which was truly superb.
And as note to restaurants throughout the UK, these guys served the best surf’n’turf imaginable for 24.95 euros what’s the deal here?
In short this place was, as we say in Glasgow “The Business”. Restaurant Red in Amsterdam is certainly a place I hope to visit again in the near future.
Categories: Travel & Reviews