13 January 2011

Hemelse Modder at Hemelse Modder restaurant, near the Nieuwmarkt, Amsterdam

All we wanted was to try some Dutch food in Amsterdam. You wouldn't think it would be so hard, but after a couple of days of wandering, we still hadn't found any. "What do the Dutch eat," we asked our friend, Stan, who lives there. "Food from everywhere else," he said. And it's true - Thai and Indonesian are the current cusines of choice in Amsterdam.

So when we read about Hemelse Modder, we were pretty excited. Then we stepped inside and were a bit worried we'd made a big mistake. All around us were Aussie accents and decor that made you feel like you'd stepped into an Ikea catalogue. Functional, but not exactly memorable.

We were even more worried when we opened the menu and, despite what our guidebook and Google reviews had said, it wasn't even Dutch food after all! The menu said: "The pleasing palate flavour combinations, with typical Dutch and British accents, are prepared using traditional craftsmanship." So much for finding exotic local food and escaping food from home!

That said, the restuarant later filled up with Dutch speakers, so we stopped feeling like such tourists and relaxed, enjoying the great canal-side views. And the food was pretty Dutch after all, just with the odd touch of things like Scottish beef . And at 29.50 euros for three courses, you can't really go wrong!

For dessert, I had to try 'hemelse modder': the dish that gives the restaurant its name. It means 'heavenly mud' in English and is a dark and white chocolate mousse with vanilla cream. But this isn't just any mousse in a pot - it's mousse deconstucted, beautifully served as three scoops of thick, bitter chocolate mousse and sweet white chocolate mousse. Not like any mud i've ever seen, but definitely more tasty and pretty!

Restaurant Hemelse Modder, Oude Waal 11, 1011 BZ Amsterdam. 020 - 624 32 03.


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