Flying Dutchmen Cocktails AmsterdamJune 28, 2022
I had the privilege of visiting Rijks, the restaurant of Rijks Museum, in Amsterdam a few months ago during my European trip. Rijks is a Michelin star restaurant led by Executive Chef Joris Bijdendijk and Kitchen Chefs (chef du cuisine) Ivan Beusink and Yascha Oosterberg. The restaurant strives to showcase Dutch produce in exceptional modern cuisine. I can confirm that Rijks certainly achieves this goal.
The restaurant itself is absolutely stunning and boasts a sleek modern feel to it. The menu changes regularly ensuring one is spoilt for choice and options. Upon our arrival at Rijks, we were escorted to a lovely table adjacent to the large windows looking out on the magnificent wine display. The menus and various tasting options were explained to us and some local Dutch wines were recommended to us (we requested for some Dutch wine suggestions – when in Netherlands right?). We opted for the five course tasting menu and our wine of choice was the Wijngaard Dassemus Wilde Rode; a red wine blend of Cabernet Cortis and Rondo grape varietals from the Noord-Brabant region of the Netherlands. The wine boasted deep berry fragrant notes with spicy and subtle earthy undertones. I’ve never had this type of blend previously so I have no basis for comparison; it was certainly an interesting wine. The tasting menu commenced with langoustine tartar. The langoustine was served with Anna Dutch caviar (a local supplier), scallop and the most incredible foamed sauce. It was a sensational seafood dish. The second course was a fresh salad comprising bitter lettuce, pear, Oude Texelse goat cheese (local supplier) and walnut cream. The salad was lovely, refreshing and a well-balanced dish, however, a little underwhelming. My third course was one of Rijk’s signature dishes; kale, smoked egg yolk, bbq cabbage broth and sauerkraut. While this dish may not sound pleasing to everyone, it was elegantly presented and most aesthetically appealing. The taste, too, certainly lived up to the title of signature dish. It was a phenomenal dish. Thoroughly enjoyed this course. My benedict, not being a fan of kale or egg, opted for an alternative dish. He instead chose the classic beetroot dish, one of Rijks' oldest and favourite dishes, which was also absolutely delicious. The team at Rijks were only too happy to accommodate us and recommend a substitute dish for the kale and egg one. The fourth course of the evening was the chicken dish which was served with potato terrine and a beautiful rich gravy. The chicken was perfectly cooked, tender and juicy, boasting the tastiest crispy skin. Absolutely loved this beautiful dish. The last course of the evening was the dessert course comprising two of the most perfect chocolate quenelles showcasing chocolate sorbet and vanilla and chocolate mousse elegantly topped with gold leaf. This dessert was rich, decadent and absolutely outstanding! One of the best desserts I’ve ever had the privilege of enjoying. Following dessert, we were treated to the most charming petit fours in the form of a “cookie jar”. Each little treat was beautifully and carefully prepared and certainly tasted amazing. My favourite was the stroopwafel – a stunning and elegant twist on a classic local Dutch favourite.
Following our meal, we were fortunate enough to be taken on a little tour of the restaurant and kitchen by the professional and friendly restaurant manager, Jonne. As Jonne took us around and described the various operations of Rijks, I gained a sense of appreciation for the immense pride and passion of the Rijks’ team. A pride and passion, which was almost tangible and most certainly evident in every course. It’s not difficult to see why this incredible restaurant has been awarded a Michelin star, listed on the Worlds 50 Best Discovery and Gault & Millau Netherlands guide. The chefs themselves won The Best Chef Gourmet Award for the best restaurant in the host city for the 2021 Best Chef Awards. The service at Rijks was impeccable. The restaurant boasts a young vibrant team who do a fantastic job without all the unnecessary pretentiousness of some traditional Michelin star restaurants. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at Rijks and hope to visit again one day.