Thursday, July 07, 2011

HEMELSE MODDER Amsterdam's answer to fun fine dining (6-11-11)

Our second and last night in Amsterdam took us just across the canal
from our hotel to an adorable local spot recommended by our friends
who happened to live just feet away. HEMELSE MODDER
( at Oude Waal 11) literally means "heavenly mud"
and refers to their signature chocolate mousse dessert. We never got
to that dish, but did agree the food was not only heavenly, it was
quite reasonable if you choose the fixe priced options. There are two
three course menus at 29,50Euros and 33,50 and you can make one a four
course meal for just 4 Euros more at 37,50. Wines can be paired as
well at a very good price, but we chose to start with a 1/2 litre of
the house white, Vins Pays du Var-Cotes de Provence from Domaine de
Pinchinat 2009. A number of wines are available by the glass and half
litre which allows for more variety as well.
Nice bread and butter arrived, but it was not as good as the previous
night. Olives and pickled garlic cloves in small bowl were brought as
all three of us gobbled them up. Samuel was actually trying tastes
again. He ordered the simple filet with spinach and frites, and I have
to admit it was the perfect small size steak that we asked for,
although they did charge for the adult portion. The spinach was a bit
bland, but Samuel immediately took to dipping his frites (if
sparingly) in the accompanying Hollandaise sauce.
Will and I both started with the DUTCH HERRING and BEETROOT Salad
which had four gorgeous filets dappled with a mayo-remoulade sauce,
shredded beets and field greens. The herring was the star here and
indeed was like butter; you could cut it with a spoon, so fresh and
My "extra" 4 Euro course was called Bisque of NORWEGIAN PRAWNS & Lemon
Cream but was more like a bouillabaise consistency and very tasty with
tiny swirls of the lemon "cream" yet not thick or rich or creamy; it
was just right.
We moved on to a tasty bottle SOLABAL Rioja 2007 from Rioja Alta in
Spain that was smooth and quite full bodied. It paired nicely with
Will's PASTY with Ragout of Baby ARTICHOKES, FENNEL & ONION with Warm
LENTIL SALAD. This veggie option was really a vol au vent pastry as
opposed to the British "pasty" with delicious flaky pastry and a super
was actually a tender filet with an olive-tomato based squid sauce
that was akin to a Puttanesca and indeed quite spicy. The spinach was
good, fresh, but lacked flavor and the potatoes were a creamy divine
concoction with a fried crispy potato "shell" that indeed was
Will went for the LEMON MERINGUE TART while I marveled at the Fresh
DUTCH STRAWBERRIES with Homemade Yogurt Ice Cream which was light and
simple, yet some of the best strawberries ever (perhaps only the
Scottish Wild ones are better). Even Samuel loved them.
We all left happy but still tired after another long day in Amsterdam
where we had visited our favorite pancake house (see August 2010)
PANCAKES AMSTERDAM for lunch (the day before we went to our favorite
FRITES stand (see August 2010), and headed to bed to ready for our
cruise to the North Cape and Fjords or Norway on Sunday.