Thursday, 11 March 2010

Restaurant: De Heer Kocken

Last February I visited De Heer Kocken, a restaurant in Vught, close to Den Bosch, in the Netherlands. This was my first visit to a Michelin-starred restaurant (one star), and hopefully the first of many :-)

The location is not ideal as there is no parking space adjacent to the restaurant, but it wasn't hard to find a spot. Once inside, there was no immediate reception, and we assumed we should put our jackets in the cloth rack ourselves. After entering the dining room proper, we were greeted and shown to our seats. The table was large (rectangular) and comfortable, and so was the distribution of tables in the restaurant. In general the place seemed small, cosy and comfortable. Soft jazz was played in the background, which I found somewhat annoying, but not terribly so.

At the table were already some delicious olives, grissini, and a nice mix of roasted nuts. This was later complemented by a few different types of bread (which were unfortunately not described). We went for a five course menu, and got the following:

  • A mix of Japanese-inspired raw tuna delicacies. This was supreme: the seaweed/rice combination, the tuna tartar, the avocado cream, all was really good. The presentation of the dish was also particularly appealing (a wide rectangular plate), and for some reason I think it matched the food.
  • Chicory soup with coquille St. Jacques. Not much to say other than very good: very tasty and the coquille worked perfectly.
  • Hake with dashi foam.Continuing with Japanese inspiration, the fish was served with dashi foam, for a hint of umami flavor. The fish itself was one of the finest fish preparations I've ever had.
  • Deer with potato and brussel sprout puree. This main course confirmed the excellence of this place. Strangely enough, we were asked at the beginning if we wanted French fries with the main course. We assumed that if they asked then it made sense to have French fries with the main, but it didn't, as it already had enough potatoes... this is certainly an oddity for a place like this.
  • Panna cotta of carrot, sorbet of blood orange, tangerine foam and jelly and a Moroccan spice crumble. The least special of the dishes, but still fresh and palatable.

Each dish was accompanied by a different wine, as per suggestion of the house. I had to drive back so I can comment much on the wine, but their selection seemed reasonable and also reasonable priced.

The staff was professional, friendly, and informative, but, then again, not more than what is expected.

In short, De Heer Kocken is a place to return to. Also surprising is the price of their menus: a 5 course menu for €50, very reasonable for an establishment of this quality.

1 comment:

  1. Acho que a Restaurant Week exista no mundo todo agora, e SP não podia ficar de fora :)
    Gostei dos seus comentários sobre o restaurante, e você tem menos preguiça que eu de escrever :P