Review: Cafe Loetje (Amsterdam)

Picture the scene: I arrived in Amsterdam on Monday evening, dropped my bag at my weird AirBnB and headed out into the night in search of food.

Speaking no Dutch other than “hallo,” which means “hello,” I hoped to find a guiding light towards somewhere to dine.

I turned a corner, crossed a bridge and there it was – a road illuminated with red lights coming from doorways and windows.

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Red lights of the tourist information booths in the distance

*tap tap tap* went the lady knocking on the glass of the door to attract my attention. “Oh, terrific,” I thought, a tourist information booth.

“Hey, baby. What would you like?”

“Good evening, I’m looking for something to eat.”

“You can eat for 100 euros.”

“Wow, I presume that’s for two courses?”

“For two courses you pay 150 euros.”

“Mmm, I’d really want dessert and a bottle of wine for that amount. Sounds like a fancy place, although I suppose I would get some good photos for the blog.”

“NO PHOTOS!” she shouted as she slammed the door.

Disappointed that I’d clearly just blown my chance to attend an exclusive Dutch supper club, I continued to wander the streets.

What’s that I spy in the distance? It looks like a series of tables and chairs with people sat eating and drinking, my spidey senses began to tingle. “If that’s not a restaurant, then I’m not a food blogger!” I said to the elderly Dutch man who I’d just knocked off his bicycle.

I entered the courtyard of Café Loetje and a waiter approached me.

“For how many people? he asked.

“Hang on a second buddy! I need to make sure you’ve got over  4.0 rating on Google first. Sorry, two seconds my 3G is going really slow. OK, now we’re down to GPRS, this is really very embarrassing. Let me just click in and out of airplane mode, see if that does the trick. HAHA, my phone must think I’ve just been on the shortest flight ever. Aaaaaaaaaand… 4G! Now we’re cooking my friend. I mean obviously we’re not cooking just yet, but hopefully we will be soon. When I say ‘we’ I mean ‘you’, well, not ‘you’, the chef, unless of course you’re also the chef? 4.2! Bingo! A table for one please.”

I took a table outside as the temperature was a decent temperature for sitting outside. The waiter brought over a menu.

“Can I get you a drink?”

“A beer I think.”

“Heineken?”

“Is that a craft beer?”

“It’s a lager.”

“Perfect! I’ll take two!”

Despite the menu being in Dutch (I never ask for an English menu, I refuse to look stupid in these places and give them an advantage) it became clear to me (a seasoned foodie) that this place was very much known for its steak,

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The options that presented themselves were:

Biefstuk ossenhaas – house steak?

Biefstuk ossenhaas ‘Bali’ – house steak with an Australian accent?

Biefstuk ossenhaas ‘De Roode Waard’ – house steak that might swear at me?

I opted for the ‘De Roode Waard’ option. Next thing you know, this is put in front of me.

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Biefstuk ossenhaas ‘De Roode Waard’

“What the shitting hell is that?” I hear you cry, (strangely the exact words I shouted at the waiter).

“It’s steak, liver, onions and bacon.” The waiter replied.

Now, I’m not going to lie, I didn’t have high hopes for this, but I was incorrect.

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From red lights to red meat.

The fillet steak was cooked perfectly, as was the liver. To be honest, with this plate of food, a lager and some chips in front of me I’ve never felt more of a man – well, apart from the time I went into one of the tourist booths with blue lights.

Five boys out of five!

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Toby’s Lunch / Review 17th November

Monday? Munchday more like.

Another week, and another chance to try out some of the foodie venues around my work.

This time it was The Fellow in King’s Cross, a terrific gastropub, just around the corner from everyone’s favourite rail station.

I was in a meaty sort of mood so I didn’t hesitate to opt for the steak, with hand cut chips and peppercorn sauce. Our food took some time to come, causing me to quip “what, are they catching the cow?” which I think judged the tone of the meal quite well. We were welcoming a new member of staff and some frivolity was encouraged.

It was during the wait that, in a moment of inattentiveness, I caused the straw in my drink to catch on fire. My straw was dangling out of the Diet Coke I had ordered, unbeknownst to me, far too close to a nearby candle.

I was busy holding court about November sales figures when I detected a commotion to the left of me. Luckily Ryan was on hand to extinguish the plastic-y flames in his glass of water. A sobering lesson in fire safety, and certainly one the restaurant should consider when planning table arrangements.

When the food arrived, it was wonderful. The steak was cooked to perfection, perfectly red in the middle while brown on the outside. As I said at the time, “well done on the medium rare steak!” Again, just allowing people to enjoy the meal without resorting to crude innuendo like others might.

My particular highlight was the handcut chips, which really were something special. I would recommend them to anyone and everyone who would listen.

4/5

Thanks very much to all at The Fellow for their permission to take a photo of this

Thanks very much to all at The Fellow for their permission to take a photo of this