The promise of a beautiful summer Sunday prompted a walk to the beach at Scheveningen, quite a hike for the youngest family members, but the promise of an ice cream if a decent lunch was consumed, and the bribe of playing in the sand worked the necessary magic to get us there.
The children wanted a croquette, I fancied some onion soup and my husband, with a chronic case of the munchies ordered an Uitsmijter as well as the tapas. An Uitsmijter is the semi-Dutch equivalent of a fry-up… and typically consists of ham, cheese and fried eggs layered onto slices of bread. The Tapas consisted of a list of possibilities of which you could choose a selection for a set price.
For me the fact that the eggs typically arrive sunny side up puts me off this dish, I prefer my eggs cooked to death due to spending my entire childhood suffering my mother’s penchant for breaking eggs into a pan of hot water to poach them, letting the hot water barely cook the white for a full 10 or maybe 20 seconds and then scooping them out, depositing them on a plate and expecting me to adore the almost completely raw liquid mess.
In early efforts to enjoy the Uitsmijter experience, I asked for the eggs to be cooked for longer, ….much longer, but sadly the best results even then were too rare for my liking. Himself however, likes Uitsmijters every now and again and well, he’s most welcome to them.
Uitsmijter verdict came back as “ nice enough”… The kids ate their croquettes, so they also passed muster and my onion soup was actually fairly tasty, nothing outstanding .. more a case of worse-than-some-better-than-most.
The Tapas arrived and looked great… sadly we were rather disappointed to say the least.. the chunks of chorizo were just the type of thing that hubby adores.. but these were very fatty, tough and lacked real flavour.
The Squid rings were OK… hubby and son ate them but didn’t break out in expressions of rapture, and the stuffed peppers had such hard and chewy skins that neither of us actually managed to eat more than a bite. The meatballs, feta cheese, bread and herb butter were left to fill the gaps and did so well enough, not bad at all in fact, but nothing exceptional either.
All in all, having enjoyed tapas in Spain and making recipes myself from Spanish cookbooks, I had hoped for more. To be fair, a beach-front restaurant in The Netherlands can not hope to compare in quality, style and flavour to an authentic, experienced Spanish tapa establishment, but I had hoped for more authenticity than was provided. The staff were friendly enough, the kids were well entertained, but I wouldn’t be ordering the tapas again if I were to eat there again… or at least not the peppers or the chorizo options.
That said, this is also not Michelin Star dining and so Himself has warned me to lower my expectations when eating out at a beach restaurant… but as a foodie I DO live in real hope that whenever I pay to eat out, I hope to get food where I wouldn’t think, “ I can definitely do this better than this at home”.
All in all we gave this one 4 out of 10, mainly for the nice restful dining with kids, the onion soup and for the smile and nice friendly word I got from the staff when I paid the bill.