Local Heart, Global Soul

May 9, 2014

They Say Everything Good Comes To Those Who Wait… (Or Not).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Continuing yesterday’s post, and our dining experience at “De Landbouw”,  we eventually get a menu, order and settle in to wait for our meal to arrive.

And wait we did… we started joking that they must have forgotten about us and this slowly evolved into annoyance that they really appeared to be ignoring us.

This time Himself went to ask when we might expect our meal please, and came back saying “soon, soon” to our now seriously irritable children.

As Murphy’s Law is want, the meals arrived at the exact moment we were ready to abandon our seats and walk out, so we sat down and ate.

I can’t say we were particularly impressed with the mediocre food, and we would have mentioned it to the waiter had he returned to ask us if everything was satisfactory with our meal, but he never did and he never came back to our area during the time it took us to eat our main course.  Himself and I had rashly bribed promised our offspring during the long wait with the possibility of an ice-cream dessert as reward for their patience,  so after again going inside to flag down the waiter we ordered dessert and requested that the brazier be lit please. Big mistake. The fire was lit soon enough but once again they took forever to bring dessert. When it arrived the kids tried it and didn’t love it…

Himself and I hurriedly finished our cheeseboard and dessert respectively and Himself went inside to pay rather than wait forever for the staff yet again.He came out in a less than good mood because the staff member he settled the bill with glibly said ” See you next time”…  to which he replied, “with your mediocre food and total lack of service? I don’t think so!” She apparently didn’t even apologise, but just shrugged.

After we got home I jotted into my notes all of the details of the evening, along with a  rating: 2/10.
De Landbouw may well be a long established business but we will not be repeat customers.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

May 8, 2014

De Landbouw… I Think We Might Be Waiting For Our Meal To Grow…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m diving back into my voluptuous photographic archive files and my notebook diary again: this time to 2012 when we were on our way home from an out of town appointment and decided on the spur of the moment to eat out.

The restaurant in question is called “De Landbouw” and established in 1868, it’s been a landmark feature of the Wassenaar area for generations.

We arrived here on a late summer afternoon, the weather, as is fairly normal for northern Europe was warm enough but threatening rain.

We debated inside or outside seating and settled on an outside table for the  simple reason that the children spied an area with a canopy and an outside brazier and their inner pyromaniac  wanted to see real flames for once.

(It’s as close as these city kids ever get to something bigger than the fire-starting gadget that lights the gas hob).We settle in and a waiter comes and takes our drinks order and leaves us a menu to browse. The drinks take ages to arrive.

It’s not that the place is overly busy, but clearly the large family party going on in the area out the back is taking priority. Since the children are now complaining loudly of being tired and hungry, I head inside to ask about the possibility of ordering food please.It should have been a red flag that even for this I had to wait almost another ten minutes.  It’s one of those niggling moments when wonder if you should leave but you are tired, have made yourself comfortable somewhere and the desire to persevere overtakes the desire to get everyone back into the car and start the process again elsewhere…

…in the meantime I notice that there is a small book on the history of the restaurant, so we take it to the table to read through whilst we wait.It appears that this place was almost completely rebuilt in 2003 and the photographs depicting the changes are amazing,  but the waiting is getting rather tedious by now…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

April 29, 2014

De Haagse Traiteur; The Menu Might Be Small But It’s Beautifully Formed…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It’s a hassle going out for a meal with a mega fussy kid in tow. It’s even worse when said fussy kid finds it difficult to sit still for more than three minutes at a time.

I’m a Foodie and despite my efforts to present my offspring with “joined up food” I have a son who resists  anything mixed up or with sauce heart and soul and to my consternation would live three hundred and sixty-five days of the year on plain boiled pasta with grated cheese on top if  I would let him.

It’s not helped by my lack of mobility in recent years  because Himself describes himself as a “cook”  but in reality since he’s also a pasta fanatic, this means that almost without fail he cooks one recipe over and over again: plain boiled pasta  with grated cheese on top.

Little Mr, is of course delighted with this arrangement and  loudly scorns my offerings of anything else.

The family dinner table is  sometimes a battleground where I attempt to initiate the following menu ” Eat it or starve” in an effort to broaden their culinary horizons.

Himself is less tough and wants our skinny kids to eat, so is willing to cook plain pasta topped with grated cheese whilst I have a meal that contains multiple veggies, sauce, potatoes  etc.

Since the parental philosophies differ we dual cook often and I attempt regular new (to him) dishes when I’m up to cooking so that Little Mr. at least gets faced with “joined up food”  and new tastes as much as possible. Kiwi Daughter, whilst far from adventurous, has at least progressed to be willing to trying new things and discoveries of new favourites like pesto and olives and dishes with more flavour and even a tiny bit of heat have been welcome milestones in the culinary battles.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Eating out as a family is however difficult with Little Mr’s fussy whims.  Recently Little Mr. went away for a sleep-over and Himself and I decided to take Kiwi Daughter out for a meal.

We had a recommendation from a friend for a place we always just thought of as a day-time café. Unbeknownst to us they also do early evening meals too.

They are open until 7:00 pm (last dinner order is for 6:00 pm) and since Kiwi Daughter was back late from another appointment, we booked for 6:00 pm.

There were four other tables of diners already there, a large cool cabinet is at the front with cold items from the menu on show.

The menu is fairly short but they change it regularly so there are a variety of menu items to choose from. I’m all in favour of a more limited menu done well… of course as long as it’s done well. There are various home made products for sale to, excellent gift ideas!

The staff are very friendly and it’s an added bonus that there is an open plan kitchen so you can watch  the chef busy making the food. Kiwi Daughter opts for a minced meat (ground beef) lasagne,  Himself for lamb chops and I go for asparagus with cod. Asparagus in Europe is generally the white variety, and often served with finely diced boiled egg and butter.  I love this combination, so let’s see how this one is served.  Our dishes arrive and we are not disappointed.

Himself is a little taken aback that his lamb comes with a side dish of rhubarb  (he’s no fan of any cooked fruit) but as the only one in our house who finds rhubarb divine I quickly volunteered to take this off his hands. Very good it was too… Himself’s lamb chops were excellent, as were my asparagus/ fish/egg and buttery potatoes and Kiwi Daughters’ portion of lasagne was more than she could finish. (Her pasta loving father being more than willing to eliminate her leftovers.)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The meal was a brilliant chance to spend a little quality time with Kiwi Daughter without her little brother vying for attention or being a distraction. It was nice to not have to keep constantly whispering to a certain kid that he should please be remaining in his seat, at least until his meal had been attempted… and to not have him moaning disconsolately  that there is nothing on the menu that he likes.

Ironically we know that the menu where he is eating tonight is “Eat it or starve” so he will either come home ravenous or more likely, be on his best behaviour and have a go even if he doesn’t like it. Like many kids the halo falls off as he steps over the threshold at home, other parents generally have more success than we do.

We watched the chef in the kitchen busy with a large pan of lasagne for the following days menu. It’s been baked and cooled he was turning it out of a very large metal pan. Except it would not come out of the pan, so with the pan still upside down he took a blow torch to it to heat it up a little and release the section that was sticking. The jet of flame was short but impressive.

Kiwi Daughter provided a laugh by seriously watching the proceedings and then saying “but isn’t that pan made of plastic?” Himself and I assured her that no chef would be using a blow touch on a plastic pan… and by the way, how would he have baked the lasagne in the oven, in plastic?

She grasped the logic with a red face. We finished off our meal with a slice of delicious chocolate cake each and then Rooibos teas for Kiwi Daughter and I and coffee for Himself. Yum, an excellent meal, relaxed and enjoyed. Himself and I have already decided that we’d like to come back, I’d like to have those lamb chops next visit. The menu might be small but it’s beautifully formed, we leave very happy customers and delighted with the surprise that this café is an unexpected early mealtime gem.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The small line of text reads:  “Get to know the Haagse (The Hague’s) Traiteur and we will stay friends for life!”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 3, 2014

Not Really A Full Date, But We Manage A Quick Lunch Together…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Being dependant on crutches tends to limit any nice ideas of going for a walk to the local shops, a wander around the centre of town or a gentle stroll in a park, beach or more rural location.

Of course getting to said centre of town, park, beach or rural location is first dependant on transport by car, and not being in driving state that necessitates Himself as my “driver”  would also be free to act as taxi chauffeur.

Before my accident we used to aim to split driving chores, ferrying kids to social and sporting engagements, school, Dr., dentist, orthodontist, family things although in practice Himself usually did a larger share due to nature of his freelance work and my often longer working hours. Now all of the taxi driving duties fall solely on Himself’s shoulders and I feel guilty adding extra requests to the heap.

It’s been rare since my accident that Himself and I get out as a couple,  but one day early last year Himself turned up  to collect me at the end of my physiotherapy session with the news that one of his clients had just phoned…

…The work they had promised would arrive that morning was not ready and Himself, having put off other clients in order to wait for the expected “urgent” work from this large client was less than happy to be twiddling his thumbs waiting around all morning waiting for the client to get their act together.

He knows it’s the nature of the work and that often the delays are due to circumstances out of the control of the his contact people but it’s frustrating all the same.

I suggested that we have an early lunch out together as a nicer distraction for us both, and my physiotherapist suggested  a place a short drive away:  Café Madeleine on the Laan Van Meerdervoort.

Actually more correctly the café is on the Valkenbosplein ( the street name is unfortunately spelt incorrectly on their visiting card) and I see that from tables stacked up outside that in fine weather it’s possible to eat outside on the plein itself.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There is a French theme running through the menu, the café is nicely decorated and the ambience is very comfortable.

We sit at the back and people watch, I’m having a “soup de jour” (soup of the day) which on this day was a home-made tomato soup that I very much enjoyed.

Himself went for something called a “BLTCG” that the menu explained was a “foccacia with crispy bacon, mixed salad, tomato, smoked chicken and guacamole”, ergo the acronym stood for the first letters of the main ingredients.

Himself’s lunch was rather photogenic and I snapped a few photos before reluctantly giving it back for him to eat.

Both of us enjoyed our lunch, it was lovely to be able to sit and eat quietly without interruption from the kids,  to be able to talk and sit together enjoying each other’s company.

Both of us enjoyed our food and look forward to a return visit in the future.

It would have been nice to stay for a little longer for a tea and coffee respectively but Himself’s client telephoned just as we finished our plates and Himself had to get back to deal with the now arriving urgent work. Next time we will  have to schedule some proper time together:  I’m not likely to be fully mobile for quite a while yet and so sadly Himself’s schedule isn’t  getting much free time in it any time soon.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

February 11, 2014

A Pick Up Point And Pick-Me-Up Point, On The Malieveld….

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m back to documenting our 2012 summer adventures with visiting  Singaporean friend “Velvetine” and after a whirlwind time visiting snippets of  England, Belgium, France, Luxembourg and Germany, we are now back in The Netherlands and I’m introducing her to some Dutch special places and culinary treats.

We’ve been busy this morning checking out The Hague’s annual statue exhibition in the Lange Voorhout and the M.C. Escher Museum and now we are just down the street on the large open area called the “Malieveld”.

We’ve arranged for Himself to pick us up from here in a little while but since we skipped lunch and the weather is less than wonderful today, we are now feeing the need for a warm drink and something to eat.

The place that Himself will pick up up from is somewhat of a landmark here in the city, mostly because it’s the sole building on the Malieveld, if you don’t count the massive underground car-park that lies beneath the grass here. The massive open area here hosts large events such as concerts, a speciality Indonesian festival each summer and things like circuses. We go inside and start with a shared toasted sandwich but are so hungry that we decide to order a Dutch speciality which will get it’s own post tomorrow…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Paviljoen Malieveld
Koekamplaan 6
2594 AA The Hague, Netherlands
+31 70 363 9250

March 18, 2013

Da Sebastiano, An Italian Restaurant, Old Style…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

After one of Family Kiwidutch’s excursions outside the Hague we arrived back in the city too tired to be bothered to cook at home so started thinking of places we would go out to to eat.

Himself  knew of a place across town that was an Italian restaurant he had heard about and said he’s heard it was rather different because it was more of the “old style” Italian that you don’t see much any more.

Intrigued we head over there hoping that they will have a table. It becomes apparent  when we arrive at the  “Da Sebastiano” what is meant by ‘old style Italian” when we  ask to please see a menu and our request is met with a grin and laughter.

There are no individual menus here:  instead the owner comes out with a blackboard, and leaning it upon his ample frame, joins us at our table to explain in detail the entire menu that’s contained on the board.

Little Mr. squirms in his seat  when he hears the explanations ,  horrified to find that there is no pizza available and that all of the pasta dishes on the menu come with sauces and ingredients he disdains,  asks in panic “is there not just plain pasta with cheese please?” and is visibly relieved when the owner says that whilst this is not on the official menu, it can be arranged.

Kiwi Daughter opts for a simple pasta with sauce whilst Himself goes with a capaccio entrée and a pasta with mussels main course. Upon the recommendation of the owner I opt for deep fried little fish, with turn out to be salty, crispy and rather moreish and cutlets for my main course.

Of course the kids head straight for ice-cream for dessert and Himself for one of his top three favourite desserts, tiramisu. The meal is good but I’d have to be honest and say that the menu is rather less kid friendly than I would have hoped  for if like us, you have fussy children.

Luckily the pasta’s they requested were possible, had they not been we would have not been left with anything on the menu that they would have enjoyed since the menu catered to more adult tastes. The kids were tired after our day out so this also ended up being a bit more of a business meal than we would have liked, but we would see tempers beginning to fray between Kiwi Daughter and Little Mr. so sometimes it’s diplomatic to eat fast and remove the kids before anything kicks off.

Himself and I both agreed afterwards that this would be a great place for a quiet adult dinner for two, but it’s less of a perfect place for children with fussy eating habits. For a simple, short menu that features regional specialities cooked well, this really is an old style Italian restaurant.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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