You’ve seen Hoofdstad Brasserie featured here numerous times already. But we haven’t visited the restaurant since executive chef Tjaco van Eijken took over the lead of the restaurant. We were eager to find out what his vision is and what’s on the menu now.
Hoofdstad Brasserie has always had a French oriented menu. Even the look of the menu feels like you’re sitting outside on the streets of Paris on a sunny day, with a glass of white wine in one hand, while mouthwatering over the many French-style dishes on the menu. Except – we’re in the middle of Amsterdam!
We start with a fresh plate of oysters. We normally would go with our favourite, the Gillardeau, but we decide to go for a different oyster today. And so we start with the Royale Cabanon Hervé – a sweet start of the lunch that takes us to the French seaside. It’s a shame we were on our dry January commitment – these oysters would have been perfect with a glass of white wine!
We top off our starters with a rich steak tartare (it doesn’t get more French than that) and an item I hadn’t seen on the menu before: BBQ avocado with goat’s cheese, kumquat and ajo blanco. The latter is absolutely a thriller. It’s a dish on the menu that represents the innovative side of French cuisine. It’s creamy, bold and wildly scrumptious.
We move on to the mains of the menu and go for a rich coquillettes dish with farmer’s ham, Comté cheese and slices of black truffle. This is one of those dishes that you want to make at home, eat up on the couch on a rainy or cold Winter’s day. It’s super satisfying. The canard a l’orange is a staple of French cuisine. The duck breast is served with a savoury orange sauce, sweet glazed carrots and the most wholesome potato mousseline you can find in Amsterdam.
Of course you have to conclude a French-style lunch with some French dessert classics. We go with the entremet chocolat, a sweet chocolate dessert with banana ice cream, yuzu and nutmeg. The sweetness of the banana and chocolate are nostalgic while the yuzu and nutmeg add a certain refinement to the dish. And then there’s the crepes suzette – another French staple. The crepes are served with vanilla ice cream. Creamy and deliciously fruity.
Hoofdstad Brasserie under the helm of executive chef Tjaco van Eijken is a little bit of France in Amsterdam. The team puts a modern twist here and there on the overall French-style menu. And on a sunny day, we definitely recommend sitting by the windows, with a seat overlooking the charming canals!