I don’t know why I put off posting these mouth-watering food photos from Ron Blaauw’s Ron Gastrobar in Amsterdam. These pictures are from a while back and I bet these dishes aren’t even on the menu anymore. Needless to say, I am very picky on my food. Especially when the restaurant is headed by a chef the likes of Ron Blaauw (Michelin-starred, progressive with balls). Now, I admire any one who has the guts to wave farewell to their hard-earned Michelin stars to open up a new concept, one that has the risk of losing
rich valuable clientele. Ron did this in 2013 by trading his exclusive fine dining restaurant for the less exclusive ‘bistro-styled’ restaurant. But is the food any good though?
As soon as we’re seated, we’re presented with pickles from Kesbeke (the famous Amsterdam pickling company), whipped butter mixed with beurre noisette) topped with some chopped pork scratchings. Inside a white paper bag, crunchy bread (too crunchy maybe for my taste). We also order a plate of oysters because, well, do you ever need a reason to order oysters? The answer is no (don’t argue).
The menu had menu things to offer and we were dying to try the whole lot. We ordered the mackerel sashimi marinated in a soy-based yuzu and ginger dressing. The dish was served with tapioca pearls and ikura (salmon roe). The sesame crunches provided the dish the texture it needed.
A variety of mushrooms, enoki and shaved bits of truffle. Very light yet full of flavour.
Then this happened. This was my favourite. Just thinking about this dish makes me all googly (is that even a word) again. I was hogging this dish for sure. This dish featured buttery mashed potatoes (the creamiest I have tasted), king crab, chives and shellfish sauce. The shellfish sauce had such a rich flavour and was so full of depth. It gave this ‘comfort food’ the perfect elegance. The dish was in balance, the king crab sweet and succulent. I don’t know if they still serve this. But I would go back for this dish alone in an instant.
Scallops; not that spectacular.
If memory serves, this was sole on a bed of pan-seared cauliflower. A much bigger portion than the other dishes!
The infamous Ron Gastrobar wagyu burger!
What we absolutely loved, were these little wasabi nut-brittled ice cream cones we got at the end of the meal.
A cake of chocolate, beets and balsamic paired with a soft truffle ice cream. The chocolate cake was quite plain jane and vanilla but with the truffle and the subtle beets and balsamic paste, it was a wonderful balance.
Prices are average; you pay EUR 15 per dish so you can build up your menu whatever way you like. With paired wines, don’t be surprised with a EUR 300 bill. The portions of the dishes vary. I would have loved seeing a bit more innovation in the dishes. Otherwise, the dishes were great in balance and the wines we were paired with were paired perfectly. The restaurant is not as informal as it was intended to be though, it is quite sophisticated. Will I visit it again? If they still serve the potato mash, then yes! Absolutely.