by Nick Nugent
1011 EJ Amsterdam
Tel: 020-737 0811
If you want to go for a posh meal on Sunday there’s not a huge amount of choice in Amsterdam these days with only four Michelin starred restaurants opening their doors. Lastage is one, Sinne the new one in the De Pijp is another, with a couple of Ron Blawue’s establishments making up the rest. We made our decision at the last minute to go, so there was little choice and in the end we picked Lastage. As is customary with these places doing seasonal food they always ask for any dietary restrictions. We don’t have anything in particular, but we sent them our list of dislikes, which seems to grow after every visit to a posh place.
Lastage is a pretty and petite restaurant near Nieuwemarkt with simple interior on two levels. The interior is white with decorative art, wooden floors, solid looking wooden tables and comfortable chairs. It is a nice place to be.
The meal was a sort of a celebration, so we plumped for the six course menu for 73 euros. There is an also a flight that you can choose, but it was Sunday evening after all and work was tomorrow. That said we did also choose the matched wines. The service was friendly, and just about okay for attentiveness for a place such as this, but being ultra critical it could have been a bit better.
We started with sparkling wine from Spain. As with all these multi course meals I will give the highlights only.
Hummus with breadsticks
Rilette red gurnard
Pillow of creamed leeks
Crispy ring filled celeriac puree
These were all a bit brown except for the Hummus which was coloured with pea puree. The crispy ring with the Celeraic was my favourite out of the amuses.
Ossenworst with baby tomato and Ras el Hanout cream crispy kir seeds
Ossenworst is not my favourite thing from Dutch kitchen, but this was pretty ok and served with a light crisp Bandol 2012 from Provence.
Sea bass tartare, haricot beans wrapped in leek with horse radish, prawn wrapped in kataifi pastry, lemon cream fraiche, cream corn, radish cone and crispy pillow.
This was nice enough, and the pastry wrapped prawn sent me memories of the first time I had such a thing during our tour of Ireland in 2007. The purees on this plate I think made the dish for me. The wine chosen to go with this was a MA’D Tokaji Furmint dry white from Hungary.
Cured tail end of pork with apple pickled cucumbers, garam masala sauce, lettuce, pumpkin seeds.
This was by far the prettiest dish served all night and I could have eaten two of these. It was lovely. Classic pork with apple and pickle, but cooked to perfection and spiced up with the garam masala. This was served with a Notari Montepulciano from Italy.
Fresh pea soup with black pudding
I love a good pea soup, and this one was good. The soup had some whole split peas in there for added texture, and the black puddling gave a nice metallic counter point to the sweetness of the pea.
Turbot with broadbeans, wild garlic leaves, Ras el Hanout cream, shrimp, beetroot, sauce from soy.
If I love pea soup, then I adore turbot. It’s truly the king of fish for me. It was beautifully cooked, and the accompaniments worked really well. The sauce was damn good adding a very smoky umami flavour to the whole dish. This was served with Condo D’ Evideria Reserva Branco from Portugal.
Sweetbread terrine with wild asparagus, puy lentils.
I’m a recent convert to sweetbread after my meal in Rotterdam at FG labs. You can read that review also. This style of cooking it in a terrine I thought was only okay. I think I would have preferred a simpler style. It was tasty enough. This was served with red wine a Morgon Bernardo a French Beaujolais.
Beef seasonal vegetables, separate artichoke and pea artichoke purées, pata negra, BBQ sauce & potato puff.
After all the courses, there was not a whole lot of room left for main, which was a good job it was only a small slab of beef. It was cooked well, and their purees again were good. The BBQ sauce I felt was a bit too strong for the dish overall, and after a while I got sort of bored with it. This was served with a della Lucania Damaschito Aglianico del Vulture from southern Italy.
Brioche bun filled with camembert, sheep cheese, apple pieces with balsamic, muscovado sugar powder.
Hot chocolate liquid sponge, chocolate, white chocolate aero.
I’m not really a dessert sort of person, and so these are a little lost on me. They were nice enough and served with sweet white Chateau Loupaic-Gaudiet from Entre Deux-Mers from France.
You might have noticed that I haven’t said anything about the wine yet! Well that’s because I wanted to save it all for the end. The choices were brilliant. I was so happy with each match. The sommelier Elise Moeskops did a cracking job on this, and in addition gave me some advice for my trip to Budapest on grapes and tasting venues. Great job.
Overall, it was a relaxing and enjoyable way to spend a Sunday evening. If you are in need of this level of food, then it’s a great choice. I pondered long and hard about whether to give them four stars. This is still my highest accolade to date. In the end, I gave them three. It didn’t quite make it to the heady heights of my La Rive experience, but it was pretty darn close.