Britsoc: The British Society of Amsterdam and the Netherlands. Serving the British Expat community since 1920.

Nick’s Nosh Restaurant Review: Screaming Beans

Nick’s Nosh Restaurant Review: Screaming Beans

 

With a name like screaming beans www.screamingbeans.nl you can pretty much guess what this place is all about, or can you?  I came across this place during a walk, which is my new plan to get into shape.  

Nick's Nosh

My regime is to set off in a random direction in Amsterdam for 30 minutes and then, when the alarm goes off after 30 minutes, head back.  Occasionally, on one of these walks, a place catches my eye and I store it for future reference.  I came across Screaming Beans on one such adventure.

Immediately by the name you think this is an up market coffee place, but through the window I could also see one thing which really entices me into places, a wine wall!  You know one of those walls where all the bottles are floating horizontally in glass.  I am a complete sucker for it. If you ever find yourself in Las Vegas the most magnificent example of this is the 4 storey skyscraper example in the Aureole in the Mandalay Bay Hotel.  They have to have trained climbers to fetch the wine using a winch and pulley system.  After the first encounter it took until my third encounter, around two months later, on a lazy bank holiday day, to arrange to dine there.

As I often do when I go to these places, I will often check in with the various social networking sites as occasionally they throw a deal your way, like a cake if you order a coffee or something similar.  They also tend to offer a suggestion from previous visitors, like the seat nearest the bar is draughty or they have free wifi . On this occasion there was no offer but the review from one visitor:

“What is this place trying to be? A coffee bar or a fine dining restaurant?”

Screen Shot 2013-05-06 at 10.53.13

 

It has all sorts of concepts going on at the same time. Breakfast menu, sandwiches, tasting menus, simple choices of 10, 15 or 20 euro mains and an impressive wine list of 120 bottles, which are mostly French.  The interior is classy; dark wood, glass, mirrors and slate, but the chairs and tables do take a bit of the shine off as they look a bit cheap and they are relatively uncomfortable.

They do have free wifi and many people were taking advantage of this to do some work over a coffee and a late lunch.

I had not had lunch yet on this day but it was a bit late and I knew I was going out later so my choice was a bit tricky with what to order.  I started off with a coffee as I perused the menu.  I went for a latte which in hindsight was not a good choice as I could not really evaluate whether the coffee was good.  I was close to ordering a sandwich, but in the end went for the 3 dish tasting menu so I could experience more of their food.

The first dish was an oyster and the second a slice of buffalo mozzarella with some miniature salad leaves, a small 20 cent sized piece of beetroot and one of another root vegetable, which I could not fathom.  The third dish was a steak tartar stack about 2cm tall by 2cm in diameter, again served with miniature salad leaves, some other pieces of raw vegetables in 20 cent sized pieces.  There were some crunchy things placed on top of the tartar also in 20 cent sized slices, one of which was a delicious parmesan crisp, a gherkin and another cheese crisp, of which I could not decipher the taste. Additionally there was some fresh parmesan on top for good measure. There were spots of pea puree and mayo around to add to the flavour.

The first two dishes came and went very quickly without really much to comment on  but the steak tartar I savoured, it was delicious. As I sat there, I thought to myself that this really was a tasting portion and I was still a bit hungry.  I pondered for all of about 5 minutes about taking the full portion.  The full size dish was pretty much the same except that you got 3 little stacks this time.

Screen Shot 2013-05-06 at 10.53.31

 

Honestly I would have eaten it again.

To go with the steak tartar I had a glass of Saint Veran a white burgundy which was very smooth and earthy which matched the tartar nicely.

This little lot was not cheap. To do this I did not get much change from 45 euros!

In the background there was some Spanish guitar music & modern French street music, which I did not notice until I wanted to comment on the ambiance so it did not bother me at all really.

This place needs to decide what it wants to be. I don’t think at the moment it is classy enough to do the fine dining thing, but it’s a bit too stuffy for a breakfast and brunch venue.  So how do I rate it?  Is it an upmarket coffee/lunch venue or a fine dining venue?  Well it is trying to be both and for that reason I think I cannot give it the score the tartare definitely deserves.  Try it, it is good and if you disagree with me you can send your comments to: nicksnosh@hotmail.com

www.screamingbeans.nl