Edel by Dennis - Explore The Unimagined

Tucked away at the nexus of two canals in an absolute Dutch neighbourhood and minutes away from the Museumplein, this off the beaten tourist track restaurant dining is something that you will be ashamed to miss out whilst you’re visiting Amsterdam. mylifestylenews writes.

What cuisine would you expect in Amsterdam we asked ourselves especially when the trendy city went through the gastronomic revolution with new implementations over the past decades? The Dutch may not have been exactly at the forefront of cutting edge cuisine before but being one of the gastronomic melting pots in Europe thanks to its dynamic immigrants who brought in their individual unique culture blending with excitement of diverse ingredients being introduced and exploited, the time has changed now and so it was that we approached Edel by Dennis with some curious expectations and getting ready to explore the unimagined. We decided to walk from our hotel next to the Vondelpark and around the Museumkwartier to Edel by Dennis, as everything is flat and a pleasant 20-30 minute walk while exploring the real Dutch suburban neighbourhood with the navigation of Google maps to track our progress. When we arrived at an old stand out red brick building, we happened to see the sign, which was not exactly obvious, but presumably the locals know this place quite well, as it has been there for some decades. The building faces a canal and while the weather wasn’t cold and windy, you could see its potential for summer outdoor events and activities.

Helmed by Dennis Huwaë, right after his completion in culinary school and subsequently went to numerous culinary apprenticeships and internships in Okura’s Ciel Bleu and London’s Fat Duck, the 34 years old Huwaë returned to the Netherlands with his talent recognized by 3-Michelin star chef Moshik Roth who he battled gloriously with in the culinary field for eight years and finally set his footmark by creating a more relaxed experience and without the solemn atmosphere and rigid service often found at those haute restaurants. Huwaë wanted his diners to dine at ease and omit the unbending stereotype hospitality which is a more low key and accessible yet with high level of quality food brought to the table. Right after he found Restaurant Daalder, where he has been the chef and co-owner since 2016 and won numerous accredited awards including the Gault & Millau Award ‘Talented Chef of the Year 2018”, Edel by Dennis bistro and wine bar is another new playground he is now to spend time on and venture into a different path.

On entering, you have a small bar on the left adorned with catchy wordings written on the red walls that gives a little sassiness to the entire ambience especially when you arrive after dark. This lounge bar setup is decorated with low sofas and stools adjacent to a large doorway and opening to your right which leads into the restaurant proper. Inside was a cavernous space with the entry and one wall of small windows, top to bottom, facing the canal.

Graffiti artist Elle Streetart’s giant visage modern pop spray painted artwork can’t be missed upon entering the vast industrial like dining area. The striking visual is vivid and provides a burst of colour in an otherwise black and dark brown dining room and it is all very chic. It expresses a strong character to the entire style of the theme, reflecting the culinary style to be expected of Huwaë’s cooking for its quirky motif together with chic furniture designed with a nod to retro Danish in wood and leather as well as banquette seating along the wall under the pop artwork. It is vigorously aesthetic!

Retro cum industrial architecture lighting fixtures are hung around the very high ceiling of this old red brick factory’s transformation which used to house students of gem making and is another highlight throughout from its legacy. There is a raised dining section by the windows looking out at the canal which gives a little more depth and interest to the whole dining room. A floor to ceiling wine rack is another eye-catching drawcard at the other end of the dining room behind the main dispensing counter bar, covering the entrance to the kitchen.

While Edel is translated as gem or noble in Dutch, so is the décor and Huwaë’s culinary creation – a true gem. Our host Rosemary made us feel right at home the moment she came to our table. Her sense of humour and immense product knowledge of food and beverage appealed to us. We had an option of a Menu Innovative (3-6 course prix fixe tasting menu) or a-la-carte and we let Rosemary know that we wanted to taste a good cross section of the menu, so a-la-carte seemed best and we were off and away, along with wine pairings which, as it turned out, Rosemary had an unerring sense about and paired the perfect and unknown grapes with our food. She prepped us by telling us we were to expect classic cuisine with a nod to the French, but every dish has a wink to Asian cuisine and sometimes even to South America.

Anticipation was killing us and our dining sojourn at Edel by Denis began with an Amuse Bouche – A bao with dill cream, marinated salmon and a dash of ponzu. This mouth full bite size airy Asian conversion bao gave us some cause for anticipation about what was to follow, as it was delicious.

<Norway Lobster>
The lobster was slightly pan-grilled with a crunch of tempura texture. The beautiful flavours transpired along with a stunning presentation. Every bite is clean and fresh and you taste the sea enhanced by the natural sweetness from the carrot and coconut, plus the citrus palate of the Philippine Kalamansi was a master touch. Perfectly paired with the 2018 Knebel Riesling that offers an attractive nose made of lemongrass, yellow plum, earthy spices, fine creamy elements with a hint of licorice and smoke. Smooth yet playful and with a surprisingly intense palate that leaves a juicy and creamy feel of ripe fruits, minty elements and licorice in the herbal and delicately intense finish.

<Steak Tartare>
Steak Tartare with cream of watercress, shitake, soya and parmesan cheese topped with a dash of nori as garnish. This was definitely a different take on Steak Tartare and we loved it! It also had a nice peppery kick on the palate. It was difficult to detect the flavor of soy, which we were expecting to stand out more, but a well-executed dish that we would want to order on the next visit.

<Dorade Thai Style>
Dorade is a sweet water white fish and this was a superb rendition of how fish should be cooked and what skill has been shown in every facet of this dish, it was perfectly grilled. The side salad chili Som Tum is without any compromise from its original Thai version and gave the right kick of heat and yet the refined julienned papaya was well tossed and most importantly not watery, topped with a thinly sliced crispy coriander chip. Even the accompanying fried rice is another accomplishment for this set combination, every mouthful was so enjoyable. With such mastery of Asian ingredients and taste – some Asian chefs shall have learnt a lesson from this exotic and authenticity in flavours that creates harmony with complex ingredients. A must order! Paired with the fruity 2018 Vieilles Vignes Mâcon-Péronne of its pear, apple, mineral and a hint of grass, this medium white wine was a perfect match with the fish and a palate cleanser to the salad.

<Beef From The BBQ>
This Angus flat iron steak was aged for 280 days and was absolutely sensational. The ageing definitely pays dividends, but it is all about how the chef and his culinary team have cooked the beef. Glazed with black garlic and topped with golden roasted sesame seed with a side of minuscule potato fondant which is simply divine. Paired with 2017 J.J. Adeneuer red wine with dark currants, cherries on palate, another beautiful medium body and smooth wine for the beef. We had two orders of side dishes to go with our main courses: French Fries with Onion Compote, Aioli and Parmesan Cheese and a Seasonal Salad with Jerusalem Artichokes and all were hearty and delicious.

With the amount of food we sampled, unfortunately we did not leave any room for desserts, but we were sorely tempted. For now it is a small menu which allows the kitchen to deliver consistency and surprises with every dish. Every item from the circumspect crafted menu has been given the same love and attention to detail, no matter how big or small. You can’t devour but to enjoy every morsel mindfully to pay respect to this master creation. Despite there was a leaning towards more seafood than other options, this is the Dutch preference and we were still spoilt for choice and not to mention that the portion sizes are quite generous. The restaurant exudes humour in a number of ways for you to explore and the front of house team are a key part of this enjoyment! It is also great to see the local patronage and is a breath of fresh air to have the luxury of space, feel unhurried in your eating and the service takes time to engage you – Rosemary is a another gem –  a total “edel” which makes Edel by Dennis an absolute winner.

Tried & Tested:
Location: 4/5
Design & Decor: 4/5
Food & Beverage: 4.5/5
Service: 5/5
Value For Money: 5/5
Experience: 4.5/5

Postjesweg 1,
1057 DT Amsterdam
Tel: +31 20 799 5000

Reviews are based on actual day of visit and experience. mylifestylenews reserves the right of final decision in case of any disputes. All images are photographed by mylifestylenews team without any photoshop enhancement and are the property owned by mylifestylenews unless otherwise stated.

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