Mr Foodie recently started Dutch classes. He’s trying to pass his inburgeringsexamen (integration exams) so it’s pretty intensive – three evening classes a week plus homework. The upshot is that we don’t actually see much of one another nowadays, since one or other of us seems to be busy most nights of the week. The solution? Date Night.
We ordered a bottle of Rioja to kick things off while we decided what to order – at €42, it was one of the cheapest wines on the menu, so be warned. Passing up the four-course menu for €40, we decided to order various dishes to share. Starting with a simple plate of bread and butter to sate our immediate hunger – it was so good, we got seconds. The bread also went well with our plate of Wrångebäck – a Swedish cheese that’s hard and tangy, like a cross between cheddar and manchego.
Then to the hot dishes… Cauliflower came sliced wafer-thin and cooked al dente, served in an umami-rich (but apparently vegetarian) jus with peppery mustard leaves. Possibly my favourite dish was the charred octopus tentacle, served with leaves of sweet onion and a sort of Romesco sauce. It wasn’t what you’d associate with Nordic dining (and perhaps it wasn’t supposed to be) but the Mediterranean flavours were full of the mellow vigour of late summer sun. Next came equally charred spitskool (pointy cabbage) with strawberries, apple blossom and a buttermilk sauce – a dish in which summer meets autumn. And finally, meltingly soft pork cheeks with uber-smooth celeriac purée and a sweet onion relish.
I can’t fault the food – it was fantastic. What I can perhaps fault is the portion size – you might expect slightly more on your plate for the price (we spent around €60 per person). But as Date Nights go, it was a hit. Now, where to go this Saturday…?
Editor’s note: A few days later, I went back to 4850 in the daytime to try the coffee. And, because they were fresh out of the oven and smelled amazing, one of the cinnamon buns. I was not disappointed: the coffee was so smooth I didn’t need to add my usual half-teaspoon of sugar, and the bun pulled apart in soft, fragrant pillows of perfectly cooked dough. A comforting treat for an autumn afternoon.