Amsterdam Foodie

The Harbour Club Amsterdam Oost – restaurant review

I arrived at the Harbour Club in Zeeburg in typical Amsterdam style: by bike, no heels, very little make-up and pretty unsexy clothing. You know, just an average dinner out in a city where image isn’t really a thing. I realised my mistake as soon as my ballet-pump-clad feet hit the red carpet and I laid eyes on the woman who would escort us to the bar. She had heels like the Matterhorn and a cleavage like sugar-loaf mountains. It’s not often that I’m out of my element in restaurants, but on this occasion I’d seriously misjudged the situation. Still, crashing on, we downed a gin & tonic for Dutch courage and made our way over to our booth. It was slightly elevated and looked out over the rest of the enormous red-lit restaurant – which was just as well since it was full of guests dressed much like the hostess, and afforded a perfect opportunity for people watching. The waiting staff were every bit as glamorous as the guests (I can only assume it’s one of the Harbour Club’s hiring criteria), which was great for as long as I could forget how woefully underdressed I was.

Harbour Club Amsterdam East
The Harbour Club Amsterdam East on a Saturday night…

But ok, the food! The Harbour Club’s menu concept should probably be described as “fusion sharing”. There’s a strong Japanese component, mixed in with various European notes, and the quality of the ingredients was pretty impeccable. Then again, you’d expect that for the price tag. We started with beef tataki and tuna tacos. The beef was perfectly seared, had a heavy hit of yuzu and plenty of crunchy daikon – fresh, clean and flavoursome. The tacos were a big win, too – a limey, creamy sauce but with more yuzu flavour rather than the kimchi advertised on the menu.

Harbour Club Amsterdam - tuna tacos
The Harbour Club’s tuna tacos

Next up came a small but exquisite sushi plate, featuring three types of ultra-fresh sashimi; a maki roll topped with foie gras and a tiny pipette of something umami and delicious; and seared salmon nigiri with teriyaki sauce.

Moving away from the Asian theme, the following dishes included mushroom risotto (hard to judge when you don’t eat mushrooms), veal sweetbreads (which were meltingly tender), and a fish dish served in black rice with a smooth beurre blanc sauce that was very well executed.

Harbour Club Amsterdam Oost - fusion food
A punchy plate of beef tataki

Dessert was impossible to photograph (the lighting was pure red light district by this point) but the clue was in the title: “The Chocolate Dream”. Brownies, ice creams, chocolate sauce, truffles and cones of pure dark chocolate… a gazillion calories all presented on a long wooden board that was oozing with so much chocolate indulgence that the waiter had to put a tea towel underneath it to catch the drips. I couldn’t help but think that not a single one of the Kardashian lookalikes in the restaurant would ever eat that many calories in a week – let alone the half hour it took us to decimate it. (Then again, no one trusts a skinny foodie.)

I’d been invited as a guest of The Harbour Club so we didn’t pay for our meal, but I totted up what we ate afterwards based on the menu on their website and it would’ve come to over €200 for the two of us. The food was certainly good quality, but the service wasn’t what I’d expect for that amount of money – I had the feeling the waiters would rather gaze at each other than notice what their customers might be needing. With that being said, the music was good (the Harbour Club employs its own DJ) and the atmosphere fun if you fancy a glammed-up girls night out. Just don’t forget to take a taxi and channel your inner Kardashian…

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The Harbour Club Amsterdam Oost (International)


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