For all of you hopeless romantics reading this post right now, do you ever wonder if you’ll meet your significant other while travelling? I have a few friends and family that met their special someone through their adventures, and people have said to me they think I’ll probably end up meeting my other half on one of my trips. So I can’t help but wonder about these kind of things from time to time 😉 BUT, what if you met someone’s mother first from your travels that ends up becoming your mother-in-law? As in you meet their son or daughter as a result of meeting the mom. In this post, I’m going to share my experience of dining at Amsterdam’s Daalder restaurant, and also the story of meeting someone that evening! I also realized that I’ve met more interesting and cool moms during my travels than potential romantic interests haha, so I thought, a ‘How I Met Your Mother’ themed post would be fun 🙂
By now, you all know how much I love food, and whenever I travel, I’m always looking out for some good eats!
When I was in Amsterdam, I came across this ‘must try’ restaurant amongst locals and visitors. I knew I was in for a treat that evening, but what I didn’t anticipate was meeting a very lovely lady, with our conversation lasting for hours until the restaurant was near closing.
Daalder caught my interest because of the surprise tasting menu it offers, and they’re also one of those restaurants where each ingredient is carefully chosen to curate the dishes. The chef uses only ingredients that are fresh during that period to decide on which dishes should go on the menu. I’ve tried surprise menus in the past, and have always left with a happy tummy. It’s quite fun to not know what you’re eating! Of course the restaurant will ask about your dietary needs first, so don’t worry about a dish that you won’t be able to eat 🙂 I also like the cozy, elegant yet casual vibe of this place, a Michelin level restaurant, but feels like a neighbourhood bistro at the same time.
Unfortunately, I found out about Daalder after I arrived in Amsterdam, hence I did not have a reservation. Seasoned travellers will know that dining at restaurants like this, without a reservation well in advance, you probably won’t be able to dine at the restaurant of your choice. Especially in Amsterdam, any good restaurant will be fully booked, so don’t expect to just walk in and get a table. They are usually all booked until closing, or even within the next few days, which was the case for Daalder.
I had to go and at least try to get a table, but of course, it was fully booked. A woman at a table near the entrance heard my disappointment and asked if I would like to dine with her. She was really sweet and I already knew she enjoyed food just as much as I did, and we would have some great conversations that evening. I thanked her and joined her at the table shortly after.
While I’m going to keep the details of the conversations private, I have to say it was a very lovely evening meeting this new friend. She shared her stories, advice, and words of wisdom with me, and obviously we talked about different types of cuisines we’ve had from our travels. That’s the thing with meeting people while travelling, you never know who you will meet, and each person has such interesting stories and experiences to share! We even joked about how it would make for one heck of a story if she ended up becoming my mother-in-law in the future, and considering that we like each other already and have so much in common haha!
We both opted to try the 7-course surprise menu, there is also a 4, 5, and 6 course option. I highly recommend the 7 course, I mean…if you’re going to try it, might as well go all out right?
I wanted to give my 100% full presence to this new friend, so I only took very quick snapshots of each dish and put my devices away, which is why some of the photos are a bit blurry. Tip, when meeting your future in-laws, remember to give them your full presence 😉
Being a surprise menu, the dishes will change, this is what I had that evening for your reference in terms of the type and style of dishes to expect. I paired the majority of the dishes with white wines:
Amuse-Bouche – Nigiri sushi (roasted salmon, ponzu & tangerine cream). An interesting take on sushi, instead of using rice they used a foam-like piece that tasted like crackers.
4th Course – Scallop with cauliflower, calamansi, and hazelnut. The scallop was cooked perfectly and very fresh. I’m usually quite disappointed by many scallop dishes I try, but this one exceeded my expectations!
7th Course – Foie gras and caviar. I generally don’t particularly like foie gras, but this foie gras dish was just PERFECTION. Paired well with the caviar and hints of sauces that aren’t too overbearing. Foie gras is already heavy and rich in taste, so it is very easy for a dish like this to be congested with flavours, but Daalder controls that at just the right amount.
The scenery from outside the restaurant. Amsterdam is so breathtaking, both day and night!
This restaurant is now one of my top favourites in Amsterdam, I love the surprise menu concept, and each dish was cooked to perfection. There wasn’t a dish that I found to have flaws. The presentation and attention to detail is clearly present, and you can tell the chef puts a lot of thought into preparing the menu. They also have a patio that opens during the summer, imagine eating a delicious meal with this gorgeous canal view!
Remember, if there is an absolute must try restaurant on your list, make a reservation as soon as you have your travel dates set! Food is serious business 😉
And in case any of you are wondering, no I am not calling anyone my mother- in-law anytime soon haha 😉
*all photos are taken by me with the exception of the 2 photos of the restaurant that belongs to Daalder.