De Hems Dutch Cafe Bar

Like German food and my love-making, Dutch food can be really rather good if unheralded. If I concentrate and try to recall lyrics from Michael Bublé songs I can keep going for virtually minutes. Bitterballen are the quintessential Dutch food: Deep fried, cheesy and moreish. Only partly like my love-making. They also do unconvincing hot dogs and a spectacular line in aged Gouda. It’s definitely worth going out of your way to hunker down on some paper thin slices of aged Gouda accompanied by an excellent pinot noir. If you find yourself in Amsterdam make your way to Kaashuis Tromp on Utrechtsestraat for a bewildering array of Goudas.

De Hems Dutch Cafe Bar (http://www.nicholsonspubs.co.uk/dehemsdutchcafebarsoholondon/), shortened to De Hems Dutch Cafe Bar Pub for convenience, is smack bang in the middle of London, incongruously in China town. It’s my understanding that the Dutch are not ethnically Chinese, but to be honest foreigners all look the same to me. And women. And most animals. I’m pretty good with shapes and colours. It’s basically your standard English style pub with a Dutch inflected menu and a few Dutch beers and loads of Belgian beers. Green Triangle! I ordered a tall, cool Amstel and waited for the Bittergarnituur platter of Frikadellen (a hotdog sausage so witherered and humiliated it makes a tepid, sweaty frankfurter appear to be the epitome of haute cuisine), Samballetjes, Vlammetjes, Kaassoufflees (you have to admire the Dutch propensity for double-letters. Scrabble must be a nightmare to play over there) and the afore-mentioned Bitterballen. If I had to guess, all deepfried in the same oil and then carefully separated when it came to plating up. The same with Monty’s Scampi and chips. I know these are snacks, but they were very reminiscent of an Iceland party-platter. All that was missing was Kerry Katona elbowing me in the ribs as she noshed face-down in the plate.

I hear positive reports from My Old Dutch pancake place, but I’ve never been. The smartest thing to do if you’re hankering for Dutch cuisine, would be to go to Amsterdam. It’s a short hop to one of Europe’s most beautiful cities and you should eat at Stacey’s Pennywell (http://staceys.nl/) for romance, Café De Kroon (http://www.dekroon.nl/) for atmos, Lucius (http://lucius.nl/) for fish and Toro Dorado (http://www.beststeakanytime.com/) for steak. For authentic Dutch sensations in London hang around a bus stop in south London and you’re sure to catch a whiff sooner or later from a passing tween on a BMX.

£27 with booze.

NEDERLAND!

I'd like to think that no only is there no fibre in this dish, it actively neutered any fibre left in my digestive tract from breakfast. Somewhere close, Peter Andre is lurking with a fork and limbering up his famous acting chops ready for his next Iceland advert. Mysterious bloke.

I’d like to think that no only is there no fibre in this dish, it actively neutered any fibre left in my digestive tract from breakfast. Somewhere close, Peter Andre is lurking with a fork and limbering up his famous acting chops ready for his next Iceland advert. Mysterious bloke.

The very definition of plate-based excitement. Yeah! Yay! Woo-hoo! C'mon! Get Some! If something about my enthusiasm seems manufactured then you probably didn't read the Woo-hoo correctly.

The very definition of plate-based excitement. Yeah! Yay! Woo-hoo! C’mon! Get Some! If something about my enthusiasm seems manufactured then you probably didn’t read the Woo-hoo correctly.

Inviting no? And yes, that is a manbag you see on the table.

Inviting no? And yes, that is a manbag you see on the table.

Looks quite Dutch from without.

Looks quite Dutch from without.

The Dutch for menu is Spijskaart apparently. It's the sort of word Welsh people should be discouraged from saying, lest you are drenched in phlegm.

The Dutch for menu is Spijskaart apparently. It’s the sort of word Welsh people should be discouraged from saying, lest you be drenched in phlegm.

 

the big board netherlands

De Hems Dutch Cafe Bar
11 Macclesfield Street
London
W1D 5BW
Tel: 020 7437 2494
http://www.nicholsonspubs.co.uk/dehemsdutchcafebarsoholondon/

Advertisements

One comment

  1. Dutch haute cuisine. I love it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: