Librije’s Zusje, Amsterdam, 7/4/18

hotel
hotel

Librije’s Zusje is a 2 star Michelin restaurant located in the lovely Waldorf Astoria hotel.   Chef Sidney Schutte has been in this location for 3 – 4 years having  worked at Zwolle Librije for 10 years.   The medium sized, well-spaced tables were fully draped with nice linens and set with comfortable leather chairs and purse stools, rhythmic music was in the background and the lighting is lowered.  Smaller velvet chairs match the banquette seating along one wall.  Windows look out to the beautiful grounds,  paintings and mirrors tastefully decorate the walls and a huge arrangement of gorgeous flowers graces the center staging table.  The room has a wonderfully elegant feel.  

hotel
hotel
hotel
hotel
sign at door
sign at door
interior
interior
interior
interior
center flowers
room flowers
Frankie looked out the window
Frankie looked out the window

 

The first greeting is that of a cool, moist towel to wipe your hands, cool in response to the warm day outside.  Afterwards a large rectangular napkin is placed in your lap and you’re ready to look over the menu.  The place has a lot of staff working the room but they are never intrusive but willing to be friendly and chat if you indicate an interest, which we did.  Two tasting menus are available, one omnivore and the other vegetarian, and you could choose between 5 or 7 courses.  We chose the 7 course omnivore menu.  This is a place to put on your list to get to – it offers small concentrated tastes in unlikely combinations that really work.

about
about
menu
menu
menu
menu
staff
staff
table set up
table set up
Frankie inspected the table decoration
Frankie inspected the table decoration

 

Several amuse bouche start your meal, which we enjoyed a glass of cava with.   A crispy eel skin with plankton and black pepper was excellent. Crisp and tasty.

amuse
amuse bouche
closer
closer
Fun server Berber Vergeest and Frankie
Fun server Berber Vergeest and Frankie

 

Caviar from north Italy was presented with Kaffir lime and cauliflower puree underneath.  It was wonderful.

amuse
amuse
inside
inside
Frankie wondered it one utensil could be called a spork
Frankie wondered if one utensil could be called a spork

 

An oyster leaf was wrapped around dried and shredded mackerel with horseradish and marzipan cream.  It was a very fun combination of flavors and a nice, intense taste.

leaf
leaf
other side
other side
inside
inside
wines
wines
xx
Frankie and Sommelier Floris Altink

 

A salad of the North Sea was spicy with sesame, sweet corn and whisky.  Very tasty.

xxx
a salad of the North Sea
closer
closer
Frankie liked the glasses
Frankie liked the glasses

 

Sourdough bread was served with Jersey cow’s milk butter and a caramelized goat’s milk butter.   The bread was nicely crusty with a good dense interior.  Both spreads were tasty.

bread and spread
bread and spreads
bread closer
bread closer
Frankie never turns down a lap
Frankie never turns down a lap

 

The ‘Maatjesharing’ Herring is the first catch of herring in the season.  It was served with potato, buttermilk, dill, cinnamon, bacon and egg yolk.  The sauce incorporated cinnamon and miso while potato was the crispy bits on the top.  The egg yolk was infused with bacon flavor.  The green thing on the side was a puffy crisp which added even more texture to this nice combination of tasty ingredients.

"Maatjersharing" Herring, potato,buttermilk, dill, cinnamon, bacon, eggyolk
“Maatjersharing” Herring, potato, buttermilk, dill, cinnamon, bacon, eggyolk
closer
closer
Frankie likes to nap on the purse stool
Frankie likes to nap on the purse stool

 

Carabinero was composed with short rib, roasted bell pepper, ginger, watermelon and X.O. cream.  A Spanish deep sea shrimp was raw and bell pepper was in the sauce.  Crispy bits of short rib were underneath mixed with watermelon, ginger, chard and the X.O. cream of shrimp.  Texturally it felt like you were eating the shrimp shells but it was just the really crisp texture combined with the shrimp flavor.  The ginger was an excellent introduction to the watermelon – it took it from great to amazing.   The raw shrimp had a texture I enjoyed, not the floured feel that some get.  This was a fun dish to eat and tasted great too.

Carabinero, short rib, roasted bell pepper, ginger, watermelon, X.O. cream
Carabinero, short rib, roasted bell pepper, ginger, watermelon, X.O. cream
closer
closer
inside
inside
inside
inside
Frankie and the table decoration, now green
Frankie and the table decoration, now green

 

Langoustine was combined with kimchi, sea buckthorn, peanut, oyster, black pudding and white asparagus.  A buerre blanc sauce incorporated the sea buckthorn and encircled pickled white aspargus, black pudding and oysters.  A crumble of langoustine topped it off.  A cream of peanuts worked into the mix.  A plate of strong flavors that worked well together.  I probably liked the previous course more, but this was another good one.

Langoustine, kimchi and sea buckthorn, peanut, oyster, black pudding, white asparagus
Langoustine, kimchi and sea buckthorn, peanut, oyster, black pudding, white asparagus
closer
closer
Sascha Speckemeier and Frankie
Restaurant Manager Sascha Speckemeier and Frankie

 

Red Mullet was served with razor clam, cockle, leek, wild strawberry, garlic and coconut Hollandaise.  The garlic was cooked crispy and the fish was on a sauce of Thai bullion with wild strawberries and the white streaks were the coconut Hollandaise. The red mullet was nicely moist and really worked with this wild combination of flavors.   It was amazing.

Red Mullet, Razor Clam, Cockle, Leek, Wild Strawberry, Garlic, Coconut Hollandaise
Red Mullet, Razor Clam, Cockle, Leek, Wild Strawberry, Garlic, Coconut Hollandaise
closer
closer
Frankie took a peek
Frankie took a peek

 

from the end
from the end

 

Crispy Duck was plated with eggplant, coriander, tulip, pomegranate and black olive.  The tulips were actually tulip bulbs and the eggplant worked into the duck bullion that was served in a cup on the side.  The bulbs tasted like onions and they were stuffed with well done meat.  The rare duck was roasty tasting – not that achieved in a sous vide machine.  The broth was wonderful but I loved the duck and the sauce.  It was exquisite.

Crispy Duck, Eggplant, Coriander, Tulip, Pomegranate, Black Olive
Crispy Duck, Eggplant, Coriander, Tulip, Pomegranate, Black Olive
from the end
from the end
broth
bullion
Frankie thought she'd found a clawing opportunity
Frankie thought she’d found a clawing opportunity

 

A short kitchen tour gave Frankie a chance to explore more of the place and meet Chef Schutte.

kitchen
kitchen
Sascha Speckemeier and Chef Sidny Schutte and Frankie
Sascha Speckemeier and Chef Sidny Schutte and Frankie

 

Tremella was made with tarragon, pink peppercorn and BBQ white chocolate.  The Chinese white fungus that had been a table decoration was doused with green liquid and then incorporated into the Tremella.  It had an unusual texture but the tarragon flavor was terrific and really accented by a touch of pink peppercorn and the BBQ white chocolate.  It was like eating a large fungus but tasted of a peppered roast.  Very nice.

Frankie studied the dessert napkin
Frankie studied the dessert napkin
Tremella, Tarragon, Pink Peppercorn, BBQ White Chocolate
Tremella, Tarragon, Pink Peppercorn, BBQ White Chocolate
closer
closer
another side
another side
one more side
one more side
underneath
underneath
Frankie played around
Frankie played around

 

Rhubarb and Brioche was plated with lemon geranium and tamarillo.  A rhubarb was infused and thin slices of it were on a toasted brioche ice cream surrounded by rhubarb juice.  The tamarillo was the crunch.  It was best when all ingredients were eaten together.  Lots of textures and tastes, but not too sweet, made it ultra satisfying.  Another winner.

Rhubarb and Brioche, Lemon Geranium, Tamarillo
Rhubarb and Brioche, Lemon Geranium, Tamarillo
closer
closer
looking down
looking down
another angle
another angle
last side
last side
Frankie made friends
Frankie made friends

 

Last treats were an array of chocolates that represented the tastes of the various dishes.  A color code was in a menu that was yours to take and helped interpret.  By that time I was totally satiated and not sure I could appreciate them all.  I think my tastebuds were on overload from a divine dining experience.

Frankie and final treats
Frankie and final treats
candies
candies
chocolates key
chocolates key
closer
closer
Frankie made a new friend
Frankie made a new friend
custard
custard
treats
more treats
Chef Sidney Schutte and Frankie
Chef Sidney Schutte and Frankie

One thought on “Librije’s Zusje, Amsterdam, 7/4/18

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