Ciel Bleu was a 2 star Michelin restaurant on the 23rd floor of the Hotel Okura Amsterdam. The good sized formal dining room offered a spectacular view of the city as the room’s walls on 3 sides were windows. Even tables in the middle of the room could enjoy the view but they were nice enough to move us to window table as its occupants left shortly after we arrived. Music plays in the background, purse stools are available, the large tables are well spaced, all tables except those next to the wall (where guests sit side by side so both can enjoy the view) are covered with white linen and each place is set with small salt and pepper wells and a dish for olive oil. There were a couple larger tables for parties on one end of the room. They offered 3 tasting menus with one being vegetarian. We chose the Ciel Bleu Guestronomy. Service was attentive and friendly.
The first bites of the menu were named for places and influenced by travel. Istanbul was garden peas, goat yogurt and mint. It was a little pie shape. Amsterdam was bitterbal, parsnip and tandoori.
Marrakesh was cracker, artichoke and ras el hanout.
Bangkok was Tom Yam, Grey shrimp and chicken skin which was a hollow crisp filled with tastes of Thailand. It was good.
On the main part of the menu, the Signature was King crab, Oscietra caviar and Beurre blanc. A celery wrapper was filled with cream and crab with a ultra thin crispy wrapper that broke apart and mixed well with all the ingredients including the caviar. It had excellent flavor.
Bread was made with linseed and presented sliced with olive oil from Italy and a selection of butters – natural (no salt), yuzu, green herbs, fennel and red onion. The bread was good and I liked the natural butter and red onion.
Hamachi was with dashi, edamame, sudachi and shiso leaf. Some fresh wasabi completed the plate. It was nice, especially when mixed with the wasabi. It seemed slightly cooked rather than raw.
Fruit de mer was “our rich flavours from the North Sea”. It had cream of anchovy, lobster, mussels, cucumber and a foam of shellfish. It all blended well and the cream of anchovy really enhanced the other flavors. It was nicely fresh tasting not briny. Delicious with a good texture.
Langoustine, carrot, kumquat and Vadouvan spices combined for the next course. The langoustine was from Iceland and was cooked perfectly. The dark smear had a saltiness that mixed well with the carrots, cut into sticks and rounds, that added texture. The really nice sauce went with everything.
Wagyu A5 ‘Kagoshima perfecture’ was plated with green aspargus, eggplant radish and miso. It was tender, juicy and terrific. Served perfectly rare is was a bit of heaven on a plate.
Goose Liver was plated with rhubarb, bitter chocolate and hazelnut. Crispy chocolate sticks were a nice textural contrast to the creamy liver. The rhubarb was not too tart and fruity enough to make it a great accompaniment.
The Pre dessert was flavours of nouget de Montélimar. The nougat was orange with a pistachio meringue on edible rice paper. You were roll it into a wrap and eat all together. It was very different filled with a variety of flavors. It made a bit of a hodgepodge of what was a pretty presentation.
Cacao 52% was with Advocaat (Dutch milk liquour), macadamia nuts and spices. It was a cake with a chocolate mousse center that contained a milk chocolate and liquor with a hint of cinnamon. Pure chocolate was in the center and biscuit like ingredient was on the bottom. This gave is some textural contrast and the spices added another dimension to the flavor. It was supposed to be like a traditional midday aperitif with the addition of egg and liquor. It was fun, different and tasty.
Mignardises were sweet creations of Dutch flavors and childhood memories. They included a thin pastry filled with liquid, sweet licorice. The shell was crisp and the licorice was creamy for a good sweet and crisp fix. Chocolate was filled with whisky. The center was creamy but it almost had a medicinal taste. Chocolate filled with cherries was another sweet one. A chocolate covered cherry sat on a spongecake and was also seasoned with coffee. It was just okay but the cake was quite nice. A phyllo pastry was filled with quince was almost lemony with a very crisp and lovely shell. All nice.
We were given a lovely parting gift of hazelnut spread that was quite good and of a size you could carry on a plane.