Restaurants in the Hague, NL
Hi everyone! I'm looking for a good place to eat tonight in the Hague. I've just recently moved here for my Master's and haven't had a chance to explore the food scene. The web is full of sites and blogs about Amsterdam eating, but none so far on one of its smaller (yet still sweet!) little sibling - the Hague.
Any ideas you have would be great!
Hey - Moved here from New York in July, and let me just say... it has been a blow to the culinary senses (and to the wallet, since restaurants are a bit more pricey here, without a corresponding hike in quality).
I haven't been here long enough, or eaten at enough places to give a comprehensive report, but I could probably give you one or two options in some of the major cuisine categories. Sorry I was not in time for your dinner on the 16th :)
Just FYI, the NL version of Chowhound and Yelp , while not nearly as helpful, is http://www.iens.nl
I had surprisingly fabulous Dim Sum just this morning at Long Ting: http://www.longting.nl/page/view/home
For yummy cafes:
and De Overkant.
Baklust - homey, with delicious desserts. http://www.baklust.nl/
Cozy, beautiful wine bar:
Wijnlokaal 1900 http://www.wijnlokaal1900.nl
"Brown" cafe (i.e. bar with good food and music):
I could go on, but this is a start. Just allow a lot of time as the service here is... languid at best. In general, Pancake houses are overrated, and don't bother with any Mexican food.
For the best food in the Hague, go to the organic market on Wednesdays (http://www.soeco.nl/duurzame-winkels/... ), load up on incredible produce, meat and cheese, and cook it yourself.
I've moved out of The Hague about 30 years ago. The only restaurant I really miss is Soeboer, Brouwersgracht 29. Tempo Doeloe style (old school indonesian). Everything is more than wonderful in this comfort food restaurant. Try their satés (skewered grilled meat) - they even got kambing (goat!). Take a rice table first (lots and lots of little dishes) and then come back for the rest of the menu. It is really that good.
The restaurant itself isn't really special, but that doesn't really matter once you've finished your first dish. Whenever I need to be cheered up, I travel to Soeboer (from Amsterdam) to get my spirits lifted. They've got a website too at http://www.soeboer.nl Believe me, it's really much better and more affordable than the upmarket places like Garuda.
Another place I try to visit whenever I'm in The Hague, is a butcher that sells meatballs from heaven on a bun. And kroketten too! It is located at the Hoogstraat 34. It is a rather posh affair (we always joke that the Queen buys her bacon here) and the employees used to dress in gala style uniforms (think Capt Stubing from the Love Boat). Here you can eat your meatball sandwich in the back of the shop (standing room only). The crowd is wonderful. Ever seen two old ladies, dressed in Burberry trenchcoats, eating with their pinkies up, while they are slobbering away on their kroketten or broodje halfom (half cooked liver, half salted beef/pekelvlees)? This is the place! You won't find a better spot for lunch while you are shopping.
I've lived here for about a year, and coming from NYC it took getting used to.
First, to set some expectations:
1. The waiters make a living wage, so don't expect the kind of service that warrants good tips.
2. Potatoes, plus some melange of snow peas, carrots, and beans, come standard with almost every main dish I've ever had here, regardless of cuisine.
3. The Hague fine-dining scene is geared for diplomats and employees of Shell Oil. What do they have in common? Expense accounts.
4. "Sceney" places tend to ape Tao to ill-effect. Think excessive New Age Buddhist Imagery.
That aside, it's possible to find things that are "decent" from a NYC standpoint:
Alexander (Denneweg) - French-leaning cuisine. The chef/owner is Russian so the menu also has borscht. Prix-fixe menu is a good value.
Maxime (Denneweg) - have not been there but am looking forward to this one.
Ming Dynasty (Spui) - Pretty good Cantonese. Go with someone who speaks Chinese.
La Lanterna (various locations) - has excellent thin crust pizza. Service is excellent because it is staffed entirely by Italians. You get a shot of Marsala wine at the end of the meal too.
In general, ever since I moved here, I stopped going out to eat when I discovered I could cook better than most of the places here. If I'm in need of a good meal, well, Paris Nord is only 3 hours away.
Someone recently mentioned to me that Fat Kee in Centrum does reasonably authentic Chinese? Can anyone else weigh in on their experiences?
After 12 months of living in The Hague, the novelty of Indonesian masquerading as Chinese food is really starting to lose its appeal!
I agree lollypoppy, there used to be a give away. When it was called a CHIN IND restaurant, you knew that Indonesians were running the kitchen. But do give Fat Kee a try. It may not be up to the NYC Chinatown standard, but some glorious eating can be done at Fat Kee. Everybody is raving about their signature Crispy Chicken dish, but the roast pork and their stir fried vegetables are great too. My Chinese friends here in Amsterdam were seriously panicking when they closed down for a couple of months. And when Chinese start losing their cool over a restaurant in another town, you know it's worth a visit.
I agree with Ming Dynasty. But you do need a Cantonese speaker - or at least know how to order from seeing a picture, as they have a helpful photo menu as well. I recommend the egg tofu/asparagus/egg white/seafood dish, and fresh steamed oysters with vermicelli, garlic and green onions, and their buddha's delight noodle for pescatarians, and if you like fried noodles, they do a solid Singapore fried noodle as well.