The REM eiland is a fantastic restaurant which opened in July 2011. Its located near the Houthavens in the NorthWest part of Amsterdam. The location is not very “tourist friendly” to say the least. Let’s just say that if you want to go here, take a taxi or get some nice Amsterdam local to show you the way since it’s not anywhere near the normal areas.

The building itself is quite interesting. It was contructed in 1964 and for a very short period it served as a base of operations for one of the first commercial television networks in the Netherlands. Back in those days the Dutch government wasn’t very keen on commercial operations in the tv realm so the only possibility was to establish a way of broadcasting the signal from a location that wasn’t under any government  control, in this case that meant building a platform just outside the territorial waters.
The government changed the law a couple of months later and suddenly the platform was right in the territorial waters and they had the opportunity to close it down. After this it was in use as a measuring station for the Department of Waterways until 2006.

Now it has been renovated and anchored at a pier. They have done a really great job renovating it, the interior looks stunning and the views you get while seated are great! It is quite a large restaurant, with two floors of diningarea and a topfloor for viewing. This is also it’s downside, dont go here if you are in the mood for a more private dining experience since the place will be crowded.

When we were there the place was just up and running for about a week and that showed. The waiting staff seemed lost at points and after being seated we had to wait 20 minutes (!) to get our first drink order.
I assume the same goes for the kitchen staff as the food took quite long to reach us.

The menu is pretty simple, a choice of 5 starters, 4 maincourses and 4 desserts. This is also why I’m quite unforgiving when it comes to the verdict, it just wasn’t up to par.  As a starter I had the homemade pate. This consisted of no more than a slice of very hard toast, 2 small pieces of pate and some pickles.

The maincourse was black angus beef served sliced with a bit of puree and some sort of gravy like sauce. The problem I have with those dishes:  when I go to a restaurant I expect the chef to be able to prepare my meat better then I could do it at home, and I’m no chef by any means. In this case I should have grilled it myself since it was chewy, hardly seasoned and it could have done with an extra slice.
The highlight of the meal was the dessert, chocolate parfait. But let’s be honest, you can’t really go wrong with chocolate can you?

I am inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt and go there again in two months time to see if they have gotten the hang of it. Basically at this point it boils down to this: Great location, lousy food. And that would really be a shame!

Starter, main, dessert, coffee, beer & wine, €60,- per person.

 

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