Blush Noordwijk Reviews
No need to Blush! Jun 23, 2008
In our family’s tradition of dining out on every celebrative occasion, we went to a new restaurant near my parent’s house to celebrate my father’s birthday. The place is called Blush and besides a restaurant it is also a bar. How can I best describe Blush? Perhaps by giving you my first impression: very hip and trendy, loud music, little tidbits on a plate for questionable (read: expensive) prices.
Situated in Noordwijk, it is the first restaurant on the right as you enter this 5-star Dutch beach resort. Both the interior decoration and the menu are contemporary. In Europe, but especially in The Netherlands people want several little dishes with different kinds of tasty delicacies as opposed to one big portion of the same food. After we were seated, a member of the staff explained how their formula worked; you could order whatever you liked, in any order you would choose and as many times as you liked. He also informed us that on average, about four servings would be the equivalent of a normal meal.
Despite their own intentions, somehow neither the staff nor the customers are ready for this formula. The ‘three-course-meal-dictation’, is stored deeply in our system and I witnessed many customers order just that. As I am always open to something new, I decided to give their formula a chance. I order my first dish (I deliberately do not call it a starter), lobster-tail salad with truffle mayonnaise. The waiter wrote it down and then looked at me for several seconds… After an awkward silence he asked, ‘and what would you like after that?’. I said I had no idea yet, but would come up with something later on. Apparently, the order-what-and-whenever-you-want-formula didn’t work for our waiter, because he kept asking ‘are you sure you’ll only have one dish for now’ several times over. Petty. Mind you, it wasn’t as if the waiter was inexperienced, on the contrary. It turned out he was one of the two proprietors. In fact, he was the one who had come up with this formula. However, when one of his customers decided to play the game they themselves had invented, he was all confused.
Nevertheless, the salad was good. Not excellent, but good. Later, I had the diced filet-de-boeuf stir fried Asian style, which I ordered separately from my fellow-guests, but for reasons I still don’t understand, arrived along with the other dishes. The meat was stir fried with vegetables and noodles in a soy sauce. Again not excellent (the beef slightly longer cooked than I prefer), yet good and tasteful nevertheless. Then came the desserts (I gave up on trying to deviate from the three course path or out of sync with the other guests) and they were good too. My wife had a lukewarm tarte tatin, (thin apple pie) with vanilla ice-cream, which she thought was excellent. My mother had a ‘petit grand dessert’ that was artwork on a plate. Not only did it look pretty, it tasted great as well. I had the white and dark chocolate mouse. In my opinion the white mouse was too soft, too fluffy. At the touch it sagged or better yet, ran waterish. The dark chocolate mouse on the other hand was too hard, too sturdy, more a paste than a mousse.
Before this turns into a long and ongoing whining review, let me sum up the good. The decor is nice, the bar is illuminated in alternate colours and I especially liked the chandelier-like lights above the bar. Service was speedy enough, without being rushed. As this is a trendy, contemporary place, many hip and (wannebe) trendy people come here. It is the place to see and to be seen. The toilet area is clean and tidy. The staff is friendly. With the good always comes the bad; prices are high (ordinary bread with garlic butter for five people costs € 15 (US$ 24)!!! A carafe of tap water is not available (supposedly because they didn’t have any carafes or jugs, but we all know it’s because they want to sell their highly expensive bottled water). The restaurant is also used as a bar. That, combined with the loud music, ensures it is impossible to have a conversation at the table.
So, all in all: if you don’t want to talk, and you’re hip and want to be seen, this is your place. Remember to bring a well-filled wallet or ample credits on your card. For all others; in my humble opinion the trendy entourage doesn’t justify the overpriced food. If the food were excellent instead of good AND they would understand their own system (truly letting you order whatever and whenever you want) this would indeed be the place to be.
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