October 19, 2008

A new career: restaurant reviewing

On Friday a friend and I started the weekend with reservations at an apparently well-known Japanese restaurant in The Hague, Oni.

Armed with a notebook and an empty stomach, I was very much looking forward to some fabulous Japanese food. And in case you are wondering, 'why the notebook?', we were going to review the restaurant for a newsletter of a small club.

It really was a lot of fun - 'legitimately' commenting on every tiny detail: from lighting to tempura to toiletseats.

On the other hand, looking back there was hardly any food that we really liked. If we would have been there just to eat and chat I don't think we'd have noticed so much.

The restaurant is very highly listed in several rankings, but apart from the interior and the presentation of the food I fail to see why. It seems the restaurant sees itself as 'modern style Japanese' except that about 80% of their menu is very traditional. The traditional Japanese dishes are nice, not exceptional (although we didn't have any sushi or sashimi so maybe that is better and the bento-boxes did look amazing from a distance). And we didn't like any of the more experimental dishes. E50 becomes a lot for a dinner like that....

Luckily the dessert made up for much of it. Very yummy ginger cheesecake with chocolate icecream. Mmmmmm. And surprisingly good tempura icecream for my friend.

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