Monday, March 28, 2011

In Utrecht: An evening at Restaurant & Brasserie Luden and some dose of Gooische Vrouwen

Last week, like the rest of the Dutch women in the Netherlands, I went to watch the ‘Gooische Vrouwen’ movie with Blondine, but before I delve into my quick film review, I’d like to talk about a restaurant I have discovered that night: Restaurant & Brasserie LUDEN (this restaurant badly needs their website upgraded, seriously)

I was really impressed with the grandiose interior and ambiance of this restaurantCHIC. Where have I been? Why have I only seen this now? The place was lovely, elegant and stately. Vintage as well which really brings the character out of this restaurant. And oh, I had to be careful with my hair getting on fire from those tall candles as they were about my height. And in eating places like this, you do not have to complain about the elusive customer service in the Netherlands.

The unspoken rule of tipping in this country (based from what I understand how the locals handle this): Tip if you must, but most people here just round it off, so that is usually about 5% to 7%. Now, for those outside of Europe, you might want to know that service people in this continent have normal salaries and benefits, and tips are just additional income on the side.

At home the Dutchman is eating dinner that I especially made for him the night before. I hate it when he is feeding on some frozen pizza or microwavable lasagne from Albert Heijn so I make sure I fix him something (contrary to my rat race status, I could/should be a perfect housewife) while I go out and eat in... Luden, haha!

Blondine and I shared the starter: Warm goat’s cheese with bacon and a soft honey flower sauce with walnuts and greens. 4 stars out of 5. We are not dieting per se but our stomachs can only handle so much.

Then we both ordered the same thing for our main course: Grilled albacore tuna steak with dill – wine sauce under a bed of pasta, and a glass of white wine (think it was French from Languedoc, can’t remember anymore) to go with our dinner. 5 stars out of 5!

No more space in our tummies for dessert (not that I was looking forward to it, nope) except for coffee. I love food but not too much. So I had double espresso while Blondine had cappuccino.

Luden is located in Janskerkhof, Utrecht. I am coming back here, with the Dutchman.

Now for the ‘Gooische Vrouwen’ movie, don’t be misled with the poster design and layout. Looks like a copycat of Sex & the City and the Beatle’s Abbey Road right?

Firstly, the storyline is not even close to the Sex & the City except for the fact that the 4 leading girl characters love to shop. I think Gooische Vrouwen is a chaotic mix of the story line of Desperate Housewives (they were desperate housewives indeed with very interesting issues, lol), Sex & the City (the shopping, the fashion and the girly bond and get-togethers) and the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (living up to the statuses and riches).

‘Het Gooi’ is like the Beverly Hills of the Netherlands, that’s why it’s called Gooische Vrouwen (Women from Het Gooi), and Gooische Vrouwen is actually a successful TV series in the Netherlands (and televised in Belgium and Germany as well) that ran between 2005 and 2009.

Secondly, that isn’t Abbey Road but some random street in Paris. In the movie (after each had one setback after another), they all went to France to find themselves aka Eat, Pray, Love thingy but ended up shopping in Paris instead, lol. SIGH, I need to get my bum to Paris as well, soon!

I won’t bore you with long stories or more reviews about this movie but all in all, it was light and nice. Shallow yes, yet very funny, it kept me laughing until the end. And I have to admit that they did exaggerate many scenes in there but I guess that is part of the whole story line for these types of light comedy girly flicks. Go watch it if you are in the Netherlands and if you can understand Dutch. It’s gonna make you laugh and make you want to go back home to cuddle your man =)

Visit Period: March 2011
Utrecht, The Netherlands

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