Thursday, June 23, 2016

Assen, Netherlands: Dinner at Restaurant Touche

Early this year I went to the province of Drenthe for an extended long weekend. I stayed at a small village called Westerbork in the middle of nowhere between Meppel and Assen.

In Assen I had dinner. I found the Restaurant Touche online and it had good ratings at and Tripadvisor.

However, before dinnertime, I came across this glasshouse beside the new modern theatre and library. I parked the car under the building, so when I went up with the lift and stepped outside, I saw this stunning glasshouse construction. After a closer look I realised it was a restaurant called Fellini. I thought—Hmm, I think I may need to come back here for dinner tonight!?

Well, I did came back, but only to be told by the wait staff that they are fully booked for the evening. Argh.

It was a Saturday evening, and although Assen may seem to be a small and sleepy town in the northeastern part of the Netherlands, the going out scene here is quite active! I was impressed, haha. The weather must have helped a bit as it was a dry and beautiful day, something we here in the Netherlands really take advantage of when this happens. We just do not let beautiful days like this slip away. The weather here sucks big time, so when its dry and warmer than usual, people really go out. Like on this particular day in March.

This is the Fellini Restaurant that was fully booked. You can understand why I want to eat here.

I was disappointed of course. I was quite keyed up to dine at this cool glasshouse and I really needed a few minutes to digest the bad news, before strolling back to the main square of the city where Restaurant Touche is located.

Here is something though that comforted me, something that encouraged me to look forward to dinner: Restaurant Touche has better ratings than Fellini.

This is the Markt, the main square of Assen where Restaurant Touche is located. See the building in the middle with the purple window awning.

Restaurant Touche was quite busy when I arrived, and luckily they have a table for me upstairs.

It is a small and cosy restaurant. I quite enjoyed my dinner here and I highly recommend this restaurant to people visiting Assen. The food is delicious. I ordered their 3-course meal but changed the dessert for coffee instead. Many restaurants can accommodate this request if you just ask.

Oh, I can't help but eavesdrop. I noticed that many of the guests were attending a theatre show or are going to the movies after dinner. They have a very 'timed' dinner arrangement. No one wants to miss the start of a show or movie I am sure, so the wait staff were quite professional in making sure the food arrived on time at their table.

Here is my dinner:

Starter from the house: Some tapenade and butter(?), peanuts, toasts and an erwten paste which reminds me of erwtensoep (pea soup, a Dutch winter dish) but this is a bit dry and good to pair with a toast.

First course: Pumpkin soup with orange and froth and some spicy gambas. This was a very good soup. I love this. I find the plating and presentation of this dish on their website much better than the actual though.

Main course: A combination of plaice fish and fried scallops with black risotto, anise, grilled spring onion and Northsea crab sauce.

I love the fish, scallops and everything else. However I find the risotto just too heavy, I couldn’t and didn’t finish it. I had to explain to the female wait staff who was a bit distressed upon seeing my unfinished plate that it was delicious, but it is just that the risotto was too much for me.

I skipped dessert and asked for espresso instead.

One thing I noticed is that the chef of this restaurant has a sweet tooth. The dishes have a flair of sweetness in them. It was not annoying at all or overpowering, but I could taste it because I have a salty and spicy palate orientation.

Overall, a great dinner in Assen.

Travel Period: March 2016
Destination: Assen (Drenthe), the Netherlands

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