Sunday, 30 April 2017

Amsterdam: A Michelin Star Experience

There has been a few months since I am living in Amsterdam, but I have not yet been to a fine dining restaurant in order to continue my culinary experience. Therefore after three months, me and two of my fellow students decided to book a table at the Ron Gastrobar.

Chef Ron Blaauw launched the restaurant in 2013 and a year after it was awarded its' first Michelin star. The Ron Gastrobar offers the opportunity to every guest to enjoy world class food without paying exorbitant prices. A regular 3-course dinner would cost between 40-60 euros. The Ron Gastrobar is located near the Vondelpark and it can be easily reached by public transportation or on foot.

Firstly, let us talk about the service. One of the first things I have learned since I was a child is that service is the dominant factor in Hospitality. More than a decade later, one of the first things that I have learned at the Hotelschool the Hague is that service is indeed the dominant factor. When I dined at the Ron Gastrobar, I have noticed that the service is not at the same level as the food that the chef offers. This is observed by little details which if made in the right way they make an experience special and memorable. Someone may say that I am looking at little details that do not matter that much because I do not want to say good comments about the restaurant. Trust me I am not like that. For instance when a waiter serves wine, he or she first shows the bottle and the writing facing the guest in order to confirm that it is the correct one and then the guest can have the opportunity to taste it before he or she finally decides. Also when pouring the wine or water the waiter must be cautious not to drip any into the guest's food or on the table. These procedures were not followed by the staff. Moreover, the use of formal words add value to the guest's experience which was also not the case for Ron Gastrobar. This does not mean that the waiters are not good, it means that for this level of dining small gestures and details matter.

Furthermore, let us talk about the food. Ron Gastrobar as aforementioned, offers the opportunity to every guest to experience fine dining in reasonable prices. Me and my friends enjoyed a variety of courses and types of dishes. The standouts were the baked onions as a starter and the BBQ Ribs for the main. However, in my opinion you cannot judge the quality of a restaurant until you taste the desert. When I tasted the Paris-Brest with Blueberries and caramel ice-cream I was convinced. Light and sweet, acid and crunchy, fresh and ripe, all of these combined in one dish. The reason why I judge the quality of the restaurant especially from the desert course, is because it is the final course and it also shows uniqueness, taste and technique variety.

All in all, the Ron Gastrobar deserves to be regarded as a fine dining and a Michelin restaurant as it combines a modern touch together with serving fine dishes in reasonable prices. However in my opinion, in order for Ron Gastrobar to be considered as a Michelin star restaurant that can even be awarded a second star, service must become a dominant factor instead of the quality of the food and the reasonable pricing that it offers.

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