Another Haarlem restaurant that I have walked by hundreds of times without being enticed to enter, usually because BastiJan seemed to be full. Last night we booked a table for two, enjoyed a delicious four-course chef’s surprise menu – and understood the popularity of this unassuming restaurant.
A nice touch to begin the evening was the welcome by staff as we entered the restaurant. Decorated in a quasi art-deco style, there is adequate spacing between tables to allow for conversations, and lighting conducive to making the space “gezellig”.
The four course meal began with complimentary tasters: prawn cocktail, marinated olives and basket of warm bread with herb butter.
Entrée: Slices of wild boar over a mound of bulghar, tomatoes, grapes and pecans. Absolutely delicious.
Soup: Cream of sweet potato – delightfully spicy, with sweet pea shoots and home-made flat bread adding to the presentation and taste.
Main: Swordfish steak with baked peppers, tomatoes, chickpeas, bokchoy. Generous portion of perfectly cooked fish – complimented by chosen vegetables.
Dessert: Plate from heaven: crème of tia maria; rich walnut brownie; rhubarb drippings; and cinnamon ice-cream with laced caramel cookie. Looked as amazing as it tasted.
Overall: Presentation and taste of all dishes was first-class. The staff were knowledgeable, friendly and professional. Opting for the chef’s surprise menu was the right decision: €29.50 per person (total bill= €87 including one bottle of wine, two glasses of bubbles). The chef did indeed surprise with his culinary talents. We look forward to indulging again in his talents on our next trip to BastiJan. http://www.bastijan.nl/