Jul 9 2013

Harbour Club, The

The Harbour Club is a mini chain with restaurants in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Scheveningen and also now in Ibiza, their latest venue which they only opened this summer. The Rotterdam Harbour club opened in 2010 in the former premises of ‘Parkzicht’, a one- hundred-year-old villa in one of Rotterdam’s city parks, and the atmosphere there is superb. I went here with my two friends Cornelis and Rob and it was a sunny day and it was such a pleasure to sit outside and look at the green and quiet park whilst eating our meal.

The restaurant has black chairs and white tablecloth tables and the dominant colour in the restaurant is white and according to their website their decor should remind you of “The Boathouse Café” in Central Park, New York, but as I have not been there, I can’t really comment if these places were indeed similar. We were sitting outside but the inside of the restaurant is divided up into a number of separate rooms, ie the Sushi Lounge, the upstairs terrace.

As we sat down the waitress brought us some bread with butter and a wonderful fish tapenade that I found very tasty. The menu features a lot of fish and seafood, in platters, in sushi and also cooked fish and seafood and inside the restaurant on one side is the kitchen and outside it on ice you can see various fish and seafood which if you like you can ask the chefs to cook for you. I liked this display but thought some of the fish looked a bit old with blurry eyes. 

To start our meal we ordered “The Harbour Club Fruits de Mer” for 2 people (although there were three of us) which had various sized clams, razor clams, mussels, half lobster and 100 grams of king crab claws as well as crayfish and various sized prawns. Some of these prawns and clams were mixed with some herbs or sauce, which I have never seen before and usually you get these sort of seafood platters with just plain seafood without anything being added to it, because the seafood is so good. I did not really like the clams or the mussels and I actually thought none of these were that fresh, and hence I thought they wanted to add some sort of sauce to them to mask it. I liked the lobster and the crab claws, but as I said I have had these sort of platters in some top class seafood restaurants that are super close to the sea, and they just taste much fresher, so whilst I did not think the lobster or the crab were old, I just think you could have had fresher things. Most of the prawns seemed ok, and I loved how many different ones they served. 

The other thing that we ordered and shared were 16 pieces of sushi. On the menu it said 16 pieces and I expected pieces of nigiri sushi, and was a bit disappointed to find only 8 pieces of nigiri and the rest in pieces of roll. Overall the sushi was nice I thought and quite fresh, so I definitely enjoyed this.

As for the main course my friends Cornelis and Rob both ordered skin fried sea bass with mashed potatoes, spinach and red wine jus, which looked good and they said was tasty and I tasted some of the mashed potatoes, which were nice. I was not feeling that hungry so I did not want to order a main course and instead went for the Caesar salad with prawns, tuna-tataki and salmon. I thought it was a bit extraordinary how they had added so many different things to it, as usually you have a Caesar salad with just 1 thing, like chicken or prawns, but in the end I decided to give it a try and taste it. In the end I was super disappointed with this salad. First of all they had eggs in it, which you don’t have in a typical Caesar salad, and which I don’t like in salads, so I thought they should have stated this on the menu, as this was not usual. I left all the eggs uneaten. Then I also thought all the various things in the salad just did not work, the prawns were ok, and I also had some of the tuna tataki but the tuna and the salmon did not really go well with the Caesar salad, and it just felt like a really confused and weird dish and I only had a bit of it.

Rob did not have any desert, but Cornelis went for the “White chocolate semifreddo” with raspberries and raspberry sorbet, which tasted ok. I went for the Petit fours with 3 different flavours, and they brought me 3 different small cakes, strawberry, mango and chocolate, and I thought this was a very weak desert, and none of the cakes were particularly tasty or interesting.

I do very much liked the atmosphere at the Harbour Club, it is one of the best places to go to in Rotterdam for a drink outside when the weather is good. The food I thought was ok, there were some things I did not like at all, like the Caesar Salad, but the Sea bass was good, and also as I said I did not think the seafood was the freshest I have had.

Date: 09/ 07/ 13
Price for 3 people with alcohol and with UK style high service charge, which they added (untypical of Holland): EUR 425.12
Location: Rotterdam

Maija rated: 




Harbour Club, The
Kievitslaan 25, 3016 CG
Harbour Club, The Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 3