The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.
On Monday I visited a local hotel with friends that has a restaurant which claims to offer fine dining.
I was reluctant as hotel food in The Netherlands has often been a disappointment for me as a vegetarian.
This particular establishment is doing a lobster week with three and four course meals of lobster.
I was wise and checked out the on line menu.
In overleg met u serveren wij een vegetarisch menu van dagverse producten
We can serve a special vegetarian menu for you made of daily fresh products
I found these ominous words.
Ominous because in my experience that only means two things. First, they don’t know what they’re going to cook you and secondly: eggs. (Eggs because they’re the most common protein that is known to be vegetarian friendly.)
I took a deep breath at the table and explained that I didn’t need the menu card.
I knew I’d be on the ‘special vegetarian menu’. “Special,”people! Can you hear the spooky music? Ominous. Three courses.
Before the food arrived an interesting thing called an amuse bouche came out. A cute little vegetarian sushi on a piece of slate. It was tasty. Was I too hasty with that scary music?
Ready for the entree?
Maybe I spoke too soon.
So while they ate the warm lobster salad, I ate my egg.
For the other guests it was surf and turf. A beautifully presented piece is steak with yet more pretty pink lobster.
So here’s mine.
Shall I walk you round the plate? On the left you’ll see an oblong pool of Hollandaise sauce. On the right you’ll see a rectangular sea of …. Hollandaise sauce.
These enclose a depression of ……… risotto (rice), delicately garnished with crispy cauliflower and caramelised ….. Onions (?) and thinly sliced green asparagus.
Count them with me, people. Nine wafer thin slices! (Do you think that’s half a spear in total?)
Did I mention the lagoon of hollandaise sauce? Oh silly me yes I did.
Meanwhile the lobster was still over on the other side of the table. Pink soft and expensive.
And that’s where my problem lies. We all had the same grand dessert with three elements. And we ALL paid the same price. (For three courses!)
Now I know that food and the preparation etc can’t just be priced on cost alone. There are overheads, you know. However, in that case, the lobster here is darn cheap!
The following day
After returning home I pondered my experience and decided to write to the hotel. I wanted them to consider this experience.
I composed a short email highlighting my experience. I pointed out that I’d paid the same as my friends with their lobster.
Today I received a reply. They agreed it was wrong to charge me the same price. They asked me to give them another chance with a free vegetarian meal with drinks included!
I’m over the moon!
(Three times before I’ve complained about my hotel dinner in other Dutch hotels. I’ve not had a reply before!)
a blog by a multilingual expat-since-birth, linguist, researcher, mum of three, living in the Netherlands and writing about bilingualism, multiculturalism, parenting abroad, international life...