Green Lizard's Blog

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Disappointing meal + Happy Ending

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?

The bread was also nice, as was the wine and the company. The service was good too. Not too pushy or over attentive. My companions tucked into a salmon rijette with a special cracker. 

Ready for the entree?

Oh dear! There they are! Or sorry, There IT is. The egg. The free range locally sourced egg. And some salad.


Maybe I spoke too soon. 

So while they ate the warm lobster salad, I ate my egg. 

Main course 

 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. 

You’re impressed aren’t you? I can tell! 

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. 

Happy Ending

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!)

7 comments on “Disappointing meal + Happy Ending

  1. Sounds like a positive response from the hotel and good for you for letting them know. The egg did make me laugh!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Roe's Cottage
    June 22, 2015

    Well done for complaining – and well done to the restaurant for acting positively. The chain restaurants are terrible in England – I recently went to a Frankie and Benny’s (not my choice but it was near the cinema!) and had their ‘risotto’. Rice, pesto, a few Parmesan shavings, two spears of broccoli and a handful of (frozen) peas. And all nuked in the microwave. The price? £10.50…. The steak dinner (including sides) was only £12.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lizard100
      June 22, 2015

      It’s ridiculous! I heard today that part of the problem is that their chef doesn’t work on a Monday night.


    • Equality 333
      June 24, 2015

      All too common I afraid. Although more and more of my local restaurants are doing good vegetarian options the price is something to be worked on. I do however wonder about the sourcing of the vegetables but one step at a time hey!

      Liked by 1 person

      • lizard100
        June 24, 2015

        Demand for this choice always helps create more choice. This restaurant uses locally sourced…… ‘Rice’?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Happy Ending after Disappointing Meal: Part 2 | Green Lizard's Blog

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This entry was posted on June 18, 2015 by in vegetarian and tagged .

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Expat Since Birth – A Life spent "abroad"

a blog by a multilingual lifelong expat/international, linguist, researcher, speaker, mother of three, living in the Netherlands and writing about raising children with multiple languages, multiculturalism, parenting abroad, international life...

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