While we were in the middle of a two week vacation in the Netherlands, my wife and myself decided to treat ourselves to an evening of adult food and conversations without kids. At the time we were staying in Soest, just outside Amersfoort, so going to Amsterdam or Utrecht seemed just a little too far away. Luckily, we stumbled upon a local guide that recommended De Saffraan, just around the corner in Amersfoort. We even were able to learn from Google's funky translation of the website that the restaurant had recently garnered its first Michelin Guide star.
First impressions weren't good. Kleine Koppel #3 is a boat. Floating restaurants are not generally known for their great food. If anything, they're usually tourist traps, but the reservations had been made so we made our way to it gingerly, and boy were we in for a surprise.
Once we were inside the boat impressions quickly changed. Where we were expecting low ceilings (typical of boats) and cheesy decor (typical of tourist traps) we found an airy, welcoming, very tasteful room. Clearly, the owners went to a lot of trouble refurbishing that boat.
Service was impeccable. Quick, pro-active, and attentive without being cloying.
The Food. Amazing, wonderful, creative, delicious, inventive. Instead of ordering off the menu, we simply asked to be surprised. We might have even said "hit me with your best shot." And I know that I said something to the effect of "show me something that I would never have in my home country."
And they did. Wow, did they ever. The combinations of tastes, the pairings. I particularly remember a test tube (yes, a test tube, like from your chemistry set) with melon juice at the bottom and goat's cheese for stopper. You turn it upside down in your mouth and magic happens. And that was just the opening shot. I could go on and on about all the dishes but truly, I don't think that I could do them justice.
My recommendation? If you are within 2 hours drive of Amersfoort, make the effort and get to De Saffran, put yourself in their hands as far as food, lay back and enjoy the ride.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.