My colleague and I had a night free from work and decided to splurge. La Rive came up top on our list given all the positive reviews online.
There were 2 set courses on the menu: "La Rive Gouche" and "La Rive Droite". My colleague went for the "Gouche" while I chose the "Droite".
Even before dinner proper, we were given a taste of the things to come. The amuse bouche were wonderful. The cherry tomato marinated in oriental sauce, fried then caramalized had that good balance between sweetness, saltiness and tartness which exploded at one go in the mouth. The chicken mouse in white chocolate, topped with caviar was simply divine. I had tried a white chocolate dessert topped with caviar at Garibaldi's in Singapore, but the chicken mouse was the critical ingredient that was lacking in Garibaldi's rendition.
For the main meal, my colleague's choice of "La Rive Gouche" comprised Duckliver (terrine), Langoustine (noodles, lemon grass and cilantro), Sardine and Lamb. Dessert was strawberries in a sugar waffle. My colleague thought the food was great. I found the Langoustine with noodles and lemon grass a rather creative mix though I didn't get to try it.
For my choice of "La Rive Droite", I had fresh scallops (with lemon and gazpacho sauce), Lacquered Eel (with cucumber, green apple and crayfish), Lobster (in a potato based sauce and topped with caviar) and Venison. I couldn't handle a full dessert and requested for a tasting of their blue cheeses.
I loved the first 2 courses (scallops and eel). The clever combination of ingredients supported each other in both dishes without overpowering or overwhelming the diner, who could still enjoy the subtle simplicity of the creations.
The Lobster, unfortunately, was a disappointment. The lobster, caviar and butter potato sauce, put together, resulted in a dish that was simply too salty/briny and, in contrast with the earlier 2 dishes, overpowering. The venison was a creditable recovery after the lobster. The blue cheeses were lovely, as to be expected in a place like La Rive in the Netherlands.
We started off with a half bottle of Guigal Condrieu (2004) and then moved to a half bottle of Guigal Cote-Rotie (2000) for the main course. These were known wines so no surprises.
Overall, an enjoyable evening of fine dining delivered with imagination and creativity. This is notwithstanding the lobster fiasco, which I suppose I am being fussy now given the prices La Rive charge... :)
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