The Shallow Man has sometimes been compared to Superman, Samson and Achilles, all heroes to some, nuisances to others. The other thing they share in common with the Shallow Man is a fatal weakness. For Superman it was Kryptonite, for Samson, cutting a lock of his hair led to his downfall, and for Achilles, it was his heel. The Shallow Man has a weakness which though not fatal, could certainly bring about his downfall……………………….Russian women. Something about the femininity, that accent and an overuse of “the” as in, “shallow man, why we only make the sex” turns me into hagelslag in their hands. Which brings me to the topic of today’s post, old love and fine dining in Amsterdam.
Fine Dining in Amsterdam at Jaspers
During a moment of weakness and bad judgement following a night of cocktail drinking at the Butcher, the shallow man agreed to have dinner with an ex-flame, Alina. I had promised a loyal reader a review of one of my favourite fine dining places in Amsterdam and decided that I needed to go with good female company, so had accepted dinner with Alina in the name of further research. The things I do for my readers!
With Alina, the “relationship” which ended over a year ago could be described as a well-dressed man handling nitroglycerine. It was passionate, unpredictable, addictive and often explosive. To be fair to the lovely Alina, she went into the relationship thinking she’d found her ideal mate, then on getting to know me better, soon understand why I’m known as the shallow man. There really wasn’t much depth in my view of the relationship. I saw a hot beautiful well dressed and incredibly sexy woman, great for recreational activities. She saw mythical apartments with a fireplace, potential for children, marriage, the whole nine yards, and I did what any shallow man would do, sprinted away from the relationship faster than Usain Bolt running for a bus.
In spite of all this, after the usual cooling off period, we’ve remained in touch, and thinking that over a year was long enough to heal all wounds, I agreed to have dinner with the red-hot Alina at Jaspers restaurant in the Ceintuurbaan in the Pijp neighbourhood of Amsterdam.
A pearl in an ocean of mediocrity, located conveniently within an easy walking distance of the shallow man bachelor pad. As readers will know, I arrange my favourite restaurants by function, such as places for first dates, locations to end relationships and outstanding fine dining places to impress the lingerie off a date or long-term partner. Jaspers fits into the latter category. It opened just over two years ago and has been, quite deservedly a hit.
The evening started off well with a warm welcome from the head chef and owner, Jasper. Alina was fashionably late, which gave me time to peruse the menu that looked very good indeed. The same could also be said about Alina who arrived wearing a fur coat, which once hung up in the cloakroom revealed a body, that leaves no doubt at all that God was and is definitely a man. Alina is around 168cm tall, with jet black hair, skin as white as snow and blessed with a hot shapely body. The dress perfectly accentuated her curves, particularly her spectacular breasts. When we first went to bed, I felt like I’d won the boob lottery. The dress she was wearing that evening clung closely to her breasts and my god they were spectacular. She always used to criticise me for not being politically active in any shape or form. Well, let me tell you, I’d have gone out and marched, signed petitions and canvassed my local MP to free those breasts. There would be a campaign worth being politically active for, free the Russian duo from captivity. She was also wearing a pair of elegantly cut, leather boots with stiletto heels, another reason for my love of Russian women.
Of course, with all these thoughts running through my head, the chap downstairs started to misbehave and was suddenly wide awake and standing to attention. As Alina approached my table, there was no way I could stand up, lest I give the waitress a floor show of what was happening below, so I remained seated. Things immediately went downhill from there. “Simon, I see you’ve forgotten how to greet a lady? Where are the manners?” I decided not to explain the effect her outfit was having on me, and simply told her I’d explain later. We ordered some Champagne as an aperitif and then took a look at the menu.
Alina wasted no time telling me how immature I was, which, the Shallow Man admits is not necessarily far from the truth, sometimes. I let her talk at me, and immediately regretted agreeing to meet. While she started waffling on about things that no sane man could possibly care about, I took in the crowd gathered in the restaurant. There was a table of glamorous looking ladies in their thirties to forties, who were beautifully dressed and made up, only ruined by the fact that for the rest of the evening they kept going outside to smoke and leaving the door open, something which the staff had to keep closing behind them. The place has a lovely atmosphere and a warm wonderful ambience.
I studied the menu in more detail. At Jaspers, they offer set menus which offer incredibly good value. The three-course meal starts at 38.50. We or I should say I, opted for the five-course menu. Alina is always happy to let me choose the food and the wine, as fine dining is the only area in which she trusts my judgment. With the menu, I also went for the wine matching as they have an outstanding sommelier.
What then followed was so good, that even Alina, who’d apparently only agreed to meet me so that she could tell me how unhappy I’d made her and how much better she is now that she’s found herself a Dutchman, who not only is not shallow, but does everything she wants without making any form of sarcastic commentary, temporarily ceased hostilities, and enjoyed what was an outstanding combination of food and wine.
The standout dishes of the night were undoubtedly the poached Oysters with a foam of coconut, ginger and red peppers. More lekker, than a hot woman in a short skirt on a bike in Amsterdam in summer.
The Pate of pheasant with foie gras flan, beetroot, berry’s, purple carrot vinaigrette and brioche was so good, that even though I’m firmly against marriage, I could have reconsidered and walked up the aisle with this plate of food. This was crowned with braised veal that was veally good. Sorry I couldn’t resist that one.
The wines served made an elegant old man very happy.
How was dessert?
Those of you with one track minds will be thinking about Alina, but here, I refer to the food. The dessert was a cream of chocolate and whiskey with hard biscuits Viennese pastry, chestnut, crème Fraiche ice cream with black pepper while poached pear. It was even better than it sounds. We also were quite merry by now, and even took some dessert wine to match. Did the evening go any further? The shallow man is nothing if not a gentleman, so let’s say that I called her a taxi and dropped her off at her newly found situation of domestic bliss and we parted as friends.
The Shallow Man’s advice would be by all means visit Jaspers, but make sure that you take someone who will not nag you into the last century. Even with that going on I thoroughly enjoyed the cuisine and wine and would highly recommend Jaspers to anyone who appreciates fine dining and is looking for somewhere special and reasonably priced to go in Amsterdam.
No bitter ex-girlfriends were hurt during the writing of this article.