It’s not often that you have dinner at a two Michelin star restaurant but last week I had this honor! I had dinner at Restaurant De Lindehof in Nuenen. Nuenen is a small town near Eindhoven in the province Brabant in the Netherlands.
Nuenen is famous all over the world because Vincent van Gogh has lived here. Although he only lived here for a few years, Nuenen is quite important in his career as he painted one of his most famous works ‘De Aardappeleters’ (the Potato Eaters) here.
Throughout the town you’ll see interesting sights about the live of van Gogh. The house he lived in for example, or the church he painted. But even if you don’t love van Gogh, Nuenen is worth a visit just for De Lindehof alone.
Owner and head chef of De Lindehof is Soenil Bahadoer. He was born in Surinam in a Hindu family. Preparing the family meals all together was one of the most important activities of the day when Soenil was growing up. It was also than when he discovered his love for cooking. He bought De Lindehof in 1995 and got his first Michelin star in 2004. He was able to maintain the star until 2015 when he could add another star to his restaurant. De Lindehof has been a two Michelin star restaurant for 3 years now.
A few weeks ago Restaurant De Lindehof has reopened after an intense renovation. While De Lindehof was closed, chef Soenil Bahadoer had time for a very unique experience. He cooked for his guests in an old chapel in Den Bosch, the whole dinner was inspired by Van Gogh. You can read all about this dinner at pop-up restaurant GAST on this page.
I was lucky to have dinner at GAST, and now I’m lucky to be one of the first to visit the renewed restaurant.
The restaurant has a very warm and welcoming atmosphere. The first thing that you notice is a big marble wall on one side of the room. Furthermore you’ll see white walls and white table linnen, grey chairs and copper lights. Besides attention to the interior, you’ll also see that they’ve paid much attention to the dishes! Before your dinner even starts, you’re already spoiled with amuse-bouches. All amuses look great and taste even better.
One amuse-bouche in particular was very interesting. It already caught my eye when they served it at another table. They bring a big durian to your table, a fruit that you might know if you’ve ever been to Thailand. The waitress asks you to put your right hand on the table as a fist and she’ll put the amuse-bouche on your hand. You’ll eat it straight from this ‘clean hand’. It’s an amuse made with red cabbage, green apple, apple mustard gel and durian.
After we got spoiled with many small dishes it was time for the real dinner to start. Soenil and his team made a vegetarian menu for me and a regular surprise menu for my partner. He had a beef stew with langoustine, Wagyu tartare, sweet curry & pickled Suriname lime as a starter and I had this dish with several variations of kohlrabi.
You notice Soenil’s Surinamese and Hindu roots in his dishes. Sometimes by the ingredients like ‘Kousenband’ (yardlong green) and sometimes by the spices like curry herbs. It might be the only Michelin star restaurant in the world that serves ‘Moksi Alesi’. Moksi Alesi is a Surinamese rice dish that was traditionally made with leftovers. Bahadoer combined it with the Surinamese vegetable ‘kousenband’ in one of the dishes I had. These long beans add a crispy touch to the dish.
Even in the dessert you can taste Soenil’s background. The dessert was created together with Bram Venhorst, pastry chef at the Lindehof. The two chefs combined their ideas to come to this fusion dessert where ingredients like chocolate and pepper meet. It’s served with kumquat, a fruit that you has originally been cultivated in India.
And as if we haven’t been spoiled enough, we also got some delicious sweets together with our coffees. These four sweets were also a combination of the traditional French pastries from Bram Venhorst and the exotic touch of Soenil Behadoer. The green cups in the background are chocolates with ketjap (sweet soy sauce) for example. Also the macarons and madeleines aren’t what they seem! But I won’t spoil the surprise, you’ll have to taste them for yourself!
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you anymore after seeing all these pictures: you’ll have to go to the Lindehof! It’s a wonderful experience. You can reserve your table here.
Visiting Nuenen? You might also want to check my favorite food spots in nearby city Eindhoven on this page.