Uit eten in Hilversum (Eating out in Hilversum)

I’ve lived in Hilversum for a month now, and although we haven’t eaten out much (moving to another country is bloody expensive!!) … I have had the pleasure of dining in the 2nd and 3rd best restaurants in Hilversum (according to Trip Advisor.)

“The 3rd best restaurant in Hilversum” is Chiang Mai, a cosy little Thai restaurant on Havenstraat. We stumbled upon it on the Sunday afternoon after King’s Day whilst my younger sister was visiting. Obviously, we had hangovers from the biggest party of the year and had already attempted to cure them with Turkish pizzas, but we were now looking for something semi-healthy. Chiang Mai didn’t disappoint! The food was awesome and the staff were very friendly and attentive. As newbies to Thai cuisine, my sister and her friend opted for Pad Thai. It looked and tasted just like the Pad Thai I had eaten on Koh Lanta in Thailand. A very enthusiastic thumbs up!

Chiang Mai: Pad Thai (left) Pad pak (right)

Chiang Mai: Pad Thai (left) Pad pak (right)

The Dutchie only looked at things on the menu with 3 stars = the hottest! He opted for Plamuk pad krapau (Squid with basil, chilli and garlic) while I went for the thing with most vegetables Pad pak (Beef with soy sauce and lots of veg!!) Both delicious and terribly authentic! We also had soups for starter (Tom yam kai Chiang Mai and Tom ka kai) but in my excitement I forgot to take pictures!

Chiang Mai: more Pad Thai (left) Plamuk pad krapau (right)

Chiang Mai: more Pad Thai (left) Plamuk pad krapau (right)

Although the restaurant itself is very simple, the food is what matters… and it’s fabulous! All the tables were full on Sunday evening, so if you were to go on a Friday or Saturday night – it’s probably an idea to book in advance! I would give it an 8/10 – excellent tasting food, good value and they even let us take a doggy bag home!! Minus points for a decidedly average dining experience and no “wow” factor.

“The 2nd best restaurant in Hilversum” was recommended to the Dutchie by a work colleague. Last week we were both craving a curry – so it was the logical choice! Surya, on Langestraat in Hilversum serves Indian and Nepalese cuisine. It’s not cheap (especially compared to curries in the UK!) but the food is excellent quality and we enjoyed every bite. (Actually we couldn’t finish it all seeing as we had starters AND mains! Piggies!)

It’s another small, cozy (or should I say gezellig) restaurant so probably advisable to book at the weekend. We’d read on Trip Advisor that service was a bit slow, but that wasn’t our experience at all. We waited a little while for our menus but for the rest of the meal the staff were very helpful.

The Dutchie had the hot and spicy chicken wings as a starter – delicious, but not that spicy. (He’s a heat freak so it’s difficult to get things hot enough for him the majority of the time!!) I had the lentil soup, yummy, but we both wanted a crack or 10 of black pepper!! I’m no John or Gregg, but it was definitely lacking seasoning.

Surya: lentil soup and chicken wings. Love the bird shaped lemon squeezer!!

Surya: lentil soup and chicken wings. Love the bird shaped lemon squeezer!!

For the main course I stuck with old faithful… my favourite ever curry: Lamb Dhansak (also to compare it to a Lamb Dhansak at home in the UK!) Spot on! The Dutchie ordered a King Prawn Vindaloo (surprise, surprise) and it was extremely hot. Perfect for him, a touch too hot for me – but the perfect combination! (We always order one hot and one mild/medium dish for balance.) All in all a very satisfying curry!

And now for a picture of a toilet!!

Blacker than black bathroom

Blacker than black bathroom

Bit random… but I felt the need to take a picture of the bathroom! I’ve never seen one decorated completely in black like this before and it was a shock when I walked in. Very cool and chic!!

The bill

The bill

De rekening (the bill) was delivered with pizzazz in the form of a beautifully decorated treasure chest and dinner mints. Shame there was no treasure in it!!

I’d also give Surya an 8/10. Fantastic food, but you pay the price!! A bit harsh maybe, but I’m comparing it to curry houses in the UK where you can get curry and rice for under £8 (compared to 16 euros+ here!)

Can’t wait to go to restaurant #1 on the list… the Royal Mandarin on Emmastraat serving Chinese cuisine 🙂 Better wait until after payday though!! 

Hayley x

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5 comments

  1. Mm that Thai place sounds delicious. In Toronto I have this favourite Thai place where you can get a soup, salad, spring rolls and a main for something like 12$ a person (like 8 euro), so I’m always skeptical of trying places here. I finally bit the bullet a few months ago in Den Haag and I’m afraid it was a decidedly underwhelming experience … Quite expensive for a main, plus extra charge for rice and also very expensive appetizers/sides!! And underseasoned! Sigh! I’ve never been to Hilversum actually, so maybe I should put it on my to-do list and check this place out 😀

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  2. I feel your pain! 8 euros sounds much more reasonable to me! 😀 Did you check out Trip Advisor before you visited this place btw? Or was it a spontaneous visit? 🙂 Just curious! Ahhh, you should come to Hilversum! And if you’re going to make a day of it, the Loosdrechtse Plassen (hee hee) are very close by. Visited them yesterday… beeeeeautiful! Going to write a post about that today / tomorrow, hope the photos do it justice!

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  3. Ooh! This place sounds awesome and those bathrooms are definitely unique. I typically don’t like Asian-y restaurants here in the Netherlands, but this one looks really nice! It does definitely look pricey, but compared to the babi pangang my husband always gets at any type of Indian/chinese place we’ve been to, it definitely looks worth it!

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    1. Nice for a special occasion I think! Hope you enjoy it as much as we did 🙂 It’s quite a small restaurant, maybe 10-12 tables so please take my advice and book in advance if you go on a weekend, wouldn’t want you to be disappointed.

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