By Vicky Hampton
I think everyone around me has had enough of hearing about my kitchen renovation project. Even I’ve had enough of hearing about my kitchen renovation project. I’d under-estimated everything: the project management required, the budget (of course), but also my own appetite for takeaways and eating out. Yes, they don’t call me the Amsterdam Foodie for nothing – but I love to cook. And make coffee. And use a dishwasher. My life is the very epitome of a first-world problem right now.
Anyway, I started by saying we were all tired of hearing about this – and here I go again… Enough. On Saturday night, in another bid to get out of the house and find food, we made a last-minute reservation at Café Carbon: a slightly unfortunately (but actually aptly) named steak and grill restaurant on the Van Woustraat. Not only is everything prepared over charcoal, but you can almost taste your carbon footprint following you out of the door after you’ve paid up and left.
I’d walked into the restaurant not even sure I felt like eating meat that night, but changing my mind once I looked at the menu. I’m sorry-not-sorry that Mr Foodie and I ended up ordering a triple meat fest: we started with a 250g rib-eye steak and a small rack of lamb, divided into five cutlets. But somehow the meat was so tender and so tasty, and the char of the grill so moreish, that we skipped dessert in favour of a portion of hot wings. They were just as good as the rest, and were properly, lip-tinglingly spicy. (As always, though, where was the blue-cheese dip?)
The chips were nice enough, although I wasn’t mad keen on the seasoning, while the coleslaw was too wet. The garlic sauce was good, though I’ve had better chimichurri elsewhere. But none of that mattered because the meat was so spectacular I could’ve eaten it all again. Did I feel guilty? Yes, a little. My meat habit and my travel bug are conspiring against all my good, sustainable intentions. But oh lord, give me that steak again before this kitchen project is out…
Our dinner at Café Carbon cost €90 for two people, including a bottle of Nero d’Avola.
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