Vegan Mofo: Alchemist Garden, Amsterdam

Amsterdam Alchemist Garden (3)

Day Ten:  Something Blue

The “something blue” here could be the blueberries above. Or it could equally describe my feelings after eating the most disappointing breakfast ever.

During our Easter trip to Amsterdam, we went for what sounded like an exciting raw breakfast at Alchemist Kitchen.  I’m undecided about raw food – the desserts are good, the salads are, of course, packed with flavour, but wouldn’t some things just be better cooked?  I was feeling quite optimistic about breakfast though – foolishly, as it turned out.  We were the only customers at 10:30am, and I have to say on reflection that I’m not surprised it wasn’t jumping (in fairness, it was busy when we passed by that evening, and the pies did look pretty tempting).

Amsterdam Alchemist Garden (1)

We ordered the 12 euro breakfast plate, which promised granola, coconut yoghurt, bread, jam and coconut butter, alongside the tea and smoothie of the day.  We were told when we ordered that there was no granola, so we’d get a fruit salad instead.  Obviously at that point we should have stood up and walked away.  Why didn’t we?!  It’s a question that still haunts me to this day.  But we stuck it out and waited with a sense of impending doom.  The tea arrived very quickly.  We were expecting something fruity or exotic as it was the tea of the day, but in actual fact it was pretty non-descript.  About ten minutes later the smoothie arrived, and we were invited to guess the flavours:  it was apple and cinnamon, and it was the highlight of the meal.  Alas, it was pretty small, and we still had a long wait for food, despite the fact that the cafe was empty (and the food was raw, so it’s not like it needed cooking).  We struggled to eke out our drinks long enough for the food to arrive.

Amsterdam Alchemist Garden (2)

And this was our sad little plate, accompanied by the colourful bowl of fruit up top for us to share.  Whither the bread?  That’s the two dough balls.  They were about the size of ping-pong balls and were quite dense – I wasn’t a fan, though Dr HH said they were the best bit.  In the little ramekins we had some coconut oil (which I thought the best part), and a ‘jelly’ whose flavour we couldn’t quite place.  That big bowl is full of coconut yoghurt and topped with a solitary, unhappy little blueberry.  I love coconut yoghurt, I think it’s luxurious and tropical and everything good.  But this stuff was sour.  It was in desperate need of something to sweeten it.  Even with all the fruit toppled in, it just wasn’t good.

The cafe itself is a nice place – it’s pretty, bright and airy, with a good pile of board games and books.  And the other food did look good.  I just wouldn’t recommend it for breakfast.  Happy Cow Amsterdam has 22 listings for ‘Bagels and Beans’ around the city, and there was one just down the road on Overtoom – I really wish we’d gone there instead.  It’s nice to be adventurous and try something different, but maybe breakfast isn’t the time to gamble:  I’m a much nicer person on a full, happy belly.

 Speed of service:  very slow, considering how empty it was, and also poor pacing:  we scarcely had any drinks left by the time the food arrived.  Considering the only food preparation really should have been chopping the fruit, there wasn’t much of an excuse.  1/5

Value for money:  I could have bought a big pot of yoghurt and some fruit in the supermarket and enjoyed it more.  2/5

Quality of cooking:  obviously there was no cooking involved, but I will comment on the fact that the yoghurt was almost inedibly sour.  And minus points for not even having the key breakfast ingredient:  granola.  If you run out at breakfast the day before, make some more!  2/5

Creativity:  this is hard to judge.  I like the idea of a raw breakfast, and I was excited by the description of the plate before it arrived.  I’ll give it a three just for being different…although it turns out there’s a reason it’s not a classic.  3/5

Total:  8/20

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16 Responses to Vegan Mofo: Alchemist Garden, Amsterdam

  1. ameyfm says:

    ha ha… sorry about the bummer breakfast. I went out to a raw place many years ago with my husband and my parents and had some of the SLOWEST service ever. I think we were there four hours or something like that. It was crazy bad. Needless to say, we never went back!

    • Jenny says:

      At least we weren’t waiting that long! The worst thing was that the kitchen/food prep area was right in the middle of the café, so we could see everything she was doing and how slowly she was progressing. Oh, it was bad!

  2. That sounds really disappointing! You’d think it would really take some effort to get fruit and yoghurt wrong!

  3. Caroline says:

    Oh no what a shame. My experience of raw food in Amsterdam a few years ago was pretty good. This breakfast really let’s them down. Can’t remember where I ate a few times but it was next to a dance studio and pretty good.

    • Jenny says:

      It’s the only bad experience I’ve had with raw food, I think, and I’ll try not to let it put me off. There’s a lot to be said for raw cakes, after all!

  4. Kyra says:

    You didn’t have a good experience of breakfasts in Amsterdam from the sounds of this! How disappointing. I do like how you tied it into today’s prompt though, haha.

  5. Michelle says:

    The lone blueberry and the tiny little bread balls has me cracking up! What a bummer you had such a lame breakfast experience, but at least you have a memory you can giggle at. Great “something blue” post!

  6. Jennifer says:

    Still enjoyed this POST! Awesome! There are going to be some stumpers coming up for me that’s for sure!

  7. That has got to be one of the worst breakfast experiences possible 😦 One blueberry on a mound of plain yoghurt… what were they thinking?! And running out of the main (and presumably most expensive) ingredient? Like you said, it’s not like they ran out at the end of a busy service, there’s just no excuse! I hope you have been able to make up for lost breakfast happiness since!

  8. Bonnie says:

    I can’t stop laughing at the solitary blueberry.

  9. Pingback: Vegan Mofo: My Raw Cafe, Prague | Herbivores' Heaven

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