Farm to table can be overused, but De Kas restaurant exemplifies the concept. A globally-inspired menu highlights ingredients from the attached garden and greenhouse. Seasoning and spices are mostly reserved, allowing the focus to be on the fresh vegetables. The colorful plating further emphasizes the freshness and vibrance of the same-day picked produce.
The space is stunning, with an all-glass exterior that both stands out and blends in with the surrounding park and water setting. The glass ceiling allows for plenty of natural light during lunch service. Electric panels open and close to adjust for brightness.
The weekly changing menu is simple, with a list of featured ingredients rather than distinct courses. Vegetables are seen as the star, with fish and meat in a supporting role.
A generous trio of starters set the stage for produce as the star. Raw bok choi was accented with a light piccalilli mustard sauce and poppyseed. Papadum and tandoori dip featured more greens.
My favorite amuse was the tapioca cracker, thanks to the light, airy texture and a memorably delicate crunch. This was paired with a celery dip of egg whites and olive oil.
Bread was presented in a brown paper bag with appropriately softened, room temperature butter.
Raw oyster was an optional addition to the starters, with a choice of violet vinegar shallot or bloody mary vinaigrette. I chose the later and enjoyed the tomato notes that offset the plump, briney, and bright oyster.
The first course was a beetroot and burrata salad accented with raspberry, bergamot, and large cucumber flowers. Simple olive oil allowed the natural flavors to shine.
Next was my favorite dish – raw langoustine ceviche. The shellfish was lightly cured with leche de tigre and garnished with red onion, cucumber, and cilantro. I loved the great brightness and texture.
The last savory course of sardine in crab bisque was the weak link, as the fish was salty and dry. I liked the roast tomato, and the crab bisque had nice depth though it was also a salt bomb. Dipping the bread in the bisque was a suitable compromise as it toned down the sodium.
I elected to add dessert (of course). This was a pistachio cake with pistachio cream. The pistachio flavor paired well with a delicate fig leaf sorbet. Cherry and watercress made for fun contrasting flavor.
For wine, I tried a glass of my first Dutch wine, a 2018 Apostelhoeve Müller Thurgau. This was a dry, lighter bodied white with stone fruit notes and medium acid. A good pairing for the lighter flavors here.
Overall the lovely, vegetable-forward presentation was a joy to experience in the stunning, sun-filled glass building. Some dishes could have used some more punch to be fully realized, while the sardine crab bisque was too salty. But these were minor, and I enjoyed my meal at De Kas. The service was also cheerful, attentive, and knowledgeable.