De Nachtwacht (Amsterdam) – Feb 2014 (First Visit) –

Before our trip to Amsterdam, Jackson’s PapaBear, Tim, claimed that there was a restaurant with the best ribs he had ever eaten in his life. Of course we had to look into the matter ourselves. 

Timothy Davis was right. 

So very right.

We walked in just as the restaurant was preparing for the evening rush. Thankfully it was so early we grabbed a booth table for two. There were a few other couples on the other, far side of the room. It was comfortable inside. Homely, very Scandinavian with the interior design, a lot of brick and wood, which I appreciate greatly.

We had a quick peruse through the menu but we knew what we were there for. A quick scan, however, showed that the pricing for dishes was a little dearer than most casual grill eateries (the ribs coming in at €19.75)  but we were on holiday so thought to treat ourselves. This thought, however, quickly evaporated when the dish arrived. 

I can not express enough, the joy I felt when two, yes two, large racks of ribs each were placed before us with complimentary sauces – alongside the oddest fruit on a stick combo – on a rustic chopping board. It was as if there was a personal message, for me only, spoken by the woman who does the voice over for Marks & Spencer’s food commercials, 

“That’s right, look at me. Slow cooked for 6 hours in a rustic marinade. It’s you and me now. Here are some sauces, now take a bite!”

I am not sure if you can tell by the images above, but those ribs…they were cooked to perfection. The meat fell off the bone. Tender. Juicy. Crispy with flavour on the edges where the flame had over-licked.  

I spent a good 5 minutes praising the Lord of Char-grilled Meat and ceremoniously proceeded to slathering every chunk with the two beautiful sauces; a thick, smoked BBQ dip & garlic mayonnaise. Jackson followed suit. We were quiet for a while, delicate even, until all hell broke loose. 

We suddenly became ravenous. Ignoring our sides of French fries & jacket potato we ate like we had never eaten before, all the while trying to savour every mouthful. It was difficult trying to remain calm and collected in a public place. We didn’t talk to each other much, although we separately, throughout the meal, did mutter sweet nothings to the ribs.

There was no check back to see how our meal was. The place was so quiet they could probably hear us satisfactorily munching down, that or they believe so strongly that we, like many others, will love the dish so just leave us be. Maybe they have witnessed others croon at pieces of meat before eating?

I genuinely don’t believe I could go back and order something else from the menu, the ribs are that good. I have never eaten anything like them! Why would I risk a possible mediocre steak when I could get my meat high from a half hour session of dipping ribs?

I understand this review has probably turned into some sort of food erotica but I urge every meat eater far and wide to at least try these once in their life. 5pm is the best time to go.