Dining in the Netherlands: Inter Scaldes**

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Inter Scaldes is a restaurant with manoir (hotel) that has had two Michelin stars since 1984. The current chef Jannis Brevet has been the chef since 2001. The name refers to its location between the Oosterschelde and Westerschelde near the village of Kruiningen in the province of Zeeland in the South-West of the Netherlands.

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Each year for the anniversary of our first date I take Kees to a surprise dinner somewhere. In recent years it has taken us to Italy, another restaurant in Zeeland, and Limburg. This was our first dinner at Inter Scaldes, and we opted for the 8-course “Concert” degustation menu (165 euros) with matching wines (76.50 euros for 8 glasses). Photos taken with my iPhone 6 plus.

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The dining room has a very nice atmosphere. We thought the service was cordial but a bit formal.

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The savoureux apéritifs were smoked Oosterschelde eel with white beans, coffee and sage, shrimp with different structures of cauliflower, and foie gras with apricot and almond. All very elegant with detailed flavors.

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The amuse maison was barely cooked tender cockles (clams) with dashi pearls, yogurt, yuzu, and celery. Again very elegant with detailed flavors. 9/10 for the set of small appetizers.

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Raw langoustine (scampi) with apple and onion, paired with a Rousette de Savoie, an unusual wine made from altesse grapes. A nice combination of flavors in the dish and the wine worked well, although it was perhaps slightly too full-bodied for the elegant flavor of the dish. 8/10

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A cold cream of corn and oxtail with caviar and crispy chicken skin. We noticed too late that we could have asked for a larger helping of caviar for a supplement of 19 euros. The cream had a very nice background flavor of oxtail, but tasted mostly of fresh corn. It was a great combination with the caviar, from Dutch farmed sturgeons. The pairing with To by Velich, an Austrian blend of chardonnay, sauvignon and welschriesling, was outstanding, with the flavors playing ping pong on our palates and taking this to a world class level. This was easily the best dish of the evening, 10/10!

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We are not sure why the duck mousse was called Peking duck mousse, but it was a great combination with popcorn mousse and the apple/passion fruit compote that was served on the side. Although we were advised to taste the duck and the compote intermittently, we actually preferred to combine everything in a single bite. On its own the duck mousse was quite rich, but the fruit cut right through that and balanced it out nicely. The wine did not work with the fruit compote on its own, and was just okay with the duck by itself. But with all of it together, the wine pairing with the dry Pedro Ximénez wine was outstanding. This PX was very special as usually all PX is made into a thick syrupy sherry that is good with chocolate. This wine was its dry ‘cousin’, and very nice indeed. 9/10

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The lemon sole was nice, and served with two wines: a Jura (similar to vin jaune) and a Greek wine from the same grapes that is usually made into retsina. I don’t care for vin jaune, but the Greek wine was very nice. 8/10

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The roe deer venison fillet was served medium rare with a jus, quince jelly, parsley puree, beetroot, and Brussels sprout. I entirely missed the point of this dish, which seemed to be random components put together on a plate. This also applies to the wine, a 2005 Australian shiraz-viognier that tasted very aged. As aged as a 30-year old Barolo. This may have been a good choice for stewed venison, but for such a medium rare piece of fillet a young vibrant shiraz (perhaps even the same wine, but from a recent vintage) would have been a much better choice. 7/10

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Vacherin Mont d’Or, served with extra virgin olive oil and drops of guave, tutti frutti, salsify, and sake. The flavors worked nicely with the cheese. The wine pairing with a Burgundy-style chardonnay from Baden (Germany) however did not work, as the wine wasn’t fruity enough and gave the cheese and oil a bitter aftertaste. 7/10

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Underneath the thin crispy almond cookie was mascarpone with vanilla, bamboo and ‘hand of Buddha’ (a citrus fruit). A good dessert with a nice combination of flavors and textures, paired adequately with a 1995 Monbazillac. Because of the citrus a similar wine with more freshness (a Sauternes or perhaps even the same Monbazillac from a more recent vintage) would have worked better. 8/10

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The smoked chocolate was nice, with celery ice cream and baked pine apple. The pairing with a vin santo was nice. 8/10

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With coffee and tea came a variety of chocolates and other sweets, including these nicely colored eclairs that also all had different flavors.

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The restaurant has a very nice collection of porcelain plates.

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These truffles all had very original flavors.

I had heard some rumours about a third star for Inter Scaldes, but recently Michelin confirmed two stars and that is in line with our experience. For three stars, the good level of the first dishes should continue throughout the menu. 8.5/10 for the food.

Some of the wine pairings were outstanding and the young sommelier does know his wines and presents interesting choices. 8.5/10 for the wines.

The service was cordial but a bit formal and the pace of the menu was a bit erratic with too long of a wait between the fish and the meat course. 8/10 for the service.

Flashback

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Two years ago we went to Kromme Watergang, also two stars and quite close to Inter Scaldes. I’d say the level of the two restaurants is very comparable, with Kromme Watergang slightly more modern in decor and presentation and Inter Scaldes with a more talented sommelier and slightly better technical execution of the dishes.

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3 thoughts on “Dining in the Netherlands: Inter Scaldes**

  1. What a nice way to celebrate your anniversary, by taking Kees to a surprise dinner. And this one, though not perfect, does seem like it was worthy of your selection. Too bad the venison plate didn’t quite “work”. That piece of meat looked well-cooked and it deserved better plating. I hope you both enjoyed the rest of your night out. Happy Anniversary!

    Liked by 1 person

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