We were in no mood for cooking last Friday evening. My boyfriend kept on talking about a new fish bar that had opened in the East – Visbar Beet. Shall we try it?
A fish bar on Dappermarkt? I was hungry all right, but all I could imagine was a shady venue selling deep fried food topped with ketchup and mayo, and artificially flavoured carbonated drinks.
My expectations couldn’t have been farther from reality. Minimalist, industrial design in tones of aqua green, completed with the warm light of candles raising here and there, on top of surfaces. High chairs with a worn out look around a communal table, next to the bar. At the back, a velvet blue sofa and smaller tables for a more intimate dining experience.
Although it didn’t look busy (it was only 6 PM when we arrived), we were to find out that the place was in fact fully booked. We were, however, kindly guided toward the bar-like table along the windows, and we couldn’t have been happier.
“Why didn’t you tell me this place was so nice?” I asked my boyfriend, as he was helping me with my coat.
“Told you you’d like it,” he said smiling.
As I sat down, the fish-shaped vases filled with flowers got my attention. Next to them, on the wooden board, elegant wine glasses. The details that make a difference!
I went for the Fish’n’Chips, while my boyfriend chose the Taco with Tempura Shrimps and the Japanese Seaweed Salad. A glass of gin & tonic for him, and a bittersweet, apple-ginger drink for me. We were content with our food.
In between bites, through the soft light of the candles reflecting in the windows, we looked outside, to Dapperstraat. No sign of the market stalls that spread along the street during the day. Yet, the trading air of the Dapperstraat was somehow persisting. It was there, in the kitschy signs of the shops – closed as well – and in the utilitarian architecture of the apartment buildings on top of them.
“Amazing how the East keeps on changing, with places like this one popping up one after the other” I said, taking a sip from my boyfriend’s drink.
We will come back to Visbar Beet, with or without a reservation. Although, come to think of it, that blue sofa is well worth the effort of giving a call beforehand.