Simplicity, purity, lightness. This starter combines all three qualities to reach the perfect balance. (Photo credit: Yann Cognieux)
Simplicity, purity, lightness. This starter combines all three qualities to reach the perfect balance. (Photo Credit: Yann Cognieux)

Calla, a Mexican lily, also means beauty in Greek. In Restaurant Calla’s, beauty reveals itself in many ways – the lovely flower inspired the purity of its chic decor and every plate is delicately presented creating succulent memories. No wonder Restaurant Calla’s has been a key player on The Hague’s food scene for the past 15 years. In 2002, it received a Michelin Star, a well deserved prize.

Tucked on a side street close to a typical Dutch canal, the restaurant is housed in a 19th century commercial building, resembling a coachhouse from the exterior. As soon as you step inside, you feel as if you have entered a different time, far from the noise and the indifference of the street, secluded and discreet. This is exactly how I felt after going through the door of this establishment for a special dinner with my husband.

Sommelier Frank van Scheijndel greeted us with discretion and professionalism. In the open kitchen located on the main floor, the cooking crew was following Chef  Marcel van der Kleijn’s lead. I could have stayed there all night, watching their expert gestures and the incessant ballet of pots, pans and plates, but I was too eager to taste the spectacular dishes they were putting together.

A cosy and elegant decor with white and organic tons awaits you at Restaurant Calla's. (Photos by Christine Cognieux)
A cosy and elegant decor with white and organic tones awaits you at Restaurant Calla’s. (Photo Credit: Christine Cognieux)

We followed the sommelier up the elegant staircase, crowned with a modern and sleek balustrade, to the main room located on the first floor. The purity of the shades (white, cream, ivory) and the soft textures (glass, wood, organza, linen, slate and chrome) compose an atmosphere of intimacy and serenity. I loved how the tables were placed far away from each other, creating an intimate and romantic bubble for each seating. The deep brown of the walls creates an even more contrasted and cosy atmosphere. You will find no frills here but a chic interior with organic accents to complement the Chef’s contemporary cooking.

The amuse-bouches offer fun examples of the Chef's modern cuisine. (Photos by Christine Cognieux)
The amuse-bouches offer fun examples of the Chef’s modern cuisine. (Photo Credit: Christine Cognieux)

Maître D’ Bianca Fellinger presented us with the menu choices. We chose the 6-course Allure menu,  for its inventiveness and seasonality. It also seemed the perfect option to experience the extent of the Chef’s cuisine. The enormous wine selection, with a predisposition for French wines, is in perfect harmony with the Chef’s cooking. Restaurant Calla’s puts emphasis on quality, purity, taste and freshness of the ingredients, to create classical dishes in the purest of French tradition with a creative twist.

The two main courses are equally beautiful and delightful. (Photos by Yann Cognieux)
The two main courses are equally beautiful and delightful. (Photo Credit: Yann Cognieux)

Our culinary journey started with a surprising amuse-bouche of a salted panna cotta served in an egg à la coque, on a bed of black pebbles with a crunchy mouillette. The starter, a fresh seasonal salad, displayed bucolic splendor with delicate herbs, flower shaped white beetroot and shaved radishes. All ingredients came directly from the biodynamic herb and vegetable garden the restaurant owns in the dunes of Wassenaar.  The monkfish was perfectly cooked and seasoned. The combined langoustine and black chicken on a brown jus was divine.  What followed was a Texel lamb served with young carrot, a puffed potato, and white beetroot, on a bed of croquant fave beans. All the flavors worked so well together to bring out the tenderness of the meat and the freshness of the vegetables. The goat cheese was presented with cooked rhubarb and fig.

The finale came with the dessert, a lambada of strawberries, in different textures, shapes and pink hues. A pure delight for the eyes and our tastebuds. With the coffee came more friandises, home made nougat, coconut macaroon, raspberry financier, strawberry macaron and orange blossom mashmallow. An explosion of flavors to tickle our gluttony. By that time, we were in heaven, feeling delighted and at ease.

Even the desserts and friandises play with the textures and shades to surprise you all the way to the end of this exceptional culinary journey. (Photos by Christine Cognieux)
Even the desserts and friandises play with the textures and shades to surprise you all the way to the end of this exceptional culinary journey. (Photo Credit: Christine Cognieux)

If you want to enjoy a meal in perfect intimacy and treat yourself with exquisite food that makes you whimper with delight, Restaurant Calla’s comes first in my mind. You will have to pay the price for this superb restaurant but it is worth every bite.

Restaurant Calla’s, Laan van Roos en Doom 51a, 2514 BC Den Haag, the Netherlands

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About Christine Cognieux

Christine is a life enthusiast, attracted to happiness, creativity and beauty in everything. It is not because she is French that she loves Fashion but she does. Photographing her food is becoming a habit of hers!


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10 Responses to "Restaurant: Calla’s, The Hague, the Netherlands"

  1. Noreen Kompanik  02/12/2016

    What a great article and photos. Will have to try this restaurant next time we’re visiting the Netherlands!

    • Christine Cognieux  02/12/2016

      Thank you Noreen for your nice comment. I hope you do. It is a very special place!

  2. Kevin Wagar  02/12/2016

    That looks delicious! The presentation is excellent as well!

    • Christine Cognieux  03/12/2016

      Thank you Kevin. Everything was just perfect.

  3. That 6 course meal looks phenomal! I met a couple from the Hague when I was in Barcelona and they told me about their food scene and it sounded great. Restaurant Calla will definitely be on my list when I go!

    • Christine Cognieux  03/12/2016

      Thank you Eric. Yes the food scene in the Hague is incredible. I can say in the Netherlands in general, the choice is vast and excellent. I hope you can see it for yourself!

  4. LC  03/12/2016

    Oh, that food looks delicious… particularly dessert!

    • Christine Cognieux  03/12/2016

      Thanks. That dessert was heavenly! and so was the entire meal. A real treat!

  5. Global Brunch  04/12/2016

    That looks devine! I love the colourful desert and attention to detail in the way the food is served. Sure looks like a great spot to dine out.

  6. Pingback: Edible Flowers, From the Garden to the Kitchen | Travel Gluttons

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