Bar Friterie Bistro Gare du SUD, Utrecht

When going to concerts at the Tivoli De Helling venue in Utrecht, my brother and I always have dinner at a nearby restaurant at the Oosterkade.

In March, we found the Keuken & Deli restaurant completely revamped and renamed to Bar Friterie Bistro Gare du Sud. Since late 2016, Jeroen Robberegt – the former chef at Karel V in Utrecht – is heading this place. He got a Michelin star in 2005 there and when he left in 2014, Karel V lost it soon afterwards. In his new restaurant there is no ambition for a Michelin star, but it has a very nice bistro menu, with some more upscale details and finishes.

The restaurant is divided into two different sections, with a huge bar along the long end. A French bistro in the back with the main kitchen and a “Friterie” in the front with it’s own mini kitchen.

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The latter is obviously focused on French fries and combines a classy snackbar (plain fries and 4 different types of croquettes – cheese, satay, beef or grey shrimps, all in collaboration Van Dobben – and pub-style menu. They also have ‘fully loaded’ fries: Oriental (satay sauce, crispy fried onions and lime), Belgian (beef stew and apple) and Italian (mozzarella, tomato powder and basil mayo) and a slew of bar snacks: home-made potato chips, popcorn, salted almonds, olives/anchovies and sourdough bread, bitterballen with apple mustard, slices of Coppa di Parma or Jamon Trevelez, and a Classic Burger with lettuce, onion, a fried egg, bacon and cheese.

As we had some more time to kill, we sat down in the bistro area. Its menu has an interesting gastronomical take on the French classics, changing 5-6 times a year. This time around they had different preparations of oysters, 4 different takes on steak tartare, many fish dishes and the 2-person cote du boeuf and pan-fried sole as the obligatory exclusive bistro dishes. We opted for a starter and dessert combination, as we obviously could not resist to try out their french fries.

We both had the ‘Veal & Tuna’ to kick things off (EUR 15). Not a huge portion, but perfectly cooked and tasting great.

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Two slices of slow roasted veal with tuna cream layered in between and finished with tataki grilled tuna steaks and crispy salted capers.
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We had the Vedett IPA from tap (so tasting even better) and Duvel from bottle

Despite what the waiter who welcomed me said, it was unfortunately not possible to pick from the Friterie menu when in the bistro and vice versa.

We did manage to get some of the Friterie satay sauce to come with the fries (otherwise only available with mayonnaise) but we were quite surprised that later on that night we did see some of the fully loaded fries make their way to the bistro.

Due to a miscommunication the fries were chalked up as separate main dish rather than accompaniment to the starters. Due to the long wait they were taken off the bill and were graciously offered another drink.

As desserts we choose the ‘Milk & Mulled Pear’ as well as the ‘Dough & Lemon’, both very tasty (EUR 8 each):

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The ‘Milk & Mulled Pear’ is a subtly spiced Mulled Pear milkshake topped with an open-faced chocolate bar filled with chocolate mousse and candied nuts.
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The ‘Dough & Lemon’ was a lemon curd pie with blowtorched Swiss merengue and whipped cream

A couple of months ago, we visited again but sat down in the Friterie section. The strange thing was that this time we had the choice from the entire menu (although I didn’t verify that the same principle now applies for the Bistro). In any case, as there was less time to spend, we seized the possibility to try their 🍔 & 🍟… They did not disappoint!!

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Classic Burger (EUR 14) with lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, gherkins, a juice and well seasoned beef patty topped with cheese, a fried egg and bacon. Very nice, but due to its height almost impossible to eat (whilst keeping some dignity at least)
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Oriental Fully Loaded French Fries (EUR 4.75); Great and crispy fries covered with Satay sauce, crispy fried onions, peanuts, fresh scallions, coconut shavings and sprinkling of lime). Delicious, but a huge portion! Combined with the burger I only managed to finish less than half.

Overall, great quality food, plenty to choose from and good service. Highly recommended if you are in the neighbourhood.

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