When we heard De Quay was a Dutch-Indonesian restaurant our ears perked for a number of reasons. One, there was a lot of praise when it opened, which is unexpected for a place like this in Lincoln park. Two, we dont’ know much about Indonesian food. Three, our experience eating Dutch food in Amsterdam has mostly involved eating pancakes we assumed were weed laced, but were in fact only regular pancakes. Regrettable, we know. But we are ready to change that.
A couple dinners at De Quay later and we’ve learned a lot. For starters, they don’t serve marijuana laced anything. But De Quay does serve a few things that are equally as magical. The problem is they also serve some things that let us down. And that’s the overall theme here - one minute we’re thoroughly impressed and the next we are indifferent.
Dishes and flavors bounce around from from Indonesian to Dutch. Some of it’s great (chicken with Indonesian aromatics in a curry cream), some of it’s good (nasi goreng), and some things are disappointing (grilled shrimp & Balinese shrimp lumpia). And overall, we are left feeling like De Quay is good with some holes that keep it from becoming as good as it can be.
De Quay is a nice change of pace if you’re ever in need of a quieter meal in Lincoln Park. It’s Perfect For Date Night or Dinner With The Parents right next to DePaul, and that’s good to know in a neighborhood full of weekday beer specials $1 in plastic cups.
Not all Dutch food has life altering affects. Lessoned learned.
Spinach & Frisee Salad
Basic spinach and frisee salad with sugared bacon and goat gouda cheese. We are into the dressing which is really sweet and mustard based.
Black Pepper Gouda Dumplings
Potato dumplings with peas and bacon. One of those comforting and crowd pleasing appetizers that’s great for sharing.
Nasi Goreng is Indonesian fried rice with vegetables and shrimp. It’s fine, but something about it left us wanting more. Make sure to mix in the hot sauce, toasted coconut, and pickled cucumbers that come on the side, which are helpful, but still don’t take things to that next step.
Grilled Shrimp & Balinese Shrimp Lumpia
On one hand, the buttery cream sauce the shrimp sit in is delicious. On the other, the four small pieces of shrimp with no flavor are a total afterthought. There’s a mix of peaches and snap peas that comes on the side, which is also just kind of there. A lot of promise, but a total miss.
Buttermilk Marinated Chicken
Sounds simple, but it’s our favorite item on the menu. The chicken is excellent, and the curry cream sauce it sits in is better than excellent. Definitely order, and soak up the sauce with the basmati rice.
Grilled pork Chop
Decent pork chop served with gouda mashed potatoes, cabbage, and fried kale in a mustard and thyme sauce. A safe bet if you’re looking to keep it simple with some meat, plus the gouda mashed are the best thing on the plate.