Waterproef is not just about fine dining and good wine: it’s about experience. This becomes evident from the incredible attention that has been paid to detail – from the selected plates and the type of wine glasses, all the way to the temperatures of the wines being adapted to the courses. But it’s much more than detail alone: upon entering it becomes clear that the building in which Waterproef is located also forms part of the culinary experience. Until the ‘60s, this was where the fish auction of Scheveningen could be found, the place where fishermen of the North Sea sold their fresh produce to the people. This history still lives in the interior, which contains original elements, elegantly combined with a tasteful, modern style. On the first floor, you can find the ‘vinothèque,’ where the restaurant’s vast collection of wines is displayed. This space is especially well-suited for an intimate dinner!
After finding a table that looks out over the boats in the harbour, we’re warmly welcomed with a cold glass of bubbly. Off to a good start. The owner, Yves, hands us the menu and wine list, which contains a dazzling amount of options. To avoid the heavy burden of choosing, we opt for the tasting menu with wine pairing. The wines are carefully selected for the served courses, so that the flavours of the dishes and the wines are expressed in the best way possible. Yves tells us about how these combinations come together and that it usually requires copious tasting. Sounds like an awful job…
As ambassador of the North Sea fish, Waterproef stays close to home and serves the majority of their fish straight out of Scheveningen. The chef challenges himself to create unique and extraordinary dishes with largely forgotten Dutch fish. For him, this is a challenge that is ever-present when working with other products as well: how to give a twist to something and make it truly extraordinary? The kitchen never fails to impress. Fun fact: every day, the creative chef cycles through the Hague to buy his products at his favourite locations. It doesn’t get more local. The dishes taste excellent and look equally beautiful. Apart from fish, there is also a large selection of meat and vegetarian options. If the tasting menu is a little bit too much for your appetite, there’s also the option to order à la carte.
Everyone knows that ambience is key to a good dining experience. At Waterproef, you’ll feel right at home. The service is attentive, friendly and pleasantly informal. The guests are an eclectic mix of businessmen, older regulars and trendy youth, resulting in a casual and relaxed atmosphere. Yves, owner and sommelier, pays personal attention to every single guest. Instead of giving you complicated explanations about the wine – although there’s no doubt he can tell you anything about it – he gives you information in a humorous and accessible way. With this new knowledge, you can definitely impress your friends later – that is, if you can still remember anything after tasting all those glasses. The lovely food, perfectly paired wines, passionate staff and easy-going ambience make Waterproef a unique culinary experience.