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Time for a Fresh new start

Time for a Fresh new start Time for a Fresh new start

Photographer:Fotograaf: Kate Surala

Work like a slave, eat like a king

Fresh is an all-out fiasco in terms of both service and food. This is a fully refurbished establishment on the former site of the well-known student restaurant Kiwi. But the food, to put it bluntly, is worse. Just a few steps from the Student Services Centre and the Maastricht University Library, the restaurant seems like the perfect place for evening hangouts and afternoon chitchats on comfortable couches. Don’t be fooled: it’s not Kiwi anymore, and the cosy atmosphere is a thing of the past. Half the couches have disappeared and been replaced by wobbly wooden chairs. The young waiters can be enthusiastic and welcoming, but are mostly quite unprofessional.

Our waitress takes a solid fifteen minutes to come to our table to note down our order. Looking around, I notice that there are three other tables in our section with customers who arrived at the same time or after us, yet they already have their starters and are being served drinks. 

Before our drinks arrive, a plate of crispy shrimps with sweet chili sauce mysteriously appears. This strikes me as dubious, considering that I didn’t order shrimps. I try to ask the waiter whether it’s a mix-up with the starters I actually ordered – calamari and tortilla chips with guacamole sauce – but he simply shrugs and leaves. So I eat the shrimps and wait for the main dish. But fifteen minutes later, the real starters land on our table – and I end up being made to pay for the mysterious shrimps, still with no explanation. 

Please cover your eyes. The main course – tagliatelle with salmon and white wine sauce – is among the worst I’ve ever encountered in a Maastricht restaurant. The little pieces of fried salmon that are part of the sauce are overcooked and tasteless, with the texture of canned cat food. Nasty stuff. My tagliatelle has clearly been left in the boiling water far too long, and tastes as though it was cooked with no salt whatsoever. I doubt whether Fresh has ever heard of the concepts flavourful or al dente. The creamy sauce, too, is completely tasteless – no spices, no salt. In my opinion, the sauce should be prepared first. As soon as the pasta begins to bend, it should be drained and plunged into the simmering white wine mixture right before the dish is served. This pasta, by contrast, is just too wet. The salmon could have saved the taste of the dish, but its decomposing structure dampens my enthusiasm to such an extent that I leave more than half my dinner untouched.

The overall menu hasn’t changed much from that of Kiwi, but the quality of the food has dropped significantly. What a pity. Such a nice place, but with food that leaves a lot to be desired.

Kate Surala

-> Fresh, Ezelmarkt 15, http://freshmaastricht.com/

 

My menu

 

Tortilla chips

 €2.95

Calamari

 €2.95

Fresh pasta with salmon

 €7.95
House Gin Brand & Erasmus Bond Dry tonic water   €6.50

Breaded shrimps

 €3.50

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every week Kate Surala, master's student of European Public Affairs and student tutor at the Faculty of Law, reviews a restaurant, coffee bar, catering shop or 'to go' in Maastricht.

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