The Efteling is not immediately known for its culinary offerings. We usually choose to enjoy some smaller snacks or a meal at a self-service restaurant in the Efteling. Nevertheless, the resort offers some à-la-carte experiences of which we tested a few during our last visit. And the Efteling certainly managed to surprise us here with beautifully prepared plates full of fresh ingredients and smooth, friendly, thoroughly “Dutch” service.
Restaurant Panorama “à la carte”
Panorama Restaurant, located in the Travel Kingdom next to Bird Rok, is one of the oldest buildings in the park and houses two restaurants. Panorama self-service and Panorama a-la-carte. We choose the latter option. It is located on the side of the building in a veranda with a sparse garden theme.
That sparse theme we find immediately a disappointment. The building seems outdated (though nicely maintained) and there is little atmosphere. Quite a pity for a park that proves with Polles Kitchen, for example, that they can place a restaurant that is nicely decorated, has a nice atmosphere and thus invites to go inside.
Our tip is therefore to give this entire building a theme with background story just like Polles Keuken or Bäckerei Krümel. Preferably something that connects to the Travel Kingdom.
Of course, we’re not just there to enjoy the scenery. After the waiters escorted us to our table, we dove into the menu. This can vary from moment to moment and can be consulted in advance on the Efteling website.
This consists of some lunch dishes (available until 4 p.m.), two entrees, a selection of main dishes, a children’s menu, appetizers, drink menu, pastries and hot drinks. Despite the small selection, there is still something for everyone with vegetarian options, pasta, meat and fish.
We ourselves choose the Panorama burger and the warm goat cheese. We pass for a snack or appetizer because we already have a reservation that evening for an extensive meal at the Proeftuyn.
Both dishes have quite a large portion and are served nicely. Everything looks fresh(and it tastes that way) and the dishes come out of the kitchen smoothly.
The hamburger was well cooked, still juicy and the vegetables between the bun were neatly laid out and served with a portion of good fries. A level higher than the average amusement park burger.
The warm goat cheese was served with a salad, dressing and bread and again in quite a large portion.
So if you feel like a slightly different dish in the Efteling and that for a quick lunch or something more elaborate, then Panorama à-la carte is definitely recommended. No earth-shattering dishes or endless choice, but a small selection of tasty dishes with fresh ingredients and nice service. Looking for a nice setting to eat in? Then we would rather opt for a theme restaurant such as Polles Keuken, Bäckerei Krümel or the Arms of Ravelijn.
During this visit, we stayed at the Efteling Hotel. Because the park was closed early each time, we decided to make the most of the park time and have our evening meal in 1 of the resort’s restaurants.
We seemed to have bad luck every time because almost all the restaurants were fully booked. Fortunately, the staff members at the front desk of the hotel were very helpful and knew to tell us that in the Gelagkamer, the bar of the Efteling hotel, you can order the dishes from the restaurant “De Hoffelijke Heraut”.
No sooner said than done, we enter the Gelagkamer, enjoy a drink and ask for the menu. As in Restaurant Panorama, you can choose from a lunch menu, starters, main courses and desserts, a children’s menu, some appetizers and a drinks menu, but much more extensive. You can also compose a three course menu for a fixed price or for the adventurous eaters (read not picky) there is a surprise menu from the chef.
The dishes vary according to the season. Current menu options can be found at this link.
We choose the pasta ratatouille. Due to the crowds (the restaurant was completely full) and because we order from the bar we have to wait a little longer for our meal but we get a generous portion of pasta with delicious fried vegetables in a light tomato sauce in return.
The advantage of eating in a bar is that you can sit quietly after your meal. The bar is open longer than the restaurant. So after clearing up you can still enjoy a drink at leisure.
The best à-la-carte restaurant we were able to try during this visit was De Proeftuyn. The restaurant of resort Het Loonsche Land. Located in the Loonsche Land Hotel and has as decoration a mix between rustic and modern.
he menu choices do not sound ordinary and are prepared with organic products, some of which come from the hotel’s own orchard and vegetable garden located next to the hotel. Again, the comment that dishes may therefore change according to the seasons. You can find the recent menu via this link.
We went for the “Loonsche Land menu”. With this menu you can compose your own three-course menu for 28.50 euros.
As an appetizer, we chose the chicken salad and Beet and Radish. Both were beautifully presented with all kinds of vegetables, herbs, nice vinaigrette/sauce, edible flowers and more. The dishes were also surprisingly delicious and made us taste for more. A good start to what was to be a delicious three course meal!
So as a main course you have to choose a dish from the menu with 1 side dish. As a side dish you can ask for the classic fries but also other options like jacket potatoes, roasted vegetables or couscous.
We went for Flame grilled beef steak chimichuri with jacket potatoes. By the way, you get to choose the cooking method of the steak, definitely a plus.
On the plate you got a nice piece of steak topped with the chimichuri(a green sauce based on herbs) and a steak knife, the jacket potato was a hasselback potato prepared in the oven with cheese, sour cream and edible flowers. A beautiful picture and definitely a delicious dish. Highly recommended at the Proeftuyn!
For desserts you had two choices, a Dame Blanche or the Loonsche Land dessert. There wasn’t much info on the latter but our waitress assured us it was very tasty.
We ordered both dishes. The Dame Blanche was served on a plate with delicious vanilla ice cream a freshly baked cookie, yummy sauce, chocolate chips and a golden berry.
The Loonsche Land dessert was served on a piece of wood with vanilla ice cream, strawberry ice cream, brownie, cake, chocolate shards, mascarpone, berries and caramel. So not only did it look delicious but it was delicious. Different flavors and textures and very original presentation. Also definitely recommended if you are dining at the Proeftuyn.
À-la-carte experiences at Efteling worthwhile?
Do you have to be at the Efteling for a three-star meal? Not at all! But that doesn’t mean you can’t eat well at Efteling. Besides the countless treats that you can get in the park such as an Unox sandwich, you can certainly go there for a nice meal in a restaurant with table service.
It is certainly worthwhile to eat outside the park in one of the restaurants of the resorts, you will find something for everyone from a simple dish in the Gelagkamer to a three course meal in the Proeftuyn. The latter surprised us so much that it was our favorite meal during our last visit.
From previous visits we also know that Polles Keuken serves very tasty savory pancakes in a beautiful themed setting but the park still lacks as nicely decorated restaurant with food that can put down the quality from the Proeftuyn.
So on your next visit, why not put your legs under the table? Be sure to take a look at the website from the Efteling. At most restaurants, you can already take a peek at the menu and choose your favorite restaurant!