Morlang isn’t what it used to be. I’ve been coming there irregularly for many years. Either for a drink outside on the terrace, or dinner. I didn’t go there very often, but once in a while, when we wanted to eat near the Leidseplein, but didn’t feel like going into a tourist trap. It was a little more upscale, and it being (much) more expensive than the tourist traps on korte and lange Leidsedwarsstraat was definitely worth it.

Notice how I write all of this in the past tense?

Last week we had guest from out of town. The first night I cooked at home, the next night we figured we’d meet up in the city after Laurens and I were done working and eat at a restaurant. We met up close to the Leidseplein so we figured Morlang. We didn’t want to take our guests to some dive, nor a tourist trap. Spicy food was a no-no, so we figured Morlang would be perfectly suited for everyone.

Since it had always been somewhat more upscale and had a loungey feeling and great service, we were expecting to be able to sit and talk while enjoying a long stretched meal. We thought it’d be long-stretched, because we expected to do 3 courses and coffee and maybe a digestivo or whatever. Make it an evening.

We did stay at Morlang for a long time, however not because we had a ginormous meal.

We stayed long, because the service was just that crappy. Not just bad, not sub-par, no, crappy!

After we sat down it took at least 15 minutes to flag down (by practically yelling) someone to bring us menu’s and take our drink order. We were glad to have asked for both at the same time, because it took at least another 15 minutes before they came back with the drinks telling us they’d write down our food order in a second.

Another 10 minutes later we were asked for out menu choices. We asked if something could come without garlic, so that took another 10 minutes for an answer. All in all it was near an hour after we got to Morlang before our order was written down.

Now it wouldn’t be all that bad if we would be able to sit and talk and visit and catch up, however, the music and the noise was so incredibly loud, that having a conversation with someone across the table from you just wasn’t an option.

We were served a little bit of bread which was nice, but then I heard the waitress tell the table next to us (about 15 cm between tables) tell them that the kitchen was backed up and it would be at least 30 minutes before they could start on their order. And that there was no more bread.

15 minutes later both them and us received bread – a second helping for us. We didn’t think that was a good sign and figured it would be a long long time before dinner came.

When didnner was finally served it came – very creatively, on 4 different plates. Now I can see how a steak would come on a flat plate and pasta in a bowl, but really, 4 different kinds of plates and my lamb saltimbocca in a bowl-like-plate was a little, well, let’s call it different.

There was no explanation as to what different items were. One of our guests had ‘black gnocchi’, which looked and sounded cool, but it would’ve been nice if the waitress or the menu had explained what that was exactly. Since asking for ‘no garlic’ took 10 minutes, we didn’t dare to send her out with a question again.

The food tasted good. Some things were different than they stated on the menu – Laurens ordered linguine with veal meatballs and got linguine with slices of some sort of sausage. (And not that much of the sausage either.) My lamb tasted fine and our guests said they liked their food too. Liked, not loved. In my previous visits to Morlang I’ve always loved their food, so like is definitely a downgrade. It just wasn’t anything special, despite the fancy names and ingredients.

When our meal arrived we ordered 3 more beers and about 10-15 minutes later the waitress came to ask what it was we’d ordered, “2 beers right”. I’d like to ask, how hard is it to remember and bring 3 beers?

As soon as the plates were clear we asked for the dessert menu and since one of our guests did want desert, I figured I could have one too. I chose the brownie with vanilla ice cream. The brownie was actually really good, but I have to say that I love very very chewy brownies – I love eating just the crust! Despite the fact that this was a middle piece, it was extremely chewy and a little dry. I loved that, but if you’re someone who’s more of a gooey/moist middle of the brownie kind of person, I don’t recommend it.

We then decided to skip coffee at the restaurant and do that at home. Our heads were tired from trying to hear each other and we didn’t feel like staying another 45 minutes for a cup of coffee. Laurens went to the counter to pay and we were on our way.

When looking at Morlang that evening, you could’ve thought it was busy, because the terrace was full, but really, it wasn’t that bad. We’ve been there in winter and then the whole downstairs is packed as well, which renders more (eating) customers than the outside and service all those times was wonderful and it wasn’t as loud. The only other explanation is that they’ve changed the place. I don’t know if there’s new management or a new chef (or both – probably) but Morlang isn’t what it used to be.

I don’t think we’ll be going there anymore.

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