I want to caveat this entire post by telling you that I’m not your cliché Amsterdam tourist. I don’t spend my weekends in coffee shops, I can’t remember the last time I went to the Red Light District, I’ve never seen a sex show, and I most definitely could not stomach a whole weed brownie. Aside from the occasional white wine or vodka soda, my vices are quite limited, and while I love Amsterdam’s liberal mindset, I very rarely indulge in the leniencies allowed. However, on occasion, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presents itself . . . and in this instance the opportunity was an invitation to Baked, a fancy six-course tasting menu served with lots of love and a sprinkling of drugs. The Baked website will tell you that this dinner is a ‘tasting trip’ where haute cuisine meets natural highs ‘from Marijuana and Hashish to more esoteric psychoactive ingredients such as Syrian Rue, Magic Truffles and Kanna Extract’. Do I know what all of these things are? No. Was I intrigued? Ohh yes! Several of my colleagues were also interested in becoming gourmet psychonauts, and so last Saturday night a big group of us booked in for an out of this world // mind // body drug dinner extravaganza.
I know – this sounds insane! Would you do it?! One of my colleagues had attended the last ‘special’ dinner, so she prepped us all on what to expect. Don’t drink beforehand. Come with a group of friends you’re comfortable with. And prepare to get Baked!
We were kindly asked not to reveal the location of Baked, as it was held at a reputable Dutch restaurant, converted into a drug den for the evening. I wont give it away, but I have mentioned the spot before on the blog, as it’s actually one of my favorite restaurants in Amsterdam. But that is all I’ll spill, lips sealed!
So, what happens at the drug dinner? Well, you arrive and are shown to your table. Everyone at the dinner has to book in ahead of time, everyone is eating the same set menu, and the venue is closed off to the general public. Each table is set with a menu card, a small microscope, and a black light, so you can know what you’re about to consume and can make a game out of spotting the drugs in your food! Before the meal begins, there’s a short intro to the dinner, and the chefs talk you through the menu – it has been extensively tested over the course of the year and is perfectly balanced for a nice, steady trip. The first course (which didn’t photograph too well) was a hamachi, smoked avocado, NY Diesel, fermented plum, and cucumber dish. NY Diesel is high in THC and delivers an activating and energizing cerebral high. It also gives you the munchies, which is a great way to kick off your meal ;) Course number two (above) was a wild salmon, fennel, licorice, and Syrian Rue broth. I have to be honest, I didn’t realize the drugs in this dish were in the rue, and I thought it tasted divine, and slurped up every last drop with my spoon. Turns out, Syrian Rue causes a buzzing feeling throughout the head and body. When the black light was shined on the rue, the dish glowed green.The next course (below) was a hemp seed blood sausage, with egg, pickled beets, foie gras, and hash jus. I’m not sure which hash was integrated into this dish, but my guess is it was the Moroccan Hashish, which gives an all-round body buzz. The third course was amazing, and somewhere around the last bite, the drugs kicked in. I looked around the table, wide-eyed, and whispered, ‘Guys, I just got high!’ Everyone laughed, because, how often do you get high by surprise? This is when I knew I should not have sucked up every last sip of the Syrian Rue, because, surprise-surprise, no one else at the table was stoned yet.
Now, I didn’t mention this before, but between each course, we were served a delicious, sweet beverage (non-alcoholic of course!) The drinks were all light and flavorful, and ranged from aloe vera to iced tea. They all had a natural dose of glucose, keeping our sugar-levels up and our spirits high. To be honest, the drinks were a big highlight of the meal . . . that is until we were served the fourth course.
For our main meat dish, we were served pork cheek with a BBQ and magic truffle glaze, smoked barley, sprouts, and bacon & Kanna Extract. This was my favorite dish by far, even with the magic truffles on top (which I find make my jaw tingle and pulse, in a very non-appetizing way). Of course, I could have just been very high, but this dish just tasted so, so good! The truffles were an extra strong hallucinogen, which were said to cause continuous visuals (which we chuckled at, because, aren’t we all usually seeing continuous visuals?!) The final savory dish of the night was a pappardelle pasta, artichoke and Kratom Red puree, ‘herb’ pesto, and shaved asparagus. I have to be honest, at this point I was flying so high, all I wanted was ice cream and donuts and cake. I kept trying to eat the pasta, as not to be rude, but my fork was heavy and all I could think about was swimming in a pool of warm chocolate syrup. Also, as I was so baked, eating another dish loaded with stimulants didn’t seem like such a good idea . . . Which is what I told myself until dessert was served! The last course was chocolate and THVC fondant, purple marijuana pumped donut, and ice cream. Can we all agree that it’s mean to put spiked sweets in front of someone who is already so stoned? Clearly I lapped up every last bite of this chocolate heaven, and was rewarded with a clear and activating head-buzz combined with a relaxed body high (not that I could really notice this individual stimulant combined with everything else I had already ingested that evening!)After the last course, we hit the streets for a long walk. We stumbled around Amsterdam for a bit, enjoying the fresh air and the buzz. By midnight I was at home in bed, cozied up under the covers with a bag of M&Ms, my laptop, and some Graham Norton re-runs.
So would I recommend the drug dinner? Well, if you have tried smoking pot in the past, and are comfortable with the effects, then absolutely, yes, I recommend giving it a shot! The food is delicious, and it really is a once in a lifetime experience. However, there were a few newbies in the room, and I saw an array of laughter, sadness, tears, and eventually taxis being called for people who were not as comfortable with the situation. I had a friend who also did the dinner (at a different table, with a different party), and he said he was in bed an hour later, experiencing crazy hallucinations. I did not experience such a heightened trip, but did find it to be a crazy-cool experience, one that can only be had in Amsterdam where the laws are so lenient and the chefs are so brilliant! You can check out the Baked website here. You never know when they’ll be back for another edible edition! xo Ali