After three months of renovation, De Ijsbreker (now De Ysbreeker, the original spelling) has reopened, and can now accommodate five times more customers, a large bar and billiard table.
Several other things are new, too. Opening times have been extended and chef Patrick Driesman, formerly of
Dauphine, has taken over the kitchen, serving 'no-nonsense'
breakfasts, lunches and dinners.
I used to go to De Ysbreeker for the uitsmijters (fried eggs, often cooked with ham and topped with cheese, served on slices of bread). These are still on the breakfast menu, although a shadow of their former selves: the eggs were almost raw and the hearty, cure-any-hangover bread that had lined my stomach on so many Sunday mornings has been replaced by slices of cotton wool flecked with a few token grains.
Also still on the breakfast menu are yoghurt, muesli and croissants, but croque madame and monsieur have been added. The coffee, though, is as watery as ever.
I was much more impressed when I went back to De Ysbreeker for a drink and borrelhapjes on the fantastic riverside terrace. The wide selection of wines by the glass is still available, although the whites weren't properly chilled.
De Ysbreeker’s shrimp croquettes had a crispy shell and creamy, lightly briny filling; and the homemade lamb meatballs (I often find lamb fatty and chewy) – prepared with fresh herbs and served in a neon orange tomato and pepper sauce – crumbled deliciously in my mouth.
I’m sorry to have crossed De Ysbreeker off my list of brunch spots, but its afternoon offerings have certainly redeemed it. It would be a shame for a cafe to have such a fantastic terrace and no reason to visit.
daily 08.00-01.00; Fri-Sat until 02.00
Telephone: 020 468 1808
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