With all Michelin star restaurants booked days ahead of the regular start of reservations, we decided to try out Oriental 128 for restaurant week. Oriental 128, a self-proclaimed culinary Chinese, is one of a number of interesting new restaurants on Amstelveenseweg.
Dinner was great and we found Oriental 128 one of few places that execute restaurant week well. They served a standard menu at reduced price and put a lot of effort into winning new customers.
The decor is upscale and a pleasant blend of modern western and harmonious Asian. You immediately notice that Oriental is ambitious when it comes to appearance and service. The dining room is meticulously clean and organized and the staff is dressed in formal suits and dresses.
We were quite impressed by the service, which was attentive in a subtle way and very friendly with a welcome dose of personality. For example, the waiter noticed that the bottle of white wine was not cold enough and exchanged it for a nicely chilled one with a friendly smile.
Oriental 128 call its menu Chinese, although I would probably give it more of Pan-Asian or even slightly fusion. There is a lot of fish, including lobster and seafood platters as well as duck specialties such as Peking duck. Then there are several variations of standard sweet and sour or five-spice meat and rice dishes, but also a more western roast chicken, spring rolls and several vegetarian tofu dishes.
They highly advertise their menus – a simpler 3 course sample menu as well as a more ambitious 4 course menu with Alaska king crab and peking duck. For restaurant week, Oriental 128 served the sample menu at a reduced rate. We thought that this worked very well as we got to know the restaurant by sampling smaller portions of three main dishes rather than the usual starter, main and dessert.
All dishes were excellent! We started with battered shrimps with bell peppers and onions. The shrimps had good flavor and everything was cooked just right. We then had perch grilled on its skin and also nicely prepared. The final dish was a combination of beef and Peking duck with rice and mie.
All in all it was a great dinner. The dishes were standard but well executed and the service friendly and attentive. We will definitely be back outside of restaurant week.