31 Oct Discover the new hip restaurant in The Hague. SuzieQ
Before visiting SuzieQ, Dave had shown me some photos of the place.
I couldn’t help but gawk at them in wonder, the place just looked amazing!
I didn’t want to make any conclusions yet since I know Dave is a master of making places look great, sometimes even better looking than they really are, but when I entered SuzieQ last week I realised the photos were just a display of the good side of the place.
But the thing is that I didn’t manage to find the bad side!
Every detail of this gorgeous space has been taken care of no matter where you look, the bar, the walls, the big windows with lots of light, the splendid plants hanging from the ceiling, the huge trees in the centre of the space that you will have to look close and touch one to verify is not actually a real tree and the fresh mural behind the bar.
Especially the fresh mural!
Everything about the interior design of SuzieQ is just gorgeous and it provokes a feeling of warm happiness as soon as you step into the restaurant.
Life just looks better from a seat at SuzieQ.
I arrived with Dave one Thursday afternoon, just before they opened the restaurant to the public to talk to Koen and Ted two of the four entrepreneurs that have created this special place.
Both of them have been working in the hospitality business for a lifetime, Ted has worked as a chef in many restaurants in The Hague and Delft and Koen has managed several restaurants in Barcelona and in the Netherlands.
Koen owns, together with his girlfriend, Dionne and another partner, Robert, the popular Milú, in the centre of The Hague.
We seated around a table and chatted with a coffee in front of us while the kitchen staff were getting ready to receive the first customers of the evening.
Elena: How did the idea of SuzieQ come to your mind?
Koen: We were already running Milú, and it was, well it is, working really well so we were searching for a new adventure since we are young and we have enough energy to take more on board. We are entrepreneurs and wanted to enrol in a new challenge.
Elena: How would you define the SuzieQ concept?
Ted: We offer shared dining, small dishes to share among groups of friends. We have dishes from all around the world, so you can always find something different for every taste. No matter if you like meat, or fish or if you prefer vegetarian.
It’s a big space as you can see so most customers are groups of friends or colleagues. We offer a rich experience for every person, giving the chance to people to choose between a burger or a ceviche, or some oysters with champagne or even a simple plate of crunchy fries.
We change the menu often so to adapt it to the seasons. Now in November we are introducing 9 new dishes with seasonal ingredients like mussels, desserts with pears, etc.
For us the most important thing is that the food tastes great, that people enjoy the different combinations of flavours and the simplicity and quality of the ingredients.
Elena: This place looks amazing; every detail has been taken care of. Who is responsible for the design?
Koen: We have designed everything ourselves, Rob has even done the measurements, which is the hardest part since you have to make every object fit in the right place you had thought of. The type of furniture, the plants, the trees, everything has come out from our minds.
Our friend Danny Plinck helped us choosing the colours and he also drew the designs on a computer program. Then we had a company, Art2Go interieur projecten who were in charge of making all the furniture from our designs.
Elena: What was your inspiration?
Koen: Milú is a more urban space and we wanted to make SuzieQ a little bit warmer, more cosy, softer, so the atmosphere better matches the feeling of being near the sea, with the blue colours, the amount of light coming in, the plants. The whole space feels warmer.
We have put a lot of thought in the design. We even changed the whole layout only 8 weeks before beginning with the construction works, when the design on 3D was already approved. Because we felt it was not entirely right and we ended up changing several things, also the location of the bar. And it is so much better like this.
Elena: It really looks fantastic. Let’s talk about this impressive painting which contributes a lot to the personality of this place. Who is the artist?
Ted: It’s two guys from The Hague, Bier and Brood, they are friends of ours. They are the same artists that made the big mural on the Lucent Dans Theatre in the city. They mostly do all their paintings in black and white but they did an exception here because this place is all about light and colour so we wanted a colourful painting!
It’s been painted only with brushes, they haven’t used any sprays, so it’s a lot of work. We couldn’t be happier with the outcome.
Elena: You also organise events at SuzieQ, right?
Koen: Yes indeed. We have a private big room upstairs with a second bar. The place is perfect to host events since there are no neighbours, so we can have DJs, live bands, we can make a lot of noise without annoying anyone. We organise weddings, work events, anniversaries, anything that you can think of.
Elena: The capacity is for how many people?
Koen: Up to 200 people
Elena: Do you adapt the menu for these events?
Koen: The concept is always shared dining and you can choose of course those dishes you prefer for the event.
Elena: Tell me Ted, how would you define your cooking style?
Ted: I call it, 1,2,3. Not too many flavours. Simple and delicious. And simple is not easy, it has to work. Some chefs like to put 9, 10 different ingredients on the same dish.
That’s too much, at the end you don’t know what are you eating. 2 or 3 flavours work for me. Powerful flavours that work together, a flavourful combination, that’s what I like.
Elena: I really like restaurants where you can see the kitchen. But how is it for you Ted?
Ted: I love it! You feel more free because you have a perspective, you see if customers are happy if the place is becoming busy and you have to prepare yourself etc. It’s perfect! I love to talk with customers too.
Elena: Where do you get the inspiration for your dishes?
Ted: Our dishes are very international as we mentioned before, you can find recipes from Peru (ceviche) Japan (sushi) Spain (octopus), etc. But I always like to add my personal touch. I don’t like to copy recipes and that’s it, I like to experiment and add my own personal twist to every dish.
Elena: I’m curious, do you get fresher fish since you are at the harbour?
Ted: Yes definitely. I’m posting a film on Social Media of me going with our fishmonger very early in the morning to meet the fishermen arriving with the boats at the big harbour. We buy very fresh sea bass, oysters, salmon, shrimps, vongole, mussels, octopus. Directly from the North Sea.
Elena: What kind of emotions do you want customers to feel when being at SuzieQ?
Koen: Warmth. We want people to feel warm inside and relaxed. Everything counts in creating this relaxed atmosphere, the decoration, the soft music, the good service and of course the food.
I personally choose and create the music playlists every week so we don’t play the same tunes all the time, I want to make sure it’s pleasant for everyone and helps people to feel good.
We want people to be happy at SuzieQ and feel they can stay as long as they want enjoying time with friends.
Ted: Food is emotion, for us food has to be delicious and affordable in an atmosphere that makes you feel relaxed and forget about any worries.
Elena: I honestly think you made it guys. Congratulations!
SuzieQ definitely feels like a warm oasis of good vibes on the shores of the North Sea.
Thank you very much for reading and hope to see you at our next post!