PyeongChang 2018: The Holland Heineken House’s upscale restaurant

Like pin trading, hospitality houses are another quasi-official feature of any Olympic Games, summer or winter editions.  National Olympic Committees set up spaces that vary in size, scope and intent.  For South Korea and Japan, these were a chance to showcase miniature museums promoting PyeongChang 2018 and Tokyo 2020, respectively.  For the United States, their hospitality house these Winter Olympics was a closed, invitation-only space for athletes and VIPs.

Then there was the Holland Heineken House, a popular fixture each Olympics due to its party-like atmosphere, live music and numerous appearances by Dutch athletes.  For PyeongChang 2018, Team NL (Netherlands) set up shop at the Lakai Resort, several kilometers from all the indoor ice sport action at Gangneung Olympic Park.


From 3 p.m. until the early hours of each day, fans paying a EUR 12.50 admission fee could stay as long as they wished, purchasing food and drinks in a lounge-like atmosphere; watching live broadcasts (in Dutch, of course!); and educating themselves on the past results of great Dutch Olympians.  A small kiosk sold Team NL gear, and lockers and mobile charging stations ensured that guests could go from room to room without having to carry all their winter clothing and Olympic merchandise with them.


The major highlight of the Holland Heineken House was the TeamNL Lounge. Open to the public as well as VIPs, exclusivity and privacy were guaranteed with paid admission required prior to securing a reservation.  With catering provided by Amsterdam-based Oseven, the menu featured Dutch and Korean food with fusion twists.




The beef tartare was an extremely pleasant surprise, with a complex mix of textures, ingredients and tastes.  The result was a flavorful starter well worth the price – several of these alone could have comprised a meal.


Less successful was the chicken broth with dumplings.  To complete the dish, the server poured the soup into the bowl of ingredients, which sadly included just one dumpling.  The soup itself was a touch on the salty side.  The dish also probably would have worked better had the shredded egg been replaced with tofu.


When given a choice between the Vitamin C | Campina yoghurt and French honey toasts desserts, the server did not hesitate to choose the latter.  A much more sane take on the popular Korean toast desserts that resemble miniature mountains, this version included blueberries, raisins and a generous helping of vanilla ice cream.

All in all, the TeamNL Lounge was a great place to relax and unwind from the frigid PyeongChang winter temperatures.  If the Holland Heineken House offers this exclusive dining area at the Tokyo 2020 Games, make sure to reserve a dining slot on a day when you have a considerable amount of time between Olympic events.

Photos: Holland Heineken House – PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics
all photos by Yuan-Kwan Chan / Meniscus Magazine