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The foodlover's guide to Amsterdam


Chufi
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Hi IlCuoco....just in case, at least three good Amsterdam fishmongers are listed upthread (with more detail)...Nino's 2:

http://www.vishandeltel.nl/

Next to Nieuwmarkt. An excellent place to find all sorts of sea creatures including live lobster all year round. Be aware of the staff at this place. Stay out of their way when they are carrying fish or you might become sliced into a file your self.

http://www.fishes.nl/

On Utrechtsestraat. Very refined seafood products. Not very big selection, but perfect items of very high quality for sashimi or sushi. Be there early in the day to pick the best and freshest fishes.

plus my post about Volendammer Vishandel 't Centrum, Haarlemmerdijk 4... :smile:

for all of these places, the earlier in the day you get there (especially on a friday or saturday) the more likely you are to get a specific fish if that's what you're looking for....

holler back if you need more detail....

mark

Edited by markemorse (log)
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Thanks one and all.

My friend's lived in Eindhoven for about 4 years and his lack of success in finding good fish there has been a steady source of annoyance. Of course, if folks know of good Eindhoven, Den Bosch or Utrecht fish markets, please send word!

I'll send along the other names; that way they can take a trip to A'dam when the family arrives.

Thanks again!

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A brief report on my Amsterdam stopover.

There were only two full meals (two dinners), available - in between, I was conducting a long wine tasting in Bussum, with a couple of sandwiches on the run - so we did what we tourists do: miss some brilliant places that are more like those we can find at home or in France, and concentrate on top notch 'local' offerings. (That's what happens to me when I suggest to a foreign friend a meal at Madrid's Gumbo, Europe's only quality Cajun and Creole restaurant, or maybe a cutting-edge Peruvian fusion eatery: he looks at me and replies, "I'd rather go to a Basque restaurant" or "Let's get some paella.")

To me, 'local' in the Netherlands means Indonesian and seafood.

As I mentioned above, I discovered rijsttafel long ago as an international law student (summer course only!) in The Hague, the most Indonesian city in Holland. During that long-ago summer (late 1960s...) I also had what I have often described as one of my gastronomic epiphanies one day on the beach boulevard at Scheveningen: right there, sitting on a bench, I had a couple of raw herrings (groene haring), purchased from a street vendor, with some rye bread, and washed it all down with a bottle of beer and a glass of my recently-discovered, favorite jonge jenever (Bokma), purchased from a bar on the boulevard. Amazing perfection! No sophisticated dish could surpass that combination of fresh tastes and textures!

This time, for Indonesian I finally followed the consensus advice on Tempo Doeloe (although Tujuh Maret, which is exactly next door, looked inviting - I'll go there next time!) Good if not great. On such an occasion we went for diversity with the 25-dish rijsttafel, crowned by a lone 'terlaloe pedis' (very, very hot chili) dish, 'daging rendang', which the menu describes as "beef cooked in tasty, hot sauce with cream of coconut". Well, I pride myself on braving danger and ordering vindaloo chicken in Indian restaurants and even nibbling habanero peppers in Mexican eateries, but this was a world-beater. It took me almost 20 minutes to recover from a small bite... Totally searing. (The waitress told me they had hotter stuff if I dared. I didn't.) As for the rest, it was nice, with some very attractively spiced hot and medium-hot offerings like 'ajam roedjak' (chicken in hot sauce with cream of coconut and tjabeh) or 'sateh babi' (skewers of broiled pork with peanut sauce). But expensive, and it lacked the fastidious care to every single dish I have always remembered (my memories no doubt embellished by my young age then, and the long time that has gone by since!) from my first visit to The Hague's venerable Garoeda, then in its heyday (but, I have read, rather downtrodden now.)

As for fish and seafood, it was off to an always reliable address near the Singel, Lucius. Their signature dish, the huge Dover sole, pan-fried in butter, is simply perfection and is much admired by such seafood-crazed characters as the Japanese or us Spaniards. It was as good as ever, and so were the herring with jenever (of course!), the assortment of four types of ultra-fresh oysters, and a terrific mixed grill of five different types of fish, not one of them overcooked or less than pristinely fresh.

So - two good meals in two, admittedly, not-at-all-cutting-edge restaurants. Next time, I promise I'll try some of that more ambitious, Michelin-starred stuff like Ron Blauw's sea urchins with beans and cucumbers at Ouderkerk aan de Amstel. But for now it was nice getting back to my Dutch basics...

Edited by vserna (log)

Victor de la Serna

elmundovino

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  • 4 months later...

I have some overdue restaurant reports.

Yamazato

A couple of weeks ago I had dinner at Yamazato, the Michelin-starred Japanese restaurant of the Okura Hotel.

It was the day before Girls' Day, so my husband and I each had the Girls' Day menu (iirc, 85 euros for about 9 courses). The food was amazing and beautiful. Great attention to detail, explanations about each dish, wonderful, atentive service. The only thing that struck me as odd about the wole dinner was the fact that after about 7 very subdued, elegant, delicate courses (all of them fish-based) there came a dish of Wagyu beef and goose liver in a very salty, bold red miso sauce. It was delicious, but somehow did not match with the rest of the dinner.

If you go to the Okura, I highly recommend a visit to the topfloor (where the Michelin-starred French restaurant Ciel Bleu is located) and visit the bar, for a drink and the most amazing view of the city.

Le Garage

Le Garage is the restaurant of Dutch tv chef Joop Braakhekke. It's in a little street near the Albert Cuyp market, and I have passed it 3 times a week for 10 years every time I go to the market. I finally had dinner there recently.

It's a bistro/brasserie, famous for it's flamboyant chef, it's guests (even the website boasts that 'it's clientele consists of Dutch celebs') which always made me pretty suspicious of the food.

But, it was good! I had their 'famous' tuna pizza, with raw tuna and wasabi cream. Steak tartare, which was prepared according to my instructions. Excellent frites to go with that. A delicious Ile Flottante for dessert - a huge portion of dreamy, cloudlike meringue in a pool of excellent vanilla custard.

The food is showy, gutsy and highly flavored, nothing elegant or delicate about it (come to think of it, the wagyu beef with miso from Yamazato would not have been out of place on Le Garages menu), but good. It is a place to go and see and be seen - which is facilitated by the mirrored walls, they make it easy for you to check out your fellow diners without acually looking at them :biggrin:

We found service to be good if a bit unexperienced, we had the feeling there were several new people there.

The 3-course menu marche for 35 euros is great value, considering that many of the a la carte main courses are about 30 euros.

Hap Hmm

1e Helmersstraat 33

This is the other end of the culinary scale. Fot about 7 euros, you get meat, potatoes and a vegetable - the kind of food my mother makes, the kind of food most Dutch people 30 + grew up on. From outside, the place looks like somebodys living room, and that doesn't change much when you're inside. Lots of people from the neighborhood, elderly gentlemen eating alone, convivial but efficient waiters.

The food (meatballs, buter braised beef, liver and onions, sausage, steak) comes to the table in small metal bowls. You choose your meat, your vegetable, your starch. Maybe vegetablesoup to start, and semolinaporridge for dessert. There's nothing fancy here, no garnishes, just very basic home-stylecooking.

If you want to experience some old-fashioned Dutch food, and not spend a fortune while doing that, I recommend this place if only for the couleur locale!

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Hello all:

This is my first post, so please forgive any errors.

I have been a regular visitor to A'dam for the past 14 years. My wife and I live in an old section of the city called "de Jordaan". It is a beautiful place interlaced with small canals called "grachten" and some of the best dining in the city.

I would like to add some places not previously mentioned that I think a visitor, tourist, or local might enjoy.

Toscanini Cafe 75 Lindengracht (020) 623-2813

This is one of the most exquisite Italian restaurants in which I have ever eaten. The decor is very simple with candle lit wall sconces and butcher paper covering the tables. This started as a family owned-operated restaurant 40 years ago in a small place around the corner. It it now located in what used to be a garage, with small bar and a few tables that serves as a waiting area-lounge-coatcheck as you enter. The small bar area opens up into what used to be the service area of the garage with orderly tables for four around the edges of the room and smaller candle lit tables in the centre section. The large central skylights provide a warm glow to the stucco walls as the sun begins to set during the Summer months. Reservations (bookings) are strongly suggested, as this place is busy late into the evening. We have often observed that the restaurant is three quarters full at 10.30 PM on a Monday night, noted by most restaurateurs as the slowest night of the week for business. Might have to do with the unfussy, comfortable service and unhurried pace of the kitchen and staff. This is a place where you immediately feel at home, to sit, linger, and people watch.

Chef-owner Leonardo "Renato" Parenti and his talented staff offers a varied menu of meats, fish, shellfish, foul, risotto, and pastas from all parts of Italy. There are daily specials handwritten on the board in the dining room which should also be in the metal binders that serve as your menus.

What's good? Everything! Portions are reasonable, allowing for a three or four course meal without leaving as if you ate the table. There is a broad selection of water, wine and grappa and full range of coffee and tea drinks to go with their five or six dessert offerings.

Prices for a dining experience of this quality are about $50 per person, more if you drink a lot or order lots of very expensive bottles. This is a place that you will want to revisit over and over again.

Edited by Howard Serlick-Noble-Napier (log)

Yours aye,

The MacNapier

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hi howard, welcome to eGullet!

well that's the first positive thing i've heard about toscanini in a long time...

great to hear that your experiences with service/attitude have been good, i've heard consistent reports of uninterested or rude service and lukewarm pasta.

maybe it's time to send the intern out for some fieldwork....

mem

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De BelHamel Brouwersgracht 60 (020) 622-1095 http://www.belhamel.nl/

Located on the edge of de Jordaan on a picturesque gracht (canal), De BelHamel is a seven minute walk from the Centraal Station. It is a romantic jewelbox of a classic French restaurant whose bi-level dining room is executed in period Art Nouveau fossilised marble on silver wallpaper and painted wooden paneling. This is a special place to be on a beautiful evening when the double doors are open and tables are set up on the Brouwersgracht. The food is French in style and execution, but the ingredients and many of the dishes are Dutch in inspiration. The service is polished and friendly.

After dining here for ten years, the service and quality of food remains consistently high. There are daily specials on the blackboard and a private dining room on the lower level for private parties. The wine list is varied with bottles in virtually all price levels.

Edited by Howard Serlick-Noble-Napier (log)

Yours aye,

The MacNapier

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Ko Chang Westerstraat 91 (020) 638-1039 http://www.ko-chang.nl/

Located in a small "winkel" on the busy Westerstraat, this husband-wife team (he- Dutch, she-Thai) prepares some of the best authentic Thai dishes in a very pretty room with traditional hangings of elephants, banana leaf motifs, etc. Banquette seating along one wall and chairs & tables in the remainder of the room make for flexible seating various parties. This is a neighbourhood hang-out, where the locals come out for their noodle and curry dishes to take-out or eat-in, and some chat. Kick back and order a Thai beer or coconut drink and enjoy the genuine tastes of Thai cuisine made to order. You will be recognised by the amiable staff after your second visit, so be warned! This place is "gezellig" (warm, home-like, and comfortable).

Yours aye,

The MacNapier

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another restaurant for your consideration:

Bar-Restaurant 5

Prinsenstraat 10

(020) 428-2455

This is a pretty restaurant located in a typical "winkel" sized building on a shopping street near the Anne Frank house on the edge of de Jordaan.

The theme here is that there are five choices of anything offered on the menu. Five whiskys, five starters, five entrees, five desserts, five gins, etc.

There are three levels where one can dine: the lower level (basement) is intimate and cosy, with nary a hint that you are in a basement, the main (entry level) with scrubbed wooden floors and polished piano, and the upper level, more like a balcony over looking the main room. The atmosphere is welcoming, the patrons a mix of good looking neighbourhood locals and visitors. The decor is a beautiful mix of contempoary metal and stone materials with woodwork/joinery reminiscent of Asia.

This a refined place offering the best of fish, meat, foul, and pasta dishes and sandwiches executed and served by a talented staff.

Edited by Howard Serlick-Noble-Napier (log)

Yours aye,

The MacNapier

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From the May 2007 Food & Wine these suggestions: Balthazar's Keuken, The College Hotel, De Kas, Hotel de Goudfazant, Proef + Umoja.

Is there an article about Amsterdam in F&W? I'll need to check that out!

I've had dinner at Balthasar's Keuken although to be honest, the last time was 2 years ago. It's a very friendly little place, tables are really close together, this is not the place for romantic dining - your neighbors will hear you :smile:

They do a set menu every night, although they do ask about things you might not prefer to eat. Good value for money.

The College Hotel is an interesting place. It's a beautifully restored old school building. It's a luxury hotel (rooms from 200-600 euro) and a restaurant that has had some pretty good reviews. They serve what they call New Dutch Cuisine, using traditional ingredients in a modern way. The interesting part about this place is that the whole business, hotel and restaurant, is owned by a Dutch Hotelschool and serves as the trainng ground for the students. There is always some 'real' staff present, but the majority of the people serving you etc. are students. I've only ever had drinks in their fabulous, very un-Dutch looking lounge (and ladies, if you are ever here, please pay a visit to what's undoubtedly the most beautiful ladiesroom in The Netherlands), but even there I have experienced some awkward, if well-meaning, service.

Some other updates. Good news: patisserie Kuijt, Utrechtsestraat 109, one of the best in the city, has opened a little lunchroom/coffeplace next to the shop. So you can choose a pastry and enoy it with some coffee or tea! They also serve some very fancy looking sandwiches and otehr lunchdishes, but I haven't tried those yet.

The wonderful bakery Vlaamsch Broodhuys (some say, the best sourdough bread in the city) opened a second shop in the center. You can now get their bread in the Haarlemmerstraat, 108, and Vijzelstraat 109.

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From the May 2007 Food & Wine these suggestions: Balthazar's Keuken, The College Hotel, De Kas, Hotel de Goudfazant, Proef + Umoja.

Is there an article about Amsterdam in F&W? I'll need to check that out!

No, it's a huge article on places all over the world to eat and stay in. These were just the Amsterdam recommendations with a paragraph descripton of each. Sorry if I misled you. The print copy arrived in the mail in the US this week but it takes quite a while for them to post stuff on their website if memory serves me.

Edited to correct spelling.

Edited by John Talbott (log)

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Just another update from "around" Amsterdam (at least by ex-pat standards), De Garde on the Drieherrangstraat in Utrecht. Nice place, casual Menu changes once or twice per season. They also have lovely fresh oysters during the winter (a particular favorite of mine).

If you go (and they're still on the menu), take the sweetbreads, crispy and delicious indeed.

It's around the corner from our flat and we eat there often....

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Just another update from "around" Amsterdam (at least by ex-pat standards), De Garde on the Drieherrangstraat in Utrecht. Nice place, casual Menu changes once or twice per season. They also have lovely fresh oysters during the winter (a particular favorite of mine).

If you go (and they're still on the menu), take the sweetbreads, crispy and delicious indeed.

It's around the corner from our flat and we eat there often....

Thanks IC. I have a friend who has to dine in Utrecht often and he is always asking me for recommendations, but I never have any! So if you have more, keep them coming!

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Another recommendation for 'around Amsterdam' if you head to the great university town of Utrecht.

Great selection of beer, including all types of the Trappist Ales at

Bert's Bierhuis

Voorstraat 83

3512 AL Utrecht

030-234-1339

(it's a store, not a bar, so you'll have to get it 'to go' right along the Oudegracht )

Great 'locals' bakery - with fresh pate, fresh appelflappen, fresh bread, great stroopwafels (packaged for travel home), nice cookies, good chocolates (been a bakery for over 130 years)

Molenbeek Bakery

Nieuwegracht 125

They can sell out of fresh baked goods quickly and expect to stand in line with the locals. Nice canal off of the bustle of the Oudegracht with a few benchs in the park across the way for a pleasant lunch.

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Here we are in Amsterdam, actually, we WERE in Amsterdam. We are now in Scheveningen? :rolleyes: I still can't pronouce it!

When we were in Amsterdam, we did eat at New King. I am amazed at the small size of the restaurants, but this one had 3 floors. It was easier for me to order as the staff spoke Cantonese - my first language. Didn't try the oysters, but the black pepper chicken, the assorted roasted meats, and the choy sum and tofu was very good. The hot and sour soup was a little different, and the duck roll was a first for me. Now I will have to try and make it. Tomorrow night, we'll tery one of the theatre menus.

Thanks for a great country! and the recommendations!

Dejah

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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welcome to eGullet, erink!

Dejah, I'm glad you had a good time in Amsterdam. Where else did you eat, besides New King?

Have fun on the beach in Scheveningen (it's about 77 F / 25 C in the Netherlands right now, very unusual for mid-April!)

Edited by Chufi (log)
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Another recommendation for 'around Amsterdam' if you head to the great university town of Utrecht.

Great selection of beer, including all types of the Trappist Ales at

Bert's Bierhuis

Voorstraat 83

3512 AL Utrecht

030-234-1339

(it's a store, not a bar, so you'll have to get it 'to go' right along the Oudegracht )

Great 'locals' bakery - with fresh pate, fresh appelflappen, fresh bread, great stroopwafels (packaged for travel home), nice cookies, good chocolates (been a bakery for over 130 years)

Molenbeek Bakery

Nieuwegracht 125

They can sell out of fresh baked goods quickly and expect to stand in line with the locals.  Nice canal off of the bustle of the Oudegracht with a few benchs in the park across the way for a pleasant lunch.

I second the Bert's recommendation. A lovely selection of brews in bottle, including many of my favorites from Youngs.

And, btw, erink, are you a fellow Utrechtian?

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I will be in amsterdam in a few weeks.  Had dinner at Vermeer last visit.  Looking for "modern dutch" cuisine, maybe not as expensive.  Any suggestions welcome

Will take your recommendations on  indeonesian.

Were you at Vermeer when still Pascal jalhaij was there?

"Modern Dutch Cuisine" (whatever that may be) could you perhaps find at the tw starred restaurants Ron Blaauw (near Amsterdam in Ouderkerk aan de Amstel) or the excellent restaurant De Bokkedoorns in Overveen (also near Amsterdam).

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Speaking of "around Amsterdam", the text of this website is all in Dutch, but this list should be understandable: the Top 100 restaurants in The Netherlands as chosen by this Lekker magazine...

Top 100

Unfortunately....I can't really speak to the accuracy/relevancy of this list since I've only eaten at one of the restuarants (Bordewijk, #85...it was a New Year's dinner, though, so can't compare it to their normal menu). I know, how can I even call myself an eGulleter, right?

However, there are some good pictures and commentary over Lekker Top 100 meals eaten by eG's ulterior epicure on Flickr:

Oud Sluis (#1 on the lekker.nl list)

Beluga (#2)

De Librije (#3)

De Bokkedoorns (#9)

Of these meals, really only Oud Sluis and De Bokkedoorns look appetizing (to me). I should also mention that these resaurants will almost definitely be in the same price class as Vermeer, so I've not helped at all with that part of the request ( :raz: )...

mem

Edited by markemorse (log)
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Weird. Completely unexpectedly, I just had one of the better (or at least one of the most Italian) pastas I've tasted in Amsterdam, at a place called Capri (Lindengracht 61-63). Homemade eggplant and truffle ravioli in a butter/parmesan/sage sauce (it was a daily special). Anyway, it's a completely casual and unassuming family-style Italian place, the person who took us there said to stick with the pasta and pizza, and we did, and it was quite good. Almost all of the pastas were under 10 euro (my special was 11). This was at 3pm Saturday and we grabbed the only table. Service was casual, efficient, and friendly. A good quick lunch spot if you're hitting the market.

mem

Edited by markemorse (log)
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