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May 27, 2012 04:05 PM

Amsterdam trip report

I just came back from a fabulous and too short a trip from Amsterdam. Firstly thanks to DutchGrub, and Amsterdam Foodie blog for guiding me.

First day dinner was at Blauw aan de Wal. A lovely restaurant which is like an oasis in the red light district. The menu was described to us in such a mouthwatering detail, and the wine list was not very long but clearly very thoughtfully chosen. Two items per course is offered and while the restaurant was mostly full we didn't have to wait much for our food.

To start, T had the lamb tartar which I had some reservations about but was fabulous. I had smoked salmon which was creamy and rich. For the main I had duck with honey apple and T had monkfish wrapped with potato. Both were fantastic. I can't tell you what the dessert was as it was recommended by someone else - but again, stunning. T's selection of cheese was very good too. One of our best meals ever, and not just Amsterdam. Certainly given the price of 55 euros per person for 3 course meal, it was superior to some more expensive places in New York or London.

The next day's lunch was spent at Gartine, where we were lucky to grab a table. Simple and cheap but great sandwiches and fabulous cakes. I had smoked salmon and pickle salad sandwich with eggs, asparagus and truffle mayonnaise, which I'll have to remember for serving asparagus.

Day 2 dinner was at Supper Club. Good food served on bed, it's a fun place if you are up for an adventure. I found the homo/hetero toilets a little disconcerting mostly because I didn't want to go in the same loo as the boys. The tables are quite close to each other so you get quite up close and personal with the diners next to you. On one side we had a gay couple, on the other side a hetero couple with the girl's parents so a good mix of crowd.

Day 3 lunch was at Van Kerkwijk. My Indonesian meat loaf was so so, but T's steak was fabulous. It was a tenderloin perfectly cooked served with herb butter. Original recommendation was with goat cheese with strawberries, which I thought he should go for and still think it would have been great!

Day 3 dinner - our initial planned restaurant Vis aan de Schelde couldn't accommodate one more person so three of us went to In de Keuken. It was a relatively quiet night for them so perhaps we enjoyed more attentive service, but again, a very good meal. We opted for 4 course surprise menu with matching wine pairing. Started with 4 amuse bouche which included red pepper paste shaped into domino pieces. We started with octopus with mayonnaise mixed with the ink, then lobster and asparagus pasta followed by a very well cooked lamb dish. Dessert was followed by great petit fours. The paired wine was explained in great details and poured generously, so much so that I had a hangover the next day.

On the whole, I was very pleasantly surprised by the quality of food in Amsterdam, clearly run by people with passion for food. I will be definitely back, and look forward to trying the ones that we didn't have time for this trip.

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  1. My wife and I are going to Amsterdam this spring for three days. [After a week in France.] We speak passable French, so I'm not concerned about that portion of the trip, but we speak no Dutch! At all. It sounds like the waiters you had all spoke English? Is there anything that you would absolutely recommend for a visit? We really know nothing about the city.
    I'll check out the Amsterdam foodie for dinner suggestions. Thank you.

    3 Replies
    1. re: bauskern

      Pretty much everyone speaks very good English so don't worry about communicating. All the menus provided were in English too. Out of the restaurants we went to, I would highly recommend Blauw aan de Wal. Reservation is required but really worth while.

      1. re: bauskern

        My husband and I had no problem with the language. We didn't know any Dutch and everyone spoke English.

        I'd recommend the Pancake Bakery. It offers many varieties of famous Dutch pancakes and the building is very old.

        1. re: bauskern

          If you are there on a Saturday, go to the Noordermarkt for a grazing lunch, lots of local treats. Also, you might want to go to a coffee house to work up an appetite for a late night snack (it won't really matter what you eat afterwards, it will taste great!)