Big, Brown and Beautiful

FAVOOOK LEUKWow, now that’s a chocolate cookie: chocolate dough full of rich, dark Valrhona cacao and – surprise! – a filling of melted white chocolate. Van Stapele Koekmakerij makes the cookies many times a day, so they will probably still be warm when you order them. If not, don’t be a cry baby. These big, brown babes don’t need heat to set your senses on fire. Warm or cold. They are perfect in any way. No wonder it took the team several months to develop the recipe for these cookies. The result of their work was presented December last year. It’s already hard to image the Amsterdam cookie scene without this bakery. Unique: Van Stapele is a one-trick pony. Vera and her crew bake nothing but a chocolate cookie deluxe. These are sold in a classy shop – soft piano music, crystal chandeliers, dark wooden furniture – in the bustling heart of Amsterdam. Want something to drink with your cookie? Van Stapele sells quality tea (Kusmi) and coffee (Bocca) too. Everything is served with a smile and lots of enthusiasm. Totally recommended.

Van Stapele Koekmakerij
Chocolate cookie, one, €1.95, six €10
Heisteeg 4, City Centre
+31 (0) 6 5424 14 97
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday-Sunday 11am-6pm


When Veggies meet Meat

fotoFAVo‘A salad is a side dish, not a proper meal in itself.’ Food lesson number 1 of my Dutch-Indonesian parents. When I was a kid my mother made her signature salad, gado gado, each month: a great mix of vegetables, tempeh (fermented soya beans), tofu and egg including peanut sauce. To be eaten with prawn crackers, cubes of sticky rice and satay. My mother is – to put it mildly – not found of other salads. I understand her. So when a friend suggested to have a salad lunch at Sla, a cool organic salad bar, I immediately said: ‘Why?’ Somehow she managed to explain this and off we went. At Sla you can compose your own salad or choose one of the menu. My choice: the Japanese-style salad with veggies and beef. Lucky me. What a rich salad! Not just ‘a bite’ but a ‘bite plus’. Such a tasty mix of crispy paksoi (Chinese cabbage), broccoli, beans, radish, oyster mushrooms, sesame seeds and juicy meat of the noted Gasconne cows. Loved the soy-lemon dressing too. In fact, I liked my greens so much that I almost ordered a shot of boerenkool (kale) juice. For sure I’ll be back to this restaurant and takeaway. Rumour has it that the raw chocolate pie is a must-eat.

Japanese-style salad with veggies and beef, one portion, €9.50
Ceintuurbaan 149, South (De Pijp). Second branch: Westerstraat 34
+31 (0) 20 789 30 80
Opening hours: Monday-Sunday noon-9pm

Sunshine Sushi

foto-4FAVOCORDon’t you just love fresh mango? Sweet, velvety, juicy. Au naturel, turned into ice cream. With mango you can’t go wrong. Combine, for example, slices of mango with sticky rice drenched in coconut milk. De-li-cious. Rice and mango are made to match. That explains why sushi with mango is good too. Some weeks ago a food stylist I’ve worked with raved about Sushi Day. ‘Unlike similar places the chefs at Sushi Day roll and fill the sushi the moment you order. It’s always super fresh.’ I visited the place and, yes, he was right: it’s as fresh as it gets. Danny, the chatty and friendly owner of this takeaway and delivery, is passionate about his products and clients. ‘Most of my regulars are women. A good thing! Women are usually more critical than men.’ The sushi is made by his wife and two other experienced cooks. His wife learned the art of sushi making in several Japanese restaurants in Hong Kong. Wondering what sushi to buy? Let the sunshine in and order the ebi mango roll! Silky soft textures of avocado and mango, prawns with a bite, slightly salty tobiko (flying fish roe) and compact, soft rice. This bite evokes memories of sun, tropical beaches and azure blue seas.

Sushi Day
Ebi mango roll, one, €6.50
Overtoom 466, West
+31 (0) 20 489 57 55
Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday 3pm-10pm (delivery: 5pm-9pm)