Appsolutely Fabulous

The best old school apple pie in town? Winkel 43! The ultimate Amsterdam apple schnitt? Patisserie Kuyt! Wondering where to find the best tarte tatin of this city? Easy! For the supreme ‘upside down’ apple tart you should head to Tout Patisserie. This pie blends the pleasures of caramel, puff pastry, vanilla from Madagascar and the sweet, super fresh taste of Royal Gala apples. Serve it with crème fraiche or vanilla ice cream. Once the tarte tatin is yours, I command you to check out the other merchandise of pâtissier Job and his charming partner Kim. Job is all about passion, top ingredients and creativity. His chocolate bombe is an explosion of dark chocolate mousse and a cream of tonka beans. Job also creates the finest chocolates with the most thrilling flavours: bonbons with mango and figue vinegar, saffron and blood orange and with lemon leaf, ginger and basil. On top of that Job – a.k.a. ‘the Macaron Pioneer’ – has a huge selection of these exquisite Parisian Triple X cookies. Dare to try the one with Moroccan argan oil. Or the one with black truffle.

Patisserie Tout
Tarte tatin, one, €9.95 (Most weekends available, on other days: make a reservation)
Maasstraat 105, South (Rivierenbuurt)
+31 (0) 20 676 26 20
Opening hours: Monday noon-5pm, Tuesday-Friday 8.30am-6pm, Saturday 9am-5.30pm

Grandma’s Shrimp

I bet you’ll like the salt and pepper shrimp of Vijfnulvijf. These babes with a bite are wrapped in a tasty crust. First they were deep-fried. Next they were stir-fried with vegetables, chilli peppers and spices. Just like the grandmother of Joost en Jan Hu does. Their father works in the kitchen of Vijfnulvijf to safeguard the authenticity of the food served. Together with his two sons he manages this new restaurant and takeaway. Father Hu used to have a wok restaurant, but the three ‘Hu-Men’ decided it was time for something new: a cool place to lounge and dine with a mix of Asian streetfood. The menu is hugely inspired by China. If you get the boys started on that ‘theme’, there’s no stopping them. They take you to their grandmother’s house in China. ‘She could spend hours making the perfect dumplings.’ Want to know what it’s like to be on a Chinese market? They will tell you. ‘Wow, the food people make on tiny barbecues. Love the satay of lamb with cumin. Try it, it’s on our menu too.’ Their enthusiasm is contagious. Their food is made with passion. Get up! Go and meet the Hu-Men.

Salt and pepper shrimp, one portion, €6.50
Insulindeweg 505, East (Indische buurt)
+31 (0) 20 358 53 88
Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday noon-10pm (kitchen closed at 10pm, but feel free to also have a drink after 10pm)

Salmon Zensation

Succulent chunks of ultra-fresh Norwegian Salmon wrapped in sticky rice. Salmon roe that ‘explodes’ in your mouth, while splashing salty drops that go perfectly with the sweet salmon and crab stick. Some soy sauce, ginger and wasabi and there it is: a perfectly balanced culinary sensation also know as one of the futomaki rolls of ii Japanese deli. This welcoming deli/restaurant/shop is a branch of Take-Ya, the renowned Japanese food spot in Amstelveen. Besides different types of sushi the Amsterdam branch has homemade salmon-tofu burgers, yakitori (chicken satay), noodle dishes, a stunning salad of marinated salmon and lovely greens: pieces of lotus roots, a spicy seaweed salad. The cook uses Japanese seaweed for his chuka wakame instead of the commonly used Thai and Taiwanese seaweed. Why? Because Japanese seaweed is softer and doesn’t contain artificial colourings or flavourings! The Japanese delicacies this dedicated man makes deserve a wine to match: the Cuvée Gyotaku of Domaine Mittnacht (Alsace). This dry white wine – both floral and aromatic – is a creation of Yuka, a Japanese chef and the wife of winemaker Christophe Mittnacht. Her invention is the ultimate gift for Japanese food aficionados.

ii Japanese Deli
Futomaki fresh salmon, fish roe and crab, 4 pieces, € 7.80 (takeout)
Cornelis Krusemanstraat 11, South
+31 (0) 20 470 73 10
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday noon-9pm

Try a Little Tenderness

foto-96It takes a tremendous amount of self-control to leave this patisserie without bags or boxes. Linnick tries to seduce you with macarons as perfect as those of Pierre Hermé, velvety cheesecake with apricot and mango, crunchy chocolate-hazelnut pie and pastries that would please tout Paris. My idol: the sweet dough one with lychees, raspberries, rose water and whipped cream on top of a vanilla ganache and a layer of raspberry jam. This fresh and refined piece of art with an almost tender taste definitely deserves a 10+. Nick, the artist, loves to talk about his creations and the ingredients, such as the vanilla for the ganache I tasted. ‘I mix vanilla from Indonesia, the Comoros and Tahiti.’ This man obviously doesn’t settle for less than the best. An attitude demanded by his ‘professor in pastry’ for 15 years, Cees Holtkamp, the founder of the renowned Patisserie Holtkamp. Nick used to work there as a chef pâtisserie, but this year Nick and his lovely wife Linda opened their own business. Glad they did! Amsterdam deserves  a creative and delicious place like Linnick.

Patisserie Linnick
Pastry with lychees, roses and raspberries, one, €4.05
Amstelveenseweg 75-H, South
+31 (0) 20 233 58 54
Opening hours: Monday-Saturday 8.30am-6pm

Red Hot Green

Elephants on the wall, on place mats and on bottles of Thai beer (Chang). Guess what’s the name of this restaurant and takeaway? At classy White Elephant you’ll find dishes that sound like songs. Sing after me: pet pa loo, duck legs braised with star anise, cinnamon and muscat root. This is one of the city’s most creative and innovative Thai restaurant. Starting your dinner with mieng kham is a must: leaves filled with Thai spices, dried shrimps and peanuts. The menu includes some usual suspects, but at White Elephant they are made with a twist. Of course there are fish cookies, but here they are served with a ‘hint of chicken’ and a wrapped quail egg. Yes, the cooks prepare som tam, the famous green papaya salad. But they make this bloody spicy salad/side dish with crushed cashew nuts instead of peanuts and fresh shrimps instead of dried ones. On top of that they add the perfect blend of garlic, chilli peppers, lemon juice and kousenband (asparagus beans). Trust me, better than this you won’t find in town.

White Elephant
Som tam (green papaya salad), one portion, €18.70
Van Woustraat 3, South (De Pijp)
+31 (0) 20 679 55 56
Opening hours: Monday-Sunday as of 5pm, kitchen closes at 10pm