Chocolates with Benefits

Can I have a round of applause for Laura and Murat? This energetic couple managed to create the perfect bonbons. These huge brown babes are enriched with D3, Chromium, coenzyme Q10 and a Vitamin B complex. The vitamins that are used come straight from the US. Upon arrival in Amsterdam the ‘fabulous two’ turn these powders and organic oils into elixirs, which they add to their dairy free chocolate fillings. According to them these bonbons contribute to the health of your heart, arteries, bones, hair and much more. Apart from being healthy, they are bloody divine. Just visit Mumu Vitamin Chocolates (est. January 2015) and try at least one ‘pill’. Pick for example the bonbon with macadamia: a thick yet crispy layer of dark chocolate filled with a blend of raw honey, a touch of cinnamon and Australian macadamia nuts. Just as delicious are the date-vanilla chocolates with bits of cashew; sticky and refined ‘to the bone’. Raw chocolates with hemp will soon be available and so will Baby Mumu’s: chocolates with anise to celebrate the birth of a brand new kid. Mumu rocks!

Mumu Vitamin Chocolates
Macadamia and date-vanilla chocolates, one, €4.00 (macadamia), €3.75 (date-vanilla)
Eerste Jacob van Campenstraat 33, Zuid (De Pijp)
+31 (0) 6 21 23 12 55
Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday 11am-6pm

Love Bird

I am a sucker for the Portuguese language. The sound of it reminds me of fun, sun and the wonderful grilled chicken I had in Tavira, a village near Faro. At The Good Chicken Society the grilled chicken is made the same way: butterflied. To butterfly a chicken the cook has to remove the chicken’s backbone so he can open the bird like a butterfly and lay it flat. This technique results in a chicken that’s grilled more evenly and contains less fat: by ‘opening’ the chicken the fat drips out of it. The free-range chicken of ‘my’ Amsterdam place has juicy meat and a super crusty skin. This baby is available in three flavours: garlic-lemon, natural with sea salt and  – my favourite  – piri piri ( a bit spicy). To be eaten on the spot or at home, with French fries or a salad. Always served with a smile. The Dutch-Portuguese couple that run the place love to tell you how the chicken is prepared and rave about the taste. The ultra friendly Peruvian lady who served me this week was just as passionate about the quality. And so are the Dutch and many Portuguese clients: ‘Maravilhosa.’

The Good Chicken Society
Chicken piri piri, half a chicken, €8.50
Ceintuurbaan 193,
+31 (0) 20 370 18 34, Zuid (De Pijp)
Opening hours: Monday-Sunday noon-10pm, Saturday 4pm-10pm

Veggies on Top

My mother shares a house with five other Dutch-Indonesian eighty-somethings. They talk about recipes the whole day through and spend lots of time discussing the menu. The sweet ladies that cook for them do their utmost to please the connaisseurs. Some weeks ago my mother decided to give the cook a break. She sent me to a takeaway close by and made me order some dishes. I went to Kedai Jalan-Jalan, a place run by the former Jakarta-born chef of the renowned Anak Depok in Den Dolder. The food I bought was a hit. The ‘picky six’ spoke highly of the ikan pepesan (spicy fish), the fried rice with shrimps, the rendang (beef stew) and the chicken with soy sauce. ‘Next Sunday, you go again’, said my mother. Yes, ma’am! This weekend I did some exploring and spotted a great vegetarian meal on the menu: lontong sayur, sticky rice cubes with a sauce of creamed coconut including labu siam (chayote), fermented soy beans, peteh (smelly beans) and a boiled egg. So no meat for today and go for something light, exotic and refreshing. Leftovers? Do as the Javanese do and eat lontong sayur for breakfast.

Kedai Jalan-Jalan
Lontong sayur, €6.50
Jan van Galenstraat 157, West (De Baarsjes)
+31 (0) 20 223 19 75
Opening hours: Tuesday-Friday 4pm-9pm, Saturday-Sunday 3pm-9pm

Little Misses Sunshine

Pompadour is the kind of place where you tend to lower your voice and try to speak as eloquently as possible. This tea room doubling as patissier and chocolatier impresses with marble, gold, crystal and a panelling that was cut for the town hall of Mortsel (Belgium) in 1795. Such a sumptuous setting deserves products of the highest quality made of the finest ingredients. And that’s exactly what Pompadour delivers no matter what you order. Be it a piece of caramel-chocolate pie, a florentine, chocolate sprinkles, a tarte au citron or one with raspberry and meringue. For a quick fix on a grey day a financier is the most suitable acquisition. This French cake based on Spanish almonds and beurre noisette (hazelnut butter, golden brown butter) is crunchy on top and perfectly moist within. It’s made to match with the Andalusian coffee Pompadour serves: Catunambú. If you buy yourself one cup you get one financier for free. Before you sit down, make sure your shoes are shining. This place if fit for royals. So act like one.

Pompadour
Financier, one, €0.80
Huidenstraat 12, City Centre
+31 (0) 20 623 95 54
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 9am-6pm, Sunday noon-6pm