Almond Almighty

At the organic market of the Jordaan (Noordermarkt) there’s no stall like the one of cook, pastry baker and caterer Stelle Robertson. Raw and hard-core vegan food may be hot according to some people, but I think food ought to be fun too. Scottish Stelle obviously is a fun loving foodie. She started her career at the pastry department of the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh. The chef of this prestigious place taught her how to make perfect scones and shortbread. When she moved to Amsterdam she started working for another top-notch hotel: The Grand, where she worked at the restaurant of Albert Roux, the renowned French chef and restaurateur. Every Saturday you’ll find Stelle at the Noordermarkt. Her array of home-made sweet stuff is ‘da bomb’. Fudge, whisky bonbons, baked cheese cake, carrot cake with lemon curd and have you already noticed her almond-pear tart? Pieces of pear on the bottom, a lovely moist paste of almonds on top, a crispy crust. An artisan must-eat.

Stelle Robertson’s
Almond-pear tart, one piece, €3.50
Organic Market (Boerenmarkt), Noordermarkt, centre (De Jordaan)
+31 (0) 6 51 90 27 57
Opening hours: Saturday 9am-4pm

Power to the Pig

I used to be a pig when it came to pork. As a kid I could eat slices of crispy bacon for days in a row. No bread needed, just the meat, please. I am not a pork junk anymore, but I crave for a nice piece of it from time to time. Last week I tracked down my kind of pork: pork belly – crispy outside, succulent inside – served with a paste of chili peppers, sweet-sour cucumber, black beans and steamed buns. Bye, bye outside world – the area of conference center Amsterdam Rai isn’t exactly wild – hello heaven! Location: The Roast Bar of The Roast Room, a new hotspot that impresses with cuts of meat, burgers and charcuterie from the in-house butchery. The Roast Bar is the brasserie style restaurant on the ground floor. For fine dining (slow-braised veal, farm chicken for two) The Rotisserie on the first floor is the right place. Both restaurants exude quality and eagerness to please. Given the name of the owner that may not come as a surprise. Say ‘hi’ to Michiel Deenik, the man who already gave us Visaandeschelde a.k.a. the temple of fish.

The Roast Room
Steamed buns with pork belly, one portion, €11.00
Europaplein 2, South (Rivierenbuurt)
+31 (0) 20 723 9614
Opening hours The Roast Bar: Monday-Sunday 9am-11am (breakfast), Monday-Thursday & Sunday noon-midnight (lunch, dinner), Friday & Saturday noon-00.30 (lunch, dinner)
Opening hours The Rotisserie: Monday-Sunday noon-2.30pm (lunch), Monday-Sunday 6pm-10.30pm

Super Sunny Seafood

In the mood for a liquid lunch? Make it one with Sancerre or Picpoul de Pinet and seafood. The Seafood Bar has everything your appetite desires. Get to know the new branch in the middle of the centre: a massive yet warm place with a stylish interior full of light, an energetic staff and fishes on ice waiting to be prepared in the open kitchen. The seafood is carefully selected and MSC certified. When possible, the fish is organic. Scallops with Noilly Prat sauce, vongole with wine and garlic, crab cakes, ceviche of scallops, tequila and orange. No matter what you order the food is top-notch. I could rave for hours about the picture-perfect Plateau Seafood Bar Deluxe, a selection of lobster salad, king crab, langoustines et cetera et cetera. Today I have set my heart on lobster soup and my beloved Thai fish cakes with a Dutch twist: less spicy, juicier, thicker and with an intense taste of cod and scampi. Instant happiness on a plate. Bravo!

The Seafood Bar
Dutch-Thai fish cakes, one portion, €7.50
Spui 15, Centre. Other branch: Van Baerlestraat 5, South
+31 (0) 20 233 74 52
Opening hours: Monday-Sunday noon-10pm

Going Bananas

‘A black banana is a good banana.’ That’s what my Dutch-Indonesian mother used to say when she was making pisang goreng (fried bananas). She shares this love for over-ripe bananas with Michael and Catelijne, the happy go lucky-owners of Deli-caat. That’s one of the reasons their home-made banana bread is a must-eat. It’s sweet, pure and exotic – thanks to the bits of coconut. It’s just so, eh, ‘banana’. Thank god the two left their office jobs to start Deli-Caat last year. This place where affordable organic and local food reigns has it all. There’s a bakery where the two make quiches, pizza, carrot cake and super duper madeleines. Fruit, veggies and wine are for sale in the mini market. In the back you can have a cup of local White Label Coffee, together with sandwiches (mozzarella, smoked free-range chicken). Don’t bother to cook yourself, just bring a healthy meal back home. There may be a touch of Ottolenghi on the weekly changing menu, something Indonesian or something Tuscan. Michael and Catelijne cook around the clock and around the world.

Deli-caat
Banana bread with coconut, one slice, €2.50
Admiralengracht 223, West (De Baarsjes)
+31 (0) 6 24 75 09 45 (Michael), +31 (0) 6 24 67 59 45 (Catelijne)
Opening hours: Monday-Tuesday 4pm-8pm, Wednesday-Sunday 11am-8pm