Restaurant Kessens is a joint venture between Anna from Stockholm and Casper from Amsterdam. By marrying him Anna got herself a real Amsterdam food royal. For her family in-law goes by the name of Holtkamp, a synonym for excellent pastry and croquettes. Of course you will find Holtkamp’s croquettes – cheese, shrimp, veal – in this welcoming bright spot. Slices of the famous pies are available too: chocolate, apple pie, lemon-meringue. The menu blends the flavours of Amsterdam with the ones of Paris (rillettes de canard), New York (pastrami-sauerkraut sandwich) and Stockholm. Don’t miss Anna’s gravad lax: thin slices of raw salmon prepared with the Scandinavian spirit aquavit, sea salt and dill. Another Swedish hit is toast skagen, crispy quality bread with a topping of shrimp, home-made mayonnaise, crème fraiche, dill, shallot, horseradish and roe. Make the shrimp ‘swim’ in a glass of chilled white wine, French or Italian.
Toast Skagen, one, €7.95
Rozengracht 24, City Centre
+31 (0) 20 221 74 31
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 8.30pm-5.30pm, Saturday 9am-6pm
Since the opening of World of Food it’s easy to eat your way around the globe. This brand new food court in a former garage boasts food stalls of Asian, African, South-American, Caribbean and Middle Eastern entrepreneurs. It’s situated in Amsterdam’s most multicultural area, away from the tourists. The energy and enthusiasm of the entrepreneurs is very uplifting. Say ‘hi’ to the adorable Nadine (Stick-Up Indofood) and sassy Yvette (Yvette’s Kitchen). Both have been living in the south-eastern part of Amsterdam for years and are determined to show everybody how beautiful this area is. ‘Their’ food court is a unique, relaxed, no-nonsense kind of place that deserves millions of visitors. Grab some Johnny cakes and have a beer. Mingle with some families and check where their kids bought their coconut ice cream. Discover lesser-known cuisines (Liberian, Armenian) or introduce your loved one to something special. I made my man fell in love with the roedjak oelek of Djadjan: a spicy – upon request very spicy – sweet-sour salad with fruits (apple, mango, star fruit), peanuts, chilli, tamarind and palm sugar syrup. Hasti, the Indonesian owner of Djadjan, will soon be serving other versions of roedjak, such as one with grated fruits, and new authentic Indonesian dishes. A lady to watch.
World of Food: Djadjan
Roejak oelek, €5.00
Develstein 100, South-East
+31 (0) 6 51 51 89 47
Opening hours of World of Food: Monday-Thursday 8am-10pm, Friday-Saturday 8am-midnight, Sunday: 10am-10pm
The Bilderdijkstraat is getting hotter day by day. I already bought pasta at Portami Via and lunched at Meneer en mevrouw Keus. Since a couple of weeks ago I score my 5-spices pork belly at Happy Happy Joy Joy and my avocado salad at Salad & the City: lettuce, rocket, avocado slices, walnuts, egg – semi-firm – and cherry tomatoes drenched in a honey-musterd dressing. The most addictive ingredient is on top. I mean, who can resist ultra thin home-made cheese cookies? Thank god the salads on offer are not all about lettuce, but contain lots of more interesting ingredients, be it cheese, fish (salmon, prawn) or meat (smoked chicken, ham). The compositions of the salads will change each season, bestsellers excluded. The owners, Mirjam and Judith, are energetic and hospitable – ‘Have some water with lemon while you wait’. When both had office jobs (an university, a real estate agency) they hungered for healthy takeaway food. Now they deliver portions of vitamins by bike or make it for you behind the counter. Shake their hands and dance to their music.
Salad & the City
Avocado salad with bread and olive oil, one large portion, €11.00
Bilderdijkstraat 164, West
+31 (0) 20 233 32 41
Opening hours: Sunday-Friday noon-9pm (shop), Sunday-Friday noon-9pm (delivery)