Mark Law from That Dam Guide once asked me what is was like to grow up in a Dutch-Indonesian family. Well Mark, it’s damn tasty! Every day my mother used to make fabulous dishes by using home-made boemboes (pastes of spices). She sat on her knees with a mortar in front of her and used a pestle to crush exotic spices. The wok was her other ‘weapon’. She used it to fry noodles, prawn crackers or corn patties. I loved the scent in her kitchen, especially when she was preparing beef stews or dishes with coconut milk. As a kid I took everything for granted. Now I realize I should have appreciated her work more. I will never ever be able to cook as well as she did, but I know where to find the tastes and scent of my youth. To me takeaway Terang Boelang feels like I’m back in her kitchen again. Behind the corner you look straight into the kitchen of sweet Mr. Taufik Rachman and his wife. If you’re lucky, they are cooking. Inhale the scent and choose one of the highlights: ajam paniki, chicken in a mild coconut-lemongrass-ginger sauce.
Ajam paniki, 100 g, €2.75
Tweede Lindendwarsstraat 3, City Centre (Jordaan)
+31 (0) 20 620 99 74
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 3pm-9pm, Sunday 3.30pm-9pm
I bet my garden is bigger than yours. I live at the Haarlemmerweg and the Westerpark is just a few steps away. L.O.V.E. the location. The ultimate proof of my love: our current house is for sale – wanna buy? – and we bought a bigger apartment at the same street. Cosy, cool and friendly Mossel & Gin is one of the reasons I want to stay put. This ‘food bar’ in the Westerpark opened one year ago and is still going strong, serving lobster croquettes, pulpo and, obviously, mussels with matching G&T’s. On dull autumn days the Thai mussels will come to your rescue and bring your ‘backpack days’ to life. Juicy Dutch mussels splashing in a tropical juice of coconut milk, lemongrass, lime leaves and ginger. Cilantro and bean sprouts on top, man, these mussels rock. The matching mix of Tanqueray Ten Gin, Fever-Tree Tonic Water, red pepper and a lime leaf will definitely transform you into Murray Head and make you sing his famous eighties song: ‘One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble.’
Mossel & Gin
Thai mussels with French fries, salad and gin mayo, one portion, €15.00
Gosschalklaan 12, West (Westerpark)
+31 (0) 20 486 58 69
Opening hours: Tuesday-Thursday 4pm-1am, Friday 4pm-3am, Saturday 1pm-3am, Sunday 1pm-1am
I bet you’re guessing what’s inside this white chocolate shell. The answer – drums please: a curd-lemon mousse with Madagascar vanilla, cookie crumbs and mighty juicy raspberries. Break the ‘egg’, mix the filling with the chocolate pieces and you have yourself a dessert that will make you fly to nirvana right away. This choco surprise is just one of the many unique creations of patissier Richenel’s. Another showpiece is the snicker pie. Even the most spoilt kid will kiss your feet when you give this huge chocolate-peanut bar extraordinaire. The creator of all this sweetness not only is a genius, he is a health guru too. Richenel Doekhi, the former pastry chef of De Kersentuin, is determined to prove that less sugar certainly not means less taste. To intensify the taste of his pastries and cookies – love the bokkenpoten – he only works with pure ingredients. An excellent example is his apple macaron, a sweet-sour mini apple pie with cinnamon cream and dried muscadet grapes. A bargain at 1.25 euro each.
White chocolate ball, one, €3.75
Mercatorplein 7 huis, West (De Baarsjes)
+31 (0) 6 52 05 88 88
Opening hours: Thursday-Saturday 10am-7pm (collecting orders of the online shop, Monday-Saturday)
Some weeks ago Karen Vivers, a.k.a. The Cooking Coach, posted a picture of her meal at MiMi – Latteria Milanese. Mamma mia, it made me run to MiMi right away. So glad I did. Since authentic, friendly and delicious places like that are hard to find, especially in the Spiegelkwartier, an area crammed with tourists, art and antiques. Around noon the counter turns into an edible colourful painting of Italian bites. Think grilled vegetables, mashed pumpkin, mozzarella-tomato, savoury pies. The offer differs from day to day – on Sunday the cook serves an edition deluxe. For a taste of it I suggest you to order the antipasto al bancone, a selection of bites. Have it for lunch, as a starter or an appetizer. MiMi is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner – don’t miss the finger-licking eye catcher: millefoglie with grilled vegetables and mozzarella. This bright place is inspired by the concept of a latteria, popular in Milan since the 50’s, a small grocery store that sells artisan products and serves home-made dishes. Nice concept, pure and tasty food. Say ‘sì’ to MiMi.
MiMi – Latteria Milanese
Antipasto al bancone, one large portion, €14.90
Kerkstraat 148, City Centre (Spiegelkwartier)
+31 (0) 20 737 02 39
Opening hours: Monday-Sunday 8am-10pm
Peru has one of the richest cuisines on earth. The food is underpinned by Incan origins, which are still evident today, particularly in the use of corn, potatoes and chillies. It also has been influenced by other inhabitants, such as African (Angolan), Spanish, Chinese and Japanese. Casa Perú is the first ‘old school’ Peruvian restaurant in Holland. Its sister restaurant Mashua is a bit wilder and focuses on South-American dishes. Since August 2 there’s a new Peruvian restaurant and takeaway in town: Peruvian Cuisine NL. Alberto, the owner, introduced the Dutch to Peruvian food 22 years ago. He started to serve dishes on festivals and markets by using the name Rincón del Sabor Perú. Apart from that he initiated a catering business. In addition to all these activities he now runs a small restaurant, one that already has been discovered by Latin Amsterdam. Alberto’s signature dish is the delicious ceviche de corvina: raw pieces of sea bass marinated in a lemon juice with garlic, cilantro, aji (Peruvian chillies). I had an Inca Kola too, a soda with an unusual sweet, fruity bubblegum-like flavour. Tell me what you think of it.
Peruvian Cuisine NL
Ceviche de corvina, one portion, €14.00
Bilderdijkstraat 181 HS, West
+31 (0) 6 12 51 43 37
Opening hours: Tuesday 4pm-8.30pm, Wednesday-Friday 2pm-8.30pm, Saturday-Sunday 11am-10pm