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
Don’t you just love fresh mango? Sweet, velvety, juicy. Au naturel, turned into ice cream. With mango you can’t go wrong. Combine, for example, slices of mango with sticky rice drenched in coconut milk. De-li-cious. Rice and mango are made to match. That explains why sushi with mango is good too. Some weeks ago a food stylist I’ve worked with raved about Sushi Day. ‘Unlike similar places the chefs at Sushi Day roll and fill the sushi the moment you order. It’s always super fresh.’ I visited the place and, yes, he was right: it’s as fresh as it gets. Danny, the chatty and friendly owner of this takeaway and delivery, is passionate about his products and clients. ‘Most of my regulars are women. A good thing! Women are usually more critical than men.’ The sushi is made by his wife and two other experienced cooks. His wife learned the art of sushi making in several Japanese restaurants in Hong Kong. Wondering what sushi to buy? Let the sunshine in and order the ebi mango roll! Silky soft textures of avocado and mango, prawns with a bite, slightly salty tobiko (flying fish roe) and compact, soft rice. This bite evokes memories of sun, tropical beaches and azure blue seas.
Ebi mango roll, one, €6.50
Overtoom 466, West
+31 (0) 20 489 57 55
Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday 3pm-10pm (delivery: 5pm-9pm)