Author: Suresh

Bridges

(16 / 20)  Business dinner favourite in transition to a new team. Well thought out and really beautifully presented dishes which still lack a little oompf but which show a lot of promise. Decent if slightly erratic service and all at a very sensible price point. Recommended already, I expect as the team settles in it will just get better and better, especially if they manage to transition the menu a little more back to concentrating on fish and a little less to hotel menu standards.

Turbot with red wine

This is a pretty easy dish which plays on combinations which might sound a little odd to some but that actually have a long history together: Turbot, red wine, and mushrooms. It was also one of the very rare occasions in which I managed to make a restaurant quality dish at home. Give it a shot and please be careful with frying the kale – read the full recipe first! Ingredients: (Serves 2) Turbot, about 200g a portion Bottle of red wine – here I used an OK Rioja Kale – one stalk Spinach leaves – bag of Chanterelles – handful Butter Method: 1.  Portion the fish and reserve the bones and skin for the sauce 2.  In a large saucepan, place the bones and a dash of oil on a high heat. Get some caramelisation on them – it makes the sauce much tastier later. When there is some good browning, add an entire bottle of wine and cook down until syrupy. Season and pass through a muslin cloth. Add a knob of butter …

Vinkeles

(17.75 / 20)  An absolute gem of a restaurant housed in the beautiful Dylan hotel in the center of Amsterdam’s historic canal belt. Elegant, precise and deceptively simple classic French preparations are given a Dutch twist and sent out to the beautifully calm dining room where diners are taken care of by the current Gault&Millau Maitre D’ of the year. (They also have a Chefs Table which I can’t recommend enough). For me, Vinkeles is so far out in front of the pack of 1 star restaurants in town that I already assume it has 2 macarons –  an oversight I should hope is rectified by Michelin sooner rather than later. 

Rijks

(15.75 / 20) One of the better casual fine dining spots in Amsterdam serving uncontroversial fare with the odd moment of brilliance. Despite now having a star, if you come here expecting Michelin-style food you may well be disappointed. Irrespective, it stays high on my list of recommendations in town, especially for those looking for good price/quality, in a very central location, and where it’s usually possible to get a table.

&Samhoudplaces

(17.5 / 20)  A global smorgasbord of interesting and delicious plates infused with classic French technique and peppered with modernist influences. On a good day, which this certainly was, this is easily an 18. But the restaurant lacks consistency. And though I’d personally always prefer to eat somewhere inconsistent with a chance of brilliance than somewhere predictably mediocre, it would be inappropriate to think that that’s acceptable to everyone. Especially when paying this much to eat. 

Lucky Dip Challenge

This was a dish made from ingredients selected from a whole range of random items suggested by people on Instagram. It was a lot of fun and turned out really great in the end. The smokiness of the paprika in particular was very delicious with the duck and nicely interacted with the smoked water mellon sauce which though quite sweet was also nicely balanced by the acidity from the pickles and balsamic. Ingredients: (Serves 2) Some of the best followers on Instagram ever 2 Duck breasts 2 asparagus spears Handful of Green peppercorns Splash of Balsamic vinegar A water mellon Half a small Cauliflower Hand full of Samphire Hand full of Polenta Hand full of Parmesan Sweet Paprika Splash of ruby port Method: 1.  Season the duck heavily with salt, paprika and green pepper. But in a sous vide for at least 2 hours at 54c. 2.  Make the polenta. Pour the grain into a pan and cover in water. Season with parmesan and salt and cook until smooth. Then pour into a sheet pan …

Pork Fest

Pork is such an amazingly versatile meat and one from which many of my favourite things are derived. Black pudding, jamon, brawn, and pork chops! You can literally use every thing on this noble beast from head to tail, and after all if you are going to kill an animal to eat it, the least you can do is to make use of every single last bit.

Vermeer

(17/20)  Thoughtful dishes full of flavour, with a heavy focus on vegetables, presented in a calm and well proportioned dining room. This is a little oasis of fine dining right in the middle of one of the most raucous parts of central Amsterdam, and on this performance certainly in the top few of the one star restaurants in the city.