All posts filed under: Amsterdam

Jacobsz

1st Visit: Lunch Saturday 30 September 2017 (15.5 / 20)  Very enjoyable addition to the upper echelons of the casual fine dining scene in Amsterdam, and here with a sincere mission. That it seems is to put out a high standard of dishes, each clearly well thought through and generally well pitched in terms of flavour, at an accessible price point. For me Jacobsz it’s not yet as good as the leaders in the price bracket – the Daalders or Breda’s of the world, but to be fair its not that far off. We’ll watch this place with some interest. (Click on the score to see the rating system and why I write these reviews) €€€€€ 5 course dinner €49 Gault&Millau 15/20 The restaurant scene in Amsterdam is bubbling away nicely. The economy is doing well, house prices skyrocketing, and almost every week there are new openings of pop-ups, bars, cafes, full-blown restaurants, and sometimes even as in this case, a pop-up becoming permanent. For a city of its modest size Amsterdam really has more than its fair share …

Daalder

(16.25 / 20)  From a food perspective at least, Daalder, the bistro-come fine dining spot, is already encroaching on some of the starred restaurants in town. And service (for us) is certainly at a new level. This is delivered still at a very sensible price point. But at what point does the food outgrow its surroundings, start demanding fewer covers, more space for its diners, and pressurise prices? Its going to be very interesting (and a lot of fun) to watch how this story progresses… 

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.

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 …

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.