Ali Ocakbasi | Amsterdam

Ali Ocakbasi Utrechtsestraat Amsterdam

I love Turkish food! I didn’t know it myself, but I am a massive fan now. I guess I’m not the only one realising this as Ali’s place is packed almost every night. I thought the menu was a little bit overwhelming so I asked one of the friendly staff to help us out. She basically took it away and arranged everything we loved from amazing hummus and baba ganoush dips with pita to the perfect selection of grilled veggies and meat, unfortunately we didn’t manage to squeeze in a dessert. Next time! Herengracht 558, hoekje Utrechtsestraat | Website | €€

Bar Botanique | Amsterdam

Bar Botanique Amsterdam Oost

Bar Botanique – Cafe Tropique, what a name! I was immediately attracted (not only by the name but also) by the look of the place which is well.. green. Filled with plants and a different approach to interior design than most other restaurant openings nowadays. The staff told me that the restaurant is referred to as the ‘living room’ of East Amsterdam which I can completely understand. The location.. the mix of different people.. it felt very fun and lively. The menu is simple, nothing fancy (or tropical), but easy going Mediterranean comfort food. Eerste van Swindenstraat 581, Amsterdam | Website | €€

The Palomar Restaurant | London

The Palomar Restaurant
Yes! I managed to get a reservation by trying the waitlist and it worked. Currently this place is bloody popular and I now understand why the waitlist was the only option to get a table asap. Love this place. It’s small and cozy with blue leather boots, dark wooden tables, floors and panelled walls and mosaic details. There is a counter / bar where they do life cooking and the music is turned up. This makes you want to order an Espresso Martini after dinner instead of Fresh Mint Tea. The food they serve is modern day Jerusalem and is out of this world. We basically asked the nice guy serving us if he could recommend some dishes and followed all his advice without regret. Unfortunately we had so much of the delicious polenta that we really had no space left for dessert. Regrettably, because they looked great.  I just love this kitchen with their interesting combination of flavours and spices. My personal favorites were: Kubaneh, fattoush salad, beetroot carpaccio (see below), Polenta Jerusalem Style (with truffle OMG). Wish I could go back every week. 34 Rupert Street, London  | +4420 7439 8777 | Tube: Piccadilly Circus / Leicester Square | £££ | Website

Dishoom King’s Cross | London

dishoom kings cross

Dishoom is a funky Indian restaurant group that I have become to love. What a concept! This post is about Dishoom King’s Cross where I + 5 friends had an amazing evening last weekend. We sat on one of their round tables and had mouthwatering food handed to us. The food is just crazy good and fresh and for me nice to try something different for a change. Ever been to Bombay? The Dishoom Group will make you feel like you are in the middle of buzzing Bombay (have to be honest here that I have never been to Bombay… but I am going now really soon because of Dishoom ;-)). The styling is just gorgeous. Funky tiles, cozy dining booths, cool industrial details and lighting, retro furniture and so on. Dishoom is big, spacious but cozy and also perfect for after work drinks or group dinners.  5 Stable Street, London N1C 4AB | +4420 7420 9321 | Tube: King’s Cross St. Pancras | Website


Venus & Adonis | Amsterdam

venus en adonis
This restaurant has been here for little over a year now and I only just went for the first time because a little bird told me the steaks were superb. The location of this restaurant is perfect; right on the Prinsengracht with a few tables outside on the pavement (with heating lamps!!) so it’s great people watching. The restaurant is set over two floors and has quite a simple steakhouse interior with wooden tables and chairs. Didn’t find it super stylish and original but couldn’t really find anything to complain about either. It just looks nice I guess and is perfectly cozy because of candles and stuff. I had an amazing lobster soup and Surf & Turf with a great bottle of red wine and the staff was super attentive and nice. Prinsengracht 274 | Tram 13, 14 17 (Westermarkt) of 7, 10 (Elandsgracht) |€€€ | +4420 421 1848 | Website

La Cabane du Pêcheur | Galéria – Corsica

La cabane du pecheur
After a beautiful drive from Calvi to Galeria we ended up in this cute unpretentious little place on the coast. Imagine; a nice piece of beach on the west coast of Corsica, a small harbor, cows all over the place strolling along your table (on the beach) and some colorful kayaks waiting to be taken on a trip. The food is served on plastic trays in cartons by three hilarious Corsican ladies that do not take any bullshit. Our tiny table was moved inside (while there was actually no place inside) with two other tables because it started pooring. We had a good laugh with other guests and amazing(!) food. We would definitely have come back for more were it not that we are going to the other side of the island tomorrow! Route de Bord de Mer, 20245 Galéria | +334 95 61 00 32 | Website | €€

la cabane du pecheur

Snaps + Rye | London

snaps and rye
Again in my hood. BUT my hood is so good that you have to forgive me. This tiny little Danish place has the best Smørrebrød in London and when I am in town I get the one with salmon at least twice a week… It is freakin’ divine. They serve great Latte’s in stylish mugs and the place is also great for a quick lunch by yourself. In the evenings they have a weekly changing menu which is original and fresh. The interior is simple, clean and fresh and perhaps not a place to pick for a romantic night out. I really like all the people that work in this place. They are amazingly kind and interested and thus I am a happy, content, returning customer of Snaps and Rye. 93 Golborne Road, Notting Hill | +4420 8964 3004 | Tube: Ladbroke Grove / Westbourne Park | ££ | Website

Mossel en Gin | Amsterdam

When the weather is good and you are looking for a lively relaxed place with picnic style garden, good food and drinks, Mossel and Gin is the place to go. It’s a little gem hidden on the Westergas area. They serve mussel dishes (mossel pannetjes) in all kinds of different versions including Thai and Chilli (with chorizo) which were both great, and we loved the fries! – there are other food options available if you’re not a fan of mussels. Also the gin & tonic menu is crazy with lots of funky options. We’re a big fan! Goschalklaan 12, Amsterdam | Tel: 0031(0)20 486 5869) | Website | €€

Toscanini | Amsterdam

I have tried to make a reservation here a million times but they are always fully booked so I was so incredibly excited that I managed to get a table last night by just walking in! Probably already known well by lots of you but a absolute winner if you ask me!! Best Italian food and wine menu. Great atmosphere in the cozy Jordaan. Super nice, no nonsense staff. Open kitchen and really nice open interior that is made cozy with candles in the evenings. I would recommend this place for dinner with lovers, friends, business and parents! Lindengracht 75 | +3120 623 2813 | Website | €€€ | Tram 3 (Willemstraat)

Pearl & Groove | London

Pretty cakes, girls and deco is what you get in this lovely little shop in my street! Just opened about a month ago and I am addicted. These cakes are so ridiculously good that I would travel miles and miles to come and get them. On top of this, they are beautifully presented almost like a piece of art. For £47 you can have a pre ordered box of 12 cakes and if you buy a single one they are £3,95. Not cheap but they are worth it! Do check them out please!  341 Portobello Road, London, W10 5SA | Mon – Fri, 9.30am – 6pm, Sat, 10-6pm & Sun, 11-5pm | £££ | Website