I love new concepts and places with a little edge to it and this is just one of these places. I L O V E it. Thanks to crowdfunding this place saw its first daylight about 5 months ago. I went to say ‘Hi’ on a grey afternoon in late October and was assisted by the most enthusiastic, chef Bryce who told me all about the place, the concept and the way it all works. The next evening I went again to put my new knowledge into practice.
So, you pick your fish at the ‘marketplace’ when you come in. Then you pick your wine and take your bucket with wine (or whatever else) to your table. You then hang your bucket on a fancy hook above your table and you are all set. A buzzer tells you when to pick up your food. Some staff is walking around to pick up dirty dishes but overall the whole idea is self-serving. The place looks awesome. Cozy, stylish and with daring choices in the interior. Bright yellow tiles and wood panelled walls (made from unprocessed large wooden palets) etc. We loved the food. If they can’t get certain fishes fresh they won’t have them on there menu (marketplace) which I actually quite like. We had an amazing tender juicy halibut filet with a subtile citrus sauce, amazing gamba’s and a great wild mushroom salad. I will definitely be back to try more fish! Rozengracht 133, Amsterdam | +3120 334 5136 | Tram: 1, 2, 13, 14, 17 (Westermarkt) 1,2, 3, 12 (de Clerqstraat) | Website | €€€
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 | €€
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 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
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 | €€
A new trendy Asian seafood restaurant in Mayfair that I checked out last night. Love the name of this restaurant so I made my reservation 1 month ago already to save a spot for a Friday night. The place feels very glamorous and on all the walls are sexy fish to admire made by Damien Hirst, Frank Gehry and Michael Roberts. Apparently the bar holds one of the world’s biggest Japanese whisky collections that I did not try but other cocktails are quite spectacular as well (especially how they are presented!)
My date noted that place has quite a high ‘voetbalvrouwen gehalte‘ which I guess was quite true. Sorry for the none Dutch amongst you. However, if you have something to celebrate and would like to celebrate in style, I guess this is a great place to go. The crispy duck salad is not as good as the one at Hakkasan but still very good and the Sesame Seed Sea Brass is to die for. Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square W1J 6BR | Tube: Green Park | Website | open noon to 2am | ££££ | +442037642000
I had the best warm and cozy dinner in this South American Fusion restaurant last month with my brother. Outside it was cold and raining and this restaurant invited us in with its cozy look and feel. I love the way the place looks. It’s very big and spacious but cozy at the same time because the space is separated in smaller areas with clever lighting and lots of wood and wall pieces. The romantic atmosphere is emphasised by a red rose and a candle on each table. To me it actually felt like I was back in Brazil for a bit!
Their food and cocktails are amazing. They do great appetizers and delicious steaks and the ceviche on the menu is also really good. In the summer, you can sit outside on their terrace. Rozengracht 106-H, 1016 NH Amsterdam, Netherlands |Tram: Westerpark (13, 14, 17) / Rozengracht (10) |+31 20 624 5752 | ££ | Website
Golborne Road…. The place to be in 2015 if you ask me! New trendy original places are popping up like daffodils in spring! The roof terrace of this four story bar / restaurant overlooks the railway tracks and for some reason I think this gives an edgy feel to the place being on the dodgy end of Golborne Road. The place looks fantastic. Very stylish cosy interior and a perfect meeting place for a drink with friends or grab some food. I do think the food is too expensive but I would still go back for the whole experience, their amazing cocktails, roof terrace with heaters and stylish decor. Loved the Lobster! They also have spaces available for private dinner parties apparently…36 Golborne Rd, London | +4420 3752 0530 | Tube: Westbourne Park or Ladbroke Grove | Website | £££
For some reason this amazing pub never made it onto OLBB. Probably because I went here before OLBB was founded and did unfortunately never come back until recently (because there was a lot to check out in between and I do not come in Fulham that often…) So well, just the kind of place that I love. It is an easy place. You’ll have a great ale at the bar while waiting for your brown wooden table with candles. The food is traditional pub food with some real good game dishes (the food is actually fantastic!). The interior is cozy but spacious. They have quite some tables and the pub is also open for brunch! 676 Fulham Road, London | +4420 7384 9559 | Tube; Parsons Green | £££ | Map | Website
Now that I’m spending some time in Amsterdam as part of my maternity leave I finally have time to check out what’s new and fun in one of my favourite cities. CT’s is situated in an old twenties style cinema building so think extreme high ceilings, various floors and open plan everything.. A unique space. They did a really good job in making it feel relaxed with a natural look while still keeping it buzzing. Love the black & white photographs on the walls. Probably one of the reasons why it feels good is because it’s almost always busy – be prepared to wait in line for a table on the weekends. On the menu are fresh juices, smoothies, herbal teas, granola, coconut pancakes ( made from almond flour), different salads, a selection of bites and they do dinner too, all very delicious. Ceintuurbaan 282 | Tel: +31203541104 | Website | ££