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
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 | €€
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 | €€
One of my favourites go-to’s in Amsterdam at the moment. I’m pretty sure it’s because there is a restaurant part upstairs and a really great bar area downstairs. I always love it when you find a place you can start and end at the bar, and you don’t feel you have to leave anytime soon because everyone has gone home or elsewhere. They also tend to have some some really good tunes downstairs that are perfect for Friday or Saturday nights, lots of ‘hitjes’! I must say I liked the french-asian food, especially the starters, but I wasn’t blown away by the main courses. I’m going back soon to check out their new menu (main courses and cocktails!). Rokin 103 | Tram: Spui/Rokin | Tel: +31(0)20 333 0014 | Website | €€€
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 | £££
Completely excited about this relatively new restaurant in Mayfair. Just a few steps away from Roka Mayfair actually (very different food, atmosphere and price range though!) This is a great French Bistro restaurant to go to for lunch during business hours but it looks so good that I think it will probably also be really nice in the evenings or for drinks in the afternoon. The interior style is contemporary and industrial with very cool light fixtures and it looks light and fresh during the day. I Loved their tableware so much that I now have the same tableware at home and I also found their salads original and fresh.
In their basement they have a very cool looking cocktail bar. 41 North Audley Street, London | Tube: Bond Street | +4420 7493 3443 | ££ |Website