*Warning* almost everything in this food diary is Asian! Today I plan to share with you some of my favourite places for Asian eats in Amsterdam and beyond – prepare yourself for a foodfest!
I’m almost reluctant to give away this Thai gem in Amsterdam, as I’m afraid I might have to fight you for a table next time I go! OCHA (Binnen Bantammerstraat 1) is a super tiny restaurant with a huge menu and a very authentic vibe. Although I’ve never been to Thailand, this is how I imagine the food would be. And boy, it’s delicious! Last time we went I had the pad thai which was great, but this time was even better – the coconut shrimp soup is one of the best soups I have ever tried in my life. As a main dish I had a sweet but spicy Laos style beef, which came with all of my favorite things – lots of sesame, spring onion and red onion.
My apologies for the horrible picture, because it does not do this place justice at all – De Japanner (Albert Cuypstraat 228) is one of my favourite places for a few drinks and bites! What’s better than accompanying a glass of wine, beer or sake with some Japanese fingerfood? The concept of this place is fun, but the food is so freaking delicious too! I could literally eat their chicken katsu every day. I’ve tried many different things such as the tofu, kimchi gyoza, crab roll and the salmon tataki – literally everything was so good. The staff is also super friendly and helpful, this is definitely a must visit!
Here’s another one of those hip Amsterdam places you have to have been to, I guess? I’m all for eating out for breakfast or brunch, so I visited Bakers & Roasters (Eerste Jacob van Campenstraat 54 or Kadijksplein 16) with a likeminded friend. The menu has the classics (Eggs Benedict, french toast and the like) as well as some pretty cool and original breakfast combos, so I think there’s something for everyone. In the end I settled for the chorizo & kumara hash; chunky sweet potato, crispy fried chorizo, red chili, sour cream and two eggs. So much flavour! Do note that having breakfast here is quite a splurge and the staff does tend to rush you a bit, sadly – but I would say it’s worth the try!
Those of you who have done your dim sum research must know that Oriental City (Oudezijds Voorburgwal 179) is the place to go in Amsterdam for super authentic baskets of steamed goodness. My Mom and I like to go here together as often as we can, but this time we had a special reason: I was to have my first ever encounter with the xiaolongbao. The infamous xialongbao (first picture) is a cute little dumpling filled with pork, shrimp and SOUP. Yes, the soup is INSIDE the dumpling. When you sink your teeth (or chopsticks) into the skin, a lovely flavourful broth comes out and it’s just such an awesome experience! Try this next time you get the chance, but don’t forget about all the other good stuff at Oriental city such as the sui mai and chicken feet.
Last week I finally made my way to Rotterdam, as I have been hearing about de Markthal (Ds. Jan Scharpstraat 298) for ages. This giant indoor market has tons of little foodstalls where you can buy fresh produce or bites for on the spot. I must say I was a bit disappointed, as the selection of stalls was kinda average, it was super crowded and there was just not that many food discoveries to be done. BUT, there is a huge Asian supermarket (Wah Nam Hong) inside which has an incredible selection of stuff – we spent a good amount of time wandering the aisles and bought some pretty neat products. Upstairs they have a great selection of non-food items such as cute bowls and handy cooking utensils, but the best part of all is the restaurant, of course! We sat down for lunch and ordered a couple of favourites: a selection of dim sum, char siu (barbecue pork) fried rice and crispy pork belly. The best part of all was the kai laan (Chinese broccoli) which is something I have eaten time and again but it has never tasted this good! The kai laan was served in oyster sauce as per usual, but was topped with the loveliest fried garlic I have ever had – and you know I love my garlic! The pork belly was also very crispy and just perfect. I also had a Korean honey-aloe tea, which was very sweet and warming. The service was rather horrible but that has been forgiven since the food was amazing!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into my foodie life, because for me it was yet another successful month! I might have to warn you that some of these places (OCHA, De Japanner, Oriental City) will most probably be featured in another diary somewhere along the way, as I love them so much. Never change a winning team!