Recently I met my friends Julia and Molly out in Amsterdam for a mini-break (from the strenuous life of blogging, though with the purpose of seeking out new material…). It took quite a bit of tripadvisor research, plus Molly’s expertise to navigate to the good meals, though I have to admit I wasn’t the best at remembering establishment names this trip.
Let us start at the Surinamese summer festival, Kwaku, where we dined on some foreign treats and mojitos. I had a bara, a light, chewy bread roll made in part of ground lentils from what I could decipher (a bit like a vadai) and filled with a great many tasty things. Spicy, shredded chicken, salad, mango sambol, salsa and a lovely, sweet mayonnaise that counteracted the chilli. It was really good and a nice culinary discovery for me given that between us we couldn’t decide which continent Suriname even belonged to!- it’s South America, we googled it.
What’s nice about when you go abroad is the little things that are different, like the supermarkets and the ice cream stalls, no Mr Whippy here but really nice, refreshing melon gelato from a Vondelpark vendor. Though I did have a pretty special Dutch cookies and cream from a Dutch gelateria too (first picture above).
Luckily that wasn’t as authentic as we got as we did sample the Dutch kroket. Like the Spanish have the croqueta, the Brazilians the coxinha, the Dutch have the bitterballen. For this we went to Van Dobben, a kind of old-fashioned sandwich bar resembling a tapas bar with it’s counter and high stools. The filling of our bitterballen was like thickened (Heinz) chicken and mushroom soup, I liked it, but I do like stodgy food. Another lunch spot we visited was Broodbar, where we had a nice hot vegetable quiche with salad and sat at their wooden desk chairs with a flowerpot each.
The highlight for me, bar the bara, had to be the über trendy Italian restaurant Mazzo, which I picked out, so maybe I’m blowing my own trumpet but anywhere that serves delicious cold pizza is a winner in my book. I think they actually struggled to get the pizza as cold as it was meant to be, being fresh from the oven, it was a primavera blanca, with no tomato, with prawns, gem lettuce and Caesar dressing. It was excellent, a prawn cocktail on a pizza, tasting better than it sounds! Molly had a beetroot risotto and Julia orecchiette with gorgonzola and broccoli, both of which were also lovely.
As a final note, Amsterdam folk are fond of their chips in cones, so Molly and I tucked into some at the airport (the ones that Molly didn’t throw on the floor). I did the European thing of tucking into them with mayo but it was truffle mayo and it was divine! A great end to a short but sweet holiday.