Honey Afternoon Tea (Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam)

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Last week, I went to the Waldorf Astoria in Amsterdam to try their Honey Afternoon Tea. When the name Waldorf Astoria comes to mind, I think of opulence and grandeur. And with a 2 Michelin-starred restaurant under its belt, I knew I was in for a treat. This was a especial afternoon tea, since we got to visit the beehives located on the roof of the restaurant Librije’s Zusje.

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The declining bee population is nothing new. Honeybee pollination plays an important role in the environment and our food supply. Their loss of habitat, climate change and use of pesticides are weakening their population. The hard working bees fly 150,000 kilometers and visit about 50,000 flowers in order to make one dessert spoon of honey. By having these beehives, the Waldorf Astoria supports the foundation Beelease.

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During the month of June, the afternoon tea gets a touch of honey. It includes a madeleine with honey & pecans, a honey canelé, a macaron with honey & lemon thyme, a pofiterol filled with swiss cream, strawberry, lavender & honey and a mini tart of raspberry, honey & caramel.

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Among the savory treats were a duck liver lollypop, a quiche with pine nuts, blue cheese, leek & smoked chicken, a cucumber wrapped sandwich with goat cheese, honey & walnuts, a cracker with smoked salmon, cream cheese and chives.

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Every treat was a pleasure to eat and the service was outstanding. To spend the afternoon enjoying some delicious tea and treats, while overlooking the garden on a beautiful spring day. That is hard to beat!

You can enjoy the Afternoon Tea daily from 15:00 to 17:00.

The Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam

Herengracht 542-556, Amsterdam

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Restaurant Moon

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If you live in Amsterdam, you’ve probably already heard about the A’dam Toren. It is the big tower next to the EYE film institute in Amsterdam Noord.

Restaurant Moon is located on the 19th floor and has a 360° panorama view of Amsterdam. Chefs Jamie Van Heije and Tommy den Hartog have created a modern menu that will surely make your taste buds happy. I was one of the lucky ones to be invited to taste their menu before it opened to the public.

I arrived a bit early and got a table with my friend Noor from Amsterspots.nl. Our first course was The Moon. Steak tartare with red beet, kaffir and a very subtle foie.

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Our second course was a scallop ceviche with radish, green apple ice cream and wasabi. A beautiful and well balanced dish.

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Then the eel came. Served over a thin layer of vichyssoise, crunchy brioche, avocado and green herbs.

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The main course was beef tenderloin with peas and a bitterbal made with rendang. I love trying different versions of the traditional bitterballen and this one was delightful.

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Our last course was the guardian angel. Blancmange (a milk pudding) served with yuzu, calamansi and caramel. A refreshing and light dessert.

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Overall it was a great experience. It is not every day that you get to enjoy a well thought out menu with a fantastic view of Amsterdam. It is perfect to impress a date, or to just enjoy something different. For dinner, you can choose a set menu of 3 courses (€40), 5 courses (€60) or 8 courses (€80). For lunch, you can choose à a la carte.

Restaurant Moon

A’dam Toren – 19th Floor

Overhoeksplein 3, Amsterdam

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Terpentijn

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Located at the Rokin, this French-Asian inspired restaurant is open for lunch, street food and drinks. I had been there once before for drinks and assumed that the first floor was the whole restaurant. When we arrived this time, we realized that there is a second floor where you can have dinner. It is a cozy restaurant with many plants, funky art and books decorating its walls.

We started the evening with the lady boy oysters which were one oyster with lychee, mirin & pink ginger, and another one with soy, sesame & spring onion. And for drinks, we asked for one of their signature homemade ice teas with elderflower & mint, and their Blue Goose cocktail with vodka, lavender & lemon. Both drinks were refreshing without being overly sweet or too strong. The oysters were delicious and the one with pink ginger was really the eye catcher.

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For the first course, we got the fish in a cookie and the surf & turf. The fish cookie were very crunchy fish cakes served with a crème de foie gras. Yum!

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The surf & turf was a beef tartare with deep fried baby squid, smoked sriracha mayo and a quail egg. So good! And the sriracha lime mayo was an excellent touch!

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For the main course, we ordered the pork belly roast and the king boletus. I love pork belly and this one was cooked perfectly. It had a nice caramelization and it was juicy inside. It came with a silky pumpkin cream. The king boletus was a vegetarian dish with mushrooms, tofu beignets, parsnip, Romanesco, black garlic and ginger foam. It was a wonderful blend of flavors and textures.

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Unable to decide on the desserts, we ordered three. I know piggy us! We got a raspberry mousse which was the special of the week.

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We also got the go bananas and roasted pineapple. A slice of banana cake with banana ice cream, chocolate truffle and cacao beans.

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And the roasted pineapple came with vanilla ice cream, sticky rice and salted caramel.

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We left the plates pretty clean.

If you like Asian-French fusion, this is worth checking out. We left with very happy bellies!

 

Terpentijn

Rokin 103, Amsterdam

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Bar Brasserie OCCO (Dylan hotel)

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Occo is the new all-day brasserie of the Dylan hotel. It is open daily from 9am to 1 am. It used to be the lounge area of Vinkeles, the one Michelin star restaurant of the hotel. About a week ago, I met fellow food blogger and friend Teri from No Crumbs Left at this hotel. She was staying at the Dylan while visiting Amsterdam and we met her there for drinks and bites. We had delicious gyoza and bitterballen so I was excited to come back and try the lunch menu.

The new brasserie has a very chic feel. The bar is made out of marble and above it sits an 8 meter long copper lamp. If you sit by the window, you can overlook their terrace. When weather allows, you can also eat outside.

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The bar specializes on handcrafted cocktails and doesn’t stop at alcoholic beverages. They offer a Vir “Gin”,  a virgin gin & tonic. It’s made with a non-alcoholic gin that they created by mixing different spices and it is served with Fever-Tree Mediterranean tonic. We ordered one VirGin and one My First Date which is made with date syrup, pomegranate and a pear-thyme-rosemary mix. They were both delightful with different layers of flavors and quite unique. My hubby described them as a mature juice for adults (or kids for that matter since they are alcohol-free). They also offer a Fermented Mary (with vodka) which I was curious to try but we ended up being too full with food so maybe next time.

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Now off to the dishes, we started with a small Caesar salad with roasted shrimps and oysters with red wine vinegar & shallots.

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For the main course, he went for the rigatoni with mozzarella, tomato, green asparagus and Parmesan.

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I went for the Peking duck noodle soup. His pasta was delicious and very suited for spring. My noodle soup was divine. The broth was flavorful and the Peking duck was tender. The portions were quite filling so we didn’t have space for dessert this time.

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Bar Brasserie OCCO at the Dylan hotel

Keizersgracht 384, Amsterdam

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Café De Paris

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Bar Italia went through a French transformation and is now Café De Paris. Located at the Rokin, the building has an industrial décor with marble details and it is immense (especially for Amsterdam standards) which makes it perfect if you are going there with a large group. There is enough space in between each table to have a cozy dinner for two without being too close to other diners.

You can expect here classic dishes with a modern twist. They just added some new dishes to the menu and I was looking forward to trying some of them.

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We started with the classics, steak tartare and burrata with heirloom tomatoes. They were both delicious. Can’t never go wrong with a good burrata and it was nice to mix the tartare yourself as some of the ingredients were decorating the plate.

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Then we were recommended the salmon burger and the beet ravioli. I am a big fan of salmon burgers and this one did not disappoint. The salmon was juicy and served on a toasted bun with cucumber and wakame salad. Beet and goat cheese are a match made in heaven and in ravioli form it was even better. Yup, I love my carbs!

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And a meal is not complete without dessert. We had the crème brûlée and the moelleux au chocolat with caramel ice cream. Both divine! You can see them on Snapchat: cravingsinams. We decided to end our date night with a cocktail so me moved on to the bar. We ordered a Negroni and a Paris Sour with gin & mint. The bar area has a beautiful view of the city.

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Overall the food was well-prepared and full of flavor. And the staff was very friendly and attentive. You can also enjoy breakfast and lunch in the same building, at Metropolitain (part of Café De Paris).

Café De Paris

Rokin 81/83 / Nes 96, Amsterdam

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Macaron by RJA

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This pastry shop which specializes in macarons, eclairs, and classic French pastries just opened its doors on April 1st at the Cornelis Schuytstraat 50 in Amsterdam. Macaron by RJA was a big success in South Korea due to Ruben Jan Adriaan, a very well know pastry chef in Asia. After 11 years abroad, he decided to come back to his homeland and open here this French pastry shop. He has worked for Pierre Hermé in Paris. I mean enough said there, I couldn’t wait any longer and stopped by for a taste today.

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It is a lovely shop where you can also enjoy some coffee, tea and sodas. They are waiting for their alcohol license so they can offer a glass of bubbles, wine or high wine. And at the end of August, they are going to open a second shop at the Utrechtsestraat 18a.

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I went there with my husband and we were greeted by Marlijn. She was super friendly and very happy to explain the concept of the store. It was hard to choose as everything looked so beautiful. We tasted the canelés there and got the rest for takeaway.

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We got the Inca which is made with a banana compote, mango, passion fruit and a mousse made with 55% chocolate from Brazil. The Desire, made with milk chocolate mousse, vanilla, raspberry crème brûlée and cacao nibs. We also got a small box of macarons. We chose Pistachio/Rhubarb/Berry, Sakura/Strawberry, Yogurt/Grapefruit, Earl grey/Raspberry, Rose/Lychee/Raspberry and Olive oil. Seconds after I was done taking these shots, we dug in. And OMG were they delicious, a real treat for the taste buds as well as for the eyes. The Inca and Desire were both rich and decadent. And the macarons, a wonderful combination of flavors in each bite. And being only a 10 minute bike ride from my home, I am coming back for sure. You can see more of the shop through my Snapchat: cravingsinams.

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Macaron by RJA

Cornelis Schuytstraat 50, Amsterdam

Open every day from 8am till 8pm except for Tuesdays

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

 

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Cultural Menu at the Brasserie (Conservatorium Hotel)

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Yesterday I attended the launch of the Cultural Menu at the Conservatorium hotel. They now offer a 3 course menu which is available from 17.30 to 19.30. Early enough so it gives you the time to have a delightful meal before you attend a concert, theater show or performance. This way you can enjoy a complete night out. For the launch, a few members of the cast of the musical PIPPIN gave a short performance at the lobby of the hotel. It was lovely to get a glimpse of the musical. Pippin has won 4 Tony awards and it is exclusively at the Carré till the 10th of April.

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The menu was crafted by chef Schilo van Coevorden. You are welcomed with a glass of Cava and the menu consists of a beautifully plated terrine of smoked salmon with cucumber, dill, watercress and a poached egg. It was followed by a very tender poached corn-fed chicken with Brussels sprouts, ratatouille, celeriac, garlic and poultry gravy. And finally a Pavlova filled with Advocaat ice cream and poached pear. A delicious and quite filling meal.

The Cultural Menu is available at the Brasserie and it costs €42 per person.

Conservatorium Hotel

Van Baerlestraat 27, Amsterdam

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Le Clair

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Last week I went to the official opening of Le Clair, an éclair café located at the Ijpassage in Amsterdam central station. Robert Kranenborg advised on the concept which is now lead by pastry chefs Tjade Klaver (Bord’eau) and Tarik Azaujan (Dutch Home Made).

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The eclairs are made on a daily basis and the flavors will vary depending on the seasons. Right now they have flavors like coffee & salted caramel, lemon meringue, mango & passion fruit and red fruit & yogurt. They also offer savory versions like with smoked salmon, Caesar salad, hot dog and croquet monsieur.

FullSizeRender (1)A great addition to Central station if you want to stop by for some treats, or if you are on your way to visit someone and would like to treat them. I mean who wouldn’t want to receive a box of beautiful and delicious pastries? They also make custom made eclairs for especial occasions. And if you are not planning on going to Central station, you can now order them through Fodora and get them delivered.

Le Clair

Ijpassage, Amsterdam Central Station

 

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Royal Afternoon Tea – Conservatorium Hotel

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Last week I was invited to try the new Royal Afternoon Tea menu at the Conservatorium hotel. I had just been there a few days before to try Taiko for the first time and it didn’t disappoint. So of couse I was really excited to go back. The afternoon started with a glass of champagne, and Chef Schilo van Coevorden and the Pastry Chef Gino Gebhard welcoming us.

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The menu was created in collaboration with the East India Company. We were explained how to taste the tea and learned a few things about how to properly make it.

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How you should steep it for 3-5 minutes otherwise it becomes bitter, and how it is very important to always make your tea with freshly boiled water.

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And then all the treats came. Different kinds of sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and marmalade, and of course some sweets. It was an afternoon of true delight. This high tea is perfect to celebrate something special or to just to treat yourself.

The Royal Afternoon Tea is served at The Brasserie from 15:00 until 17:30.

 

Brasserie, at the Conservatorium hotel

Van Baerlestraat 27, Amsterdam

 

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Taiko – Conservatorium Hotel

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I had heard a lot of good things about Taiko and I had seen many pictures of their very carefully plated dishes passing by on my Instagram, so I was really looking forward to give it a try. Taiko is the Asian-inspired restaurant of the Conservatorium hotel and it is run by Chef Schilo Van Coevorden. My husband and I went there to try their Valentine’s Day lunch. We were welcomed with champagne and oysters served with kimchi, a wonderful way to start our meal. Our first course was an Atlantic lobster, served 3 ways. In sashimi, in a sushi roll with caviar & 24 carat gold, and in a salad. A very fancy and delicate course.

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It was followed by hand dived scallops; wrapped in kataifi pastry, stuffed in a gyoza & served with a kimchi puree, and in siu mai with yuzu foam.

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After that came the black cod; which was marinated for 24 hours in miso and served with a sea salad. A caramelized lovely piece of fish.

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We were really looking forward to their Wagyu beef course and it didn’t disappoint. Thinly sliced and melt in your mouth pieces with BBQ sauce, in a very mild and flavorsome red curry and cooked in a broth and served with black truffles.

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And then it was time for the sweet course. Their rose garden was a dessert fit for the occasion, a white chocolate/raspberry mousse with almond biscuit, yuzu cream and champagne sorbet.

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Next came the dessert that was making everyone else turn to your table as it was brought to you. A chocolate cigar brought to the table covered in a cloche which had been filled with shisha smoke. And for the ladies, an edible ring. A beautifully decorated and bubblegum flavored pâte de fruit.

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Overall it was an exquisitely crafted menu and great dining experience.

 

Taiko, at the Conservatorium hotel

Van Baerlestraat 27, Amsterdam

 

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