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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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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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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SNCKBR – Healthy Snack Bar

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SNCKBR is a new healthy and cozy hotspot in De Pijp. Traditional Snackbars here are known for serving a lot of fried items like croquettes and fries. Something I don’t mind at all, but it limits how often I visit them. SNCKBR on the other hand, offers a very extensive menu with healthier alternatives. And it’s open from breakfast till late at night and yes, you can go have drinks there too. They make everything with sustainable ingredients. You can still get your guilty pleasures but in a healthier way, think spelt bread instead of white, baked instead of fried. With people being more aware of what they put into their bodies, this place makes complete sense.

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I went to their opening for breakfast. I really liked their chia pudding with avocado & chocolate mousse and their spirulina granola. I also tried some of their fruit/vegetables juices and I loved the one with beets. I love to eat beets but in juice, I always find them too strong and this one had a really nice balance and was not too sweet.

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I came back the next day late in the afternoon with my husband. We shared the poached egg with hollandaise and marinated salmon; and their Frikandelicious. Their healthier version of the typical Frikandel (which is usually fried and made with mystery meat), this one is 100% organic and low in fat. It’s baked and made with chicken, sweet potato, oatmeal and homemade skinny mayo and ketchup.

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SNCKBR

Van Woustraat 34-36, Amsterdam

 

Companion Workshop – Mr Porter Amsterdam

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Yesterday afternoon I got to try some Bacardi cocktails by Anya Montague at Mr Porter in the W hotel in Amsterdam. Anya is the assistant bar manager there and she is competing at the Bacardy Legacy bartending competition. At only 23 years of age, she has already lived in 8 different countries where she has worked as a bar consultant. A very opposite direction than she had planned, since she was studying to be a primary school teacher. If you don’t find her at the bar, she will most likely be in the kitchen experimenting with syrups and infusions for her next creations.

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She made us lemon daiquiris as she introduced herself. A fresh, not overly sweet drink, made with fresh ingredients. Then she made us the Hemingway daiquiri. A drink sweetened with maraschino liqueur which contrasts nicely against the tart grapefruit juice.  Finally, she introduced us to her signature cocktail, the companion. Following the story of Hemingway; this drink is inspired by Hemingway’s wives, his companions over the years.

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The companion is made with Bacardi Carta Blanca, vermouth, pear puree, lime juice, honey and black pepper. An inviting and very accessible cocktail, which you can order at the Bar of Mr Porter (Tip: it has a nice view of the city). And no event is complete without a goodie bag. Anya was kind enough to make us all a little kit to make two companions at home. I made the one in the first picture and I’m excited to make the last one for my hubby. Those white chocolate you see in the picture are the companion cocktail in chocolate form. A delicious treat, part of a collaboration Anya had with Solid Cocktails.

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You can follow Anya’s journey through her Instagram account the @travellingbartenders and her Facebook page Companion – Bacardi Legacy.

Mr Porter Amsterdam

Spuistraat 175, Amsterdam

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C Amsterdam

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C stands for Celsius as the whole menu is divided by the temperature it is cooked at. From rare and cold, to low temperature, steamed and grilled/tempura. The menu is very well priced. You can have a 4 course dinner for 45 euros. During lunch time, they do offer some of the same dishes as the dinner menu. The service was quick, and our waiter was very attentive and really took the time in explaining us the concept and the dishes. I went there for lunch last Wednesday with my husband. Since we already knew what we wanted to order, we chose to go à la carte. I love steak tartare so I had to order one, this one had artichoke and boquerone. The balance of flavors was delightful.

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Then we had the open sandwich with smoked mackerel which was really good and quite big too.

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After that, we had the pork belly with hoisin which was cooked at 75C, served with pak choy and peanuts. This was melt in your mouth goodness.

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This was followed by the lobster with gnocchi, basil, Parmesan crisps and lobster bisque foam. The lobster was juicy and tender and the gnocchi were little pillows of deliciousness.

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I had heard of their lunch burger before, so I had to try it as well. It was really good. Luckily we were sharing everything between the two of us because by that time I was getting full.

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Even though in my case, there is always space for dessert. And it was a great way to end this lunch. The chocolate mousse was beautifully plated. It had coffee gel, lemon cream, macadamia crumble, basil sponge and basil ice cream. I love basil in desserts and this one was very well balanced and delicious.

The restaurant is located in the Eastern part of Amsterdam, where the first Baut used to be. Very easy to reach by Metro or tram.

C Amsterdam

Wibautstraat 125, Amsterdam

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