Dear foodies, let me introduce to you the first edition of a recurring topic on this blog – Amsterdam restaurant recommendations.
During a drink with an old schoolfriend I was asked why I’ll blog about eating everywhere and in any situation – but not about my favourite eateries around town. My initial thought was ‘well why would people be interested in Amsterdam-only reviews?’ Until he confronted me with the fact that actually, Amsterdam is a popular tourist location. That’s right. Silly me.
(C) Copyright Amsterdam Tourist Guide
You’ll probably have guessed by now that I’ll be discussing the places to be for Chinese food today.
Amsterdam has the largest Chinatown in The Netherlands, adjacent to the (in)famous Red Light District. Grab a shag, grab a doggy bag…;-)
I find it particularly hard to find great Cantonese food outside of Hong Kong, so when I moved to the ‘dam one of the first things on my list was to actually find that great restaurant that doesn’t serve Dutch style rice and noodles only barely edible with piles of peanut sauce (watch out for places serving ‘bami’ or ‘nasi’, especially the special version). General rule: go for places where you can find local Chinese and don’t complain about service – it’s all about the food! Here you go:
1. Oriental City
Oudezijds Voorburgwal 177-179
The place to be for delicious dim sum lunches. This restaurant is a hit with the local Chinese community who’ll take their families out for their weekend get-togethers. Waiting time for tables of over half an hour’s no exception at weekends, but well worth it once you get your steamed treasures! Also serve decent Cantonese and Sichuan dinner courses.
2. Nam Kee
Geldersekade 117 and Zeedijk 111
Probably the most famous Chinese restaurant in The Netherlands, this place was used for a book/movie called ‘De Oesters van Nam Kee’ (The Oysters of Nam Kee). Also, this typical Chinese restaurant romantically lit by fluorecsent lamps is the only one who have their own cookbook out. No place for a first date or anniversary, find your good traditional dinners and wonderful noodles here. Do also try the famous oysters, steamed and served covered in black bean sauce. Mouthwatering good!
3. Taste of Culture
Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 139
Not in Chinatown but in the Leidseplein area, this restaurant serving a selection of ‘regional Chinese dishes’ is regarded as one of the new gems in town. Several well known Dutch restaurant reviewers gave this place their thumbs up, so find a mix of Chinese and curious Dutch. Unfortunately, this means that their menu does contain some Dutch-friendly dishes, so check that you’re getting actual traditional dishes if you’re not at home in Chinese cuisine. Tip: try the claypot dishes.
Remember, Chinese food is to be shared – unless you go for a fusion restaurant, don’t think you can just order a main course per person. You’ll be dissappointed and feeling bloated for at least a week after 😉