We were away for a week. We went to Amsterdam. Stayed at Rho hotel. We loved the location, loved the staff. Didn't like the smell of the room. The room was otherwise large as well as the toilet. But it was a bit worn out. Very pleasant, although somehow smelly stay. We didn't go to the coffee shops except for a coffee. We went restaurant hopping and did some food shopping. Restaurants we visited:
Cau, Damstraat 5, t:+31 20 623 9632, www.caucaucau.com; Argentinian cuisine; probably very touristy, but great food and excellent service thanks to Thomas from Rosario living in Amsterdam with his Argentinian girlfriend and working at Cau. At Cau, they do 4 beef cuts: Rump, Sirloin, Fillet, Rib-eye. Thomas was kind enough to bring all 4 cuts at the table, explain the difference, and suggest the preparation. I chose fillet, my friends Sirloin and some grilled shrimps, everybody had some empanadas……Drank Malbec from Northern Argentina. 150 euros with a tip for 4 persons. Verdict: Highly recommended.
Van Kerkwijk, Nes 41, t: +31 20 620 3316, www.caferestaurantvankerkwijk.nl; What a cute little place. mostly locals. Small place for maybe 30 guests and with a kitchen the size of my closet (I've got very little clothes!). No classical menu, but instead menu de jour – chef's inspiration and whatever he finds fresh at the market that day. The service is excellent. Both waiters were very friendly and funny. Entree was shared – a mix of local “tapas”: choices of spreads (smoked mackerel spread, pate and goat cheese spread), wraps filled with cheese, dates wrapped in bacon, and grilled. For the main course, I chose crispy roasted chicken in coconut sauce. Beer recommended by the waiter but I went for red wine:… Excellent meal, great atmosphere, and friendly service. The price unknown as we were invited by the business partners. Highly recommended.
Kantjil & de Tijger, Spuistraat 291-293, t: +31 20 620 0994, www.kantjil.nl; We were recommended this restaurant as we were looking for some exotic food to eat. At first, the place looked really promising. It is a big restaurant that can probably seat 100 people. The place was filled, not a single place to spare, and going by my sole, wrong logic, I thought it will be an absolute winner. But as I found out later while having a smoke outside, the restaurant has an arrangement with tour groups and, normally, a big part of the restaurant is reserved in advance by these groups. It changed my perspective. We also did a mistake that we normally never do. We picked a pre-set menus: Matjan and Kantjil. Half of the food was not eatable. Anyway, fried mackerel in a typical Balinese spiced sambal soya sauce was the biggest mackerel, I have ever seen, and it looked more like a shark ready to bite. Two bowls of green beans, I found really disappointing. Checking back the menu from home, I even believe that some dishes have never been served. And to be frank, lumpia, chicken, and prawn kebabs were really delicious. One lesson learned, and another one reminded of: the fact that place is really busy on Tuesday evening, doesn't necessarily mean the food is great (it can mean that they are just good at getting big groups in), and never order pre-set menus – choose individual dishes according to your taste. Voila!