Back in Amsterdam » Modern Asian Cuisine, Umami by Han

If you love Asian food, you’re going to be pleased about the return of Umami by Han in Amsterdam. The restaurant concept was first brought to live in Utrecht with then many restaurants to follow. Amsterdam used to have a all you can eat location on the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal but this closed 2 years ago due to a difference in vision between Michelin chef Han (known from Michelin Star HanTing Cuisine in Den Haag) and his business partner.

The Concept
Now, Han’s original concept returns  back with the modern Asian dining experience that is all about the Umami philosophy. The word Umami is all about keeping different flavours in balance. The tastes of sweet, salty, bitter and sour are familiar to us, but there is a fifth taste we can perceive with our tongue, umami. Its taste has been described as rounded, rich and savoury. It’s usually matched with salt to add depth and complexity to foods that may lack depth and complexity on their own. “If you take ginger for example, your body actually needs something to balance it out, this could be cucumber.” We try to implement this to all our dishes” Chi, the restaurant manager tells me.

The Overtoom
The location is something you may have been before. At the beginning of the Overtoom, where concept store Friday Next used to be. They have completely changed it and you won’t believe your eyes. The restaurant is deep and spacious, with a Asian style bar at the entrance. The open kitchen looks amazing and the latern lights plus Asian wall art completes the look & feel. The restaurant is also open during the day for a quick business lunch or à la card meal, but you can also walk in for a coffee or glass of wine.

Umami by Han in Amsterdam
The open kitchen

Bar Umami by han, Amsterdam

The Menu
You can choose between the 3-course Social Dining Menu for €27,50 or the Menu Gastronomique for €31,95. You can find signature dishes like Teriyaki Chicken, Bangkok Prawns or Orange Duck, alongside Truffle Paksoi, Spicy Eggplant or Little Gem. You can order an extra course for an additional 8 euro per dish. Deserts are available for only €5,- and the menu consists of Matcha Cake, Pandan Créme Brûlée or a Choco Brownie, yum!

food at Umami by han in Amsterdam
Beautiful balanced food for a small price

scallops at Umami, Amsterdam
Scallops à la Umami by Han

Matcha cake, Umami by Han, Amsterdam
This desert is ready to be eaten!

I can’t believe that a modern Asian cuisine can be so good and yet so affordable! Get your hungry ass over here, cause this place is of of the best food discoveries of this month!

Umami
Overtoom 31H, Amsterdam
020-2801379
Website

More tasty hotspots in Amsterdam? ↓

Mama Kelly Amsterdam Meal

Recipes » Dutch Winter Meals

Food, food, food, we love it! One of the best things about traveling is that we get to taste different cuisines. We love it all!
Asian, Mexican, Italian, French, you name it! But as we are both from the Netherlands, we thought it would be nice to show you some authentic Dutch winter meals! We’ve selected 2 favorites that perfectly suit the cold season:

Hutspot
This dish includes a whole bunch of potatoes and it mostly combined with vegetables such as cabbage, carrots or kale. The idea is that you mash the veggies and potatoes together so you get one mashed dish.
It’s mostly served with meat such as porkchops, big meatballs or sausages with gravy.

The recipe for a traditional “Hutspot” (Carrots & Potatoes) like the picture below is quite simple:

Cook 1kg potatoes together with about 1kg big carrots for about 15 minutes. Once cooked, remove the water and start frying some finely cut onions into a separate pan with butter. After glazing them, add the onions into the pan with the potatoes and carrots and start mashing them together. Add a tablespoon of mustard and 50ml of semi skimmed milk. You can add 150 ml of vegetable stock for extra flavour, but reduce the milk for it becomes too watery. Add some salt and pepper and top it of with some gravy and a (veggie) sausage. Yummie!

“These 2 Dutch winter meals will keep you warm this season!”

Dutch winter meals

Ewrtensoep (Dutch traditional split pea soup)

»300g dried green split peas
»100 g thick-cut bacon (for the vegetarian version you can use smoked veggie bacon from the vegetarian butcher.)
»1 stock cube (vegetable or chicken are both fine)
»2-3 carrots, cut into 1 cm cubes
»1 large potato, peeled and cubed (optional)
»1 small onion, chopped
»1 small leek, sliced
»half a celeriac, cubed
»Salt and pepper, to taste
»a handful of chopped celery leaves
»a handful of sliced smoked sausage (Dutch Rookworst) I used 2 vegetarian sausages

Dutch winter meals

For the best results you should rinse and set the split peas into cold water for about 1 hour. After that you boil the split peas with the pork chop and bacon. Let it boil for about 45 minutes and skim off the floating scum. Pour all water off, rinse peas (and meat) again and put them back on the fire with clean water if possible. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables:
Cut the skin of the celeriac, peel the potatoes, and dice celeriac and potatoes. Peel the carrot and dice it. Cut the leeks and wash them. Add the vegetables to the pan and let simmer until the peas are done (one hour at least, the split peas must be broken). Twenty minutes before the end of cooking, add the whole smoked sausage and celery leaves. Taste, finish off with pepper and salt. The pea soup is still fairly liquid. Let it cool completely and reheat it the next day, or freeze in portions. When you want to freeze the soup, add the smoked sausage when reheating, or divide the sausage in equal quantities over the portions. » Skip the meat for a vegetarian version and add a veggie sausage at the end.

These 2 dishes will keep you warm during the winter time!

Love,

Elke

Our favourite Veggie Pita spot in Amsterdam is now open daily!

If you’ve been to a Dutch food festival or the Sunday Market, you must have heard of Vleesch noch Visch. This famous veggie stand is one of those places you keep coming back for. They started off with a tiny stand on food markets and expanded over the years where they opened a kiosk in Amsterdam West, near the Westerpark. Good news for those who can’t wait for the weekend, they are now open daily from 12 till 9pm!

Veggie pita Vleesch noch Visch
The famous Greek veggie pita 

Vleesch noch Visch became famous because of their Greek veggie pita that has people queuing up for. At the kiosk they also offer other meals such as a Mi Gado pita, fries, soups and salads. Vegans don’t worry, most meals are easily turned into vegan. There are tables and benches to enjoy your favourite meal at, and you will find that people from all over the city come here for a bite. I have been a fan since the beginning but now that more people starting to embrace vegetarian and vegan meals, this place is set to be even more popular than ever.

Happy eating!

Elke

Vleesch noch Visch
Schaepmansstraat 2, Amsterdam
Website

*Header photo source: Vleesch noch Visch

5 x winter drinks to keep you warm this Christmas

We’re ditching the cold drinks this month and can’t wait to snuggle up in front of the TV of fireplace with a hot drink. Inspired by the world and other platforms, we have selected 5 delicious winter drinks to keep you warm this Christmas!

1. Golden Milk 
This recipe originated from India where they use the spice Curcuma in almost everything. ‘Curcuma (or Turmeric Root Powder as they call it) might well be the healthiest spice on Earth. Made by grinding the dried root of the Curcuma longa plant, this ancient superfood and key ingredient in curry powder has been used by Indian Ayurvedic healers for centuries’. States the healwithfood.org website. So with this good news it’s one of the best winter drinks as it will help your immune system throughout the winter.

winter-drinks-golden-milk
Recipe and photo by The Green Happiness

Ingredients: (for 2 persons)

  • 400 ml almond milk
  • 1 tsp kurkuma
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 sp ahorn siroop (10 ml)
  • 1 sp cinnamon

Preparation:
Pour the almond milk in a saucepan and add the Curcuma, Ginger, Cinnamon and the Ahorn Syrup. Stir well and heat until it simmers. Now it’s ready to drink and you may top it with a little cinnamon!

2. The ultimate Hot Chocolate
Oelala, this recipe is finger licking good! We all know how to make a hot chocolate but this drink includes marsmellows so take a moment and take your time for this one. It only takes a few minutes to make!

hot-chocolade
Recipe and photo by Jamie Oliver

Ingredients: (for 2 persons)

  • 565 ml full cream or semi-skimmed milk
  • 2 ts of good quality drinking chocolade
  • 1 handful marsmellows
  • some sugar for extra tasting

Preparation:
First put the milk into a pan. Bring to a simmer – not a boil – and while it’s heating, put a tablespoon of choccie powder and sugar, if using, into each mug. Add a little warmish milk from the pan to each mug – you just need enough to dissolve the chocolate powder. At this point, plonk a few marshmallows into each mug. When the milk is at a simmer, carefully pour it into a plastic jug or flask. I normally do this over a sink as I always end up spilling a bit (the trick is to have a big enough jug or flask so the milk only half fills it – you need the extra space for shaking and frothing). Screw the lid on tightly, place a cloth over the lid for safety, and shake hard for a minute. Remove the lid, minding the steam, and pour the milk into your mugs. A little stir, and you can slurp your way to heaven!

3. Homemade Glühwine
It’s a traditional Christmas drink that you will find at most Christmas Markets around the world but the best recipes come from Germany or Austria. It will warm you up in an instance. (just be careful you drink responsibly as it contains alcohol)

wd-10-mulled-wine

Ingredients: 

  • 1 bottle of red wine (750ml)
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 3 whole gloves
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 orange
  • optional: star anise

Preparation:
Pour red wine into saucepan and add all the spices, use medium heat, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved. Reduce to low heat for approximately 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Make sure that the wine won’t boil! Use some cinnamon sticks as garnish and enjoy!

4. The Christmas Coffee Cocktail
Wow, this coffee cocktail is serious business! Feeling a bit sleepy after all that food? This baby will wake you right up! 

coffee-2
Wake me up baby! Photo & recipe by Electric Everyday

Ingredients: 

  • 4 oz strong coffee
  • 1 1/2 oz amaretto liqueur
  • 1 1/2 oz coffee liqueur
  • 1 oz butterscotch schnapps
  • 1 oz creme de cocoa
  • fresh whipped cream
  • grated chocolate, for garnish

Preparation:
It’s a combination between strong coffee and liqueurs so pour all of them into a glass after heated up. Stir all together and top with fresh whipped cream. Garnish with grated chocolate. Serve warm or over ice. (but we prefer warm of course)

5. Turkish Salep
When I visited Istanbul 2 years ago, I discovered a drink that I couldn’t stop ordering. It’s called Salep and it’s one of the perfect winter drinks to serve your guest over Christmas. It’s the feeling when you come home from an ice-skating trip, when your hands and feet are cold and your mother gives you a warm drink. Salep brings you right back to that moment. It’s sweet and has a milky anise taste to it. 

Winter drinks : Salep
Photo by and recipe by Lauren Rothman

Ingredients: 

  • 2 tablespoons glutinous rice flour (Glutinous rice flour can be found at any well-stocked Asian supermarket)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon rosewater
  • ground cinnamon for garnish
  • chopped pistachios for garnish (omg yes!)

Preparation:
In a small saucepan, combine rice flour and milk, whisking well. Set saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. When mixture has thickened, about 2 minutes longer, add sugar and rosewater and stir. Divide salep between two mugs and garnish with cinnamon and chopped pistachios.

All the recipes are quite simple to make and will wow your family or guest you may have over Christmas. So run to the shops, what are you waiting for?

Love,

Elke

More Christmas? Check out these tasty Christmas Recipes!

Christmas Recipes

Mama Kelly Amsterdam has released their opening date!

The highly anticipated opening of Mama Kelly in Amsterdam is finally close. The popular restaurant already has a location in Den Haag, but is coming to Amsterdam this November.

mamakellyamsterdambar
The interior is a dream

mamakellyamsterdamdining

‘Pink is not a color, it’s an attitude’

The menu at Mama Kelly is simple. Chicken or Lobster, or both! Okok, they will offer some extra’s but these are the signature dishes you can expect. The interior is something that you will see a lot of across Instagram these coming months. It’s pink and bloggers love anything pink right? Let’s hope for Mama Kelly that the hype will last but if we look at the other location, this won’t be a problem whatsoever. 

Mama Kelly Amsterdam Meal
Food at Mama Kelly Amsterdam

You can now book your table for the 13th of November, when they officially open, through their website

Mama Kelly Amsterdam
Olympisch Stadion 35, Amsterdam
020 – 225 26 84
www.mama-kelly.nl

Love,

Elke

The new Corner Bakery is open and it’s amazing!

Freakshakes, healthy bowls, pancakes, colourful cakes and a brand new location in Amsterdam West. The new Corner Bakery is open and it’s awesome!

If you like taking pictures of your food, this is the place for you. The Corner Bakery already has a location near the museumsquare in Amsterdam, but because of the line of people and popular demand, they have just opened a new location across the World Fashion Center in Amsterdam West. This location is larger and spacious that includes an outside terrace.

new corner bakery Amsterdam
The interior of the new Corner Bakery Amsterdam

The interior is a combination of sweet, fruity and pastel. Pretty flowers give the location the final touch and the wooden counter makes it feel like a bar in the tropics. At the counter you can also find THE cakes. Let’s talk about this for a second. These cakes and not just any cakes. Nope, these ones are specially made by the girls of The Life of Pie. Almost pretty to eat! Almost.

The Life of Pie cakes at the new Corner Bakery Amsterdam
The cakes of The Life of Pie (source)

Coffee at the Corner Bakery Amsterdam
The coffee is great too! (a very important detail)

The New Corner Bakery Amsterdam
The Velvet Pancakes, Eggs Benedict, Bali Bowl, BLT Roll, Freakshake and a Unicorn Cake

Other food on the menu consists of bread rolls with avocado, salmon, BLT or you can pick one of the salads. The best thing however, is the breakfast. You can order it all day and there are so many options! Red velvet pancakes? Eggs Benedict? Bali & Acai bowls? It’s all there. Oh, and don’t forget about those crazy freakshakes that include a sprinkled doughnut!

Be sure to reserve a bit of space in your stomach, because you are going to order more than you came for.

Love,

Elke

Corner Bakery
Koningin Wilhelminaplein 60 – 62, Amsterdam
Facebook / Instagram

 

Pays d’Oc IGP will open up a pop-up wine bar in Amsterdam

Where restaurants pop-up like mushrooms, pop-up wine bars are still left behind. But: change is coming! Pays d’Oc IGP will open up a pop-up wine bar in Odeon Amsterdam on November 1! For 12 days, the first floor of the historic building is transformed into a cozy wine bar where wine lovers can experience the diversity that Pays d’Oc IGP has to offer. More than 40 top wines from the South of France regions at Amsterdam rates, combined with a relaxed atmosphere and hospitable sommeliers full of wine knowledge! We say: Santé!

Pays d'Oc IGP pop-up wine bar

It’s the first time that a pop-up wine bar has opened in Amsterdam, one that is completely focused on one wine region. With more than 40 open wines, the Pays d’Oc pop-up wine bar has one of Amsterdam’s diverse wine cards. If you know a little about wine, you might know that Pays d’Oc IGP is famous for its many different grape varieties and the great diversity in style. In the pop-up wine bar, this diversity of the wine  region can be tasted. On the wine list you will also find the topcuvées of the ‘Collection 2017′. The Collection is an annual returning list of the best wines available to the Pays d’Oc IGP. To add a bit of knowledge, there will be wine experts on location to assist visitors and give you a piece of wine education.

Pays d’Oc IGP Pop- up Wine Bar
Date: 1st of November until the 12th of November 2017
Opening times: 16:00u – 23:00u
Address: Singel 460, Amsterdam (easily accessible by tram 1,2,5)
Event Page

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The Avocado Show is going international!

We all know that the Avocado Show was going to be popular. Tourist from all over the world visited the avocado restaurant since it opened in last December. Good news for those who haven’t had a chance yet to check it out. The Avocado Show is going international!

The Avocado Show goes International
The avocado madness started last December

Thanks to Shawn Harris, the woman behind Nature’s Pride, one of the largest Avocado supplier in the world. She believed in the Dutch entrepreneurs from the beginning and is now going to invest 5 million euro so they can expand abroad.

At the moment they are talking to 10 different countries and they are focusing on major cities like Dubai, Bangkok and capitals in Europe. They are eventually planning to open around a hundred restaurants. They are also looking to open a second restaurant in Amsterdam.

Read more about the Avocado Show here:

the-avocado-show

 

Love,

Elke

Parallel Amsterdam brings Spain to the city

Girls, put on your flamingo dress. Boys, practice your salsa moves. There’s a new kid in town and it’s bringing Amsterdam some Spanish passion. El nuevo restaurante Español will be located at the Overtoom where restaurant BUUF used to be. With pain in our hearts we had to say goodbye to the cozy restaurant that used to feed us the best (and healthy comfort food). But dry your tears, Parallel Amsterdam is here to make it up!

Passionate Spanish cuisine
If I say Spain, you say tapas. However, there is a lot more to discover (and to eat after you discover it). I lived in Madrid for a year and had to go on a strict veggie diet back in Amsterdam. Not because of the tranquillo culture or the whole swimming pool of Sangria that I had drunk. I just couldn’t resist the Spanish cuisine. For me it was like living in comfort food paradise and I’m happy you can soon experience the same at Parallel.

Traditional Spanish food with modern influences.

The owners Roel de Haas and Imre Swaanswijk made it their goal to show Amsterdam the Spanish cuisine is more flavorful than the well-known tapas. With a chef named Alvaro Santiago it seems quite likely they will exceed their goal and the Amsterdam inhabitants are destined to amplify their taste palette to the next level. Their promise: traditional Spanish food with modern influences. Well I say, bring it on! Cause me and my appetite are ready. They serve 3 different versions of gazpachos (cold Spanish soup), crunchy favorites like patatas bravas but also offer a croquette tasting and ceviche. There is a lot of meat and fish but they’ve added some veggie and vegan options on the menu too.

Food at Parallel

Location
Not only you can experience the Spanish food at Parallel Amsterdam, the culture is also there to taste. Wander yourself on the promenade in Barcelona on their wide terrace (definitely for Amsterdam standards). No need to cancel your trip if the thermometer doesn’t match Spanish standers, the terrace is heated.

Parallel Amsterdam

Swap your bike for a bull and let’s pray for some late mid-September summer nights (I still got hope). Parallel is the perfect spot for a Spanish micro-vacation. No heavy suitcases, you only have to bring an empty stomach and your appetite.

Love,

Eva

Parallel Amsterdam
Overtoom 495 – 497, Amsterdam
Website

*Eva is one of our guest bloggers from Amsterdam. She’s a city girl who only leaves her heals at home when wearing a backpack. Living by the urge to be where she’s not, to explore, experience, fall and get up. You can follow her on Instagram.

 

5 Vegan Spots in Amsterdam you probably haven’t heard of

Amsterdam has recently become the vegan capital of Europe with a large number of vegan restaurants & snack bars. Other restaurants offer more vegan options than ever. You have probably heard of a few big names such as the Vegan Junk Food Bar, Meatless District, Dophert and the newly opened Mr. & Mrs. Watson. But I’m pretty sure you haven’t heard of these vegan spots in Amsterdam..

MKZEerste Schinkelstraat 16
This all vegan spot is kind of special. Why? Well, it’s a collective run restaurant and you can get a 3-course meal for only 5 euro! That’s right, that little green piece of paper you always buy nothing with. Okok, the food isn’t served on a Instagram worthy plate and there is no table service, but reading all the reviews, people are extremely positive about this hidden spot. You get a vegan soup to start, a big plate with vegan food and if you are lucky, the dessert is something with chocolate. Oh, and there is just one thing; you need to wash your own dishes at the end. No biggie I think, considering you practically eat for free. They are open for dinner only and you need to give them a call to book a table. 0206790712

mkz-vegan-spots-in-amsterdam
At MKZ you eat a plate like this for only 5 euro!

Mezebar BodrumSurinamestraat 5
Right at the end (or beginning) of the Overtoom, you will find the Surinameplein where tram 1 and 17 come together. Just over the bridge that connects the west with the center, you have a small passage with small take away joints such as Asian, Suriname and Italian food. In the middle of this, you will find this hidden vegan spot. I discovered it by chance because I walked passed and saw a sign that said: vegan pitta. I got curious and took a look inside where I spoke to a lovely Dutch lady. One of the owners has been a vegan for over 15 years and she decided to offer a full vegan meze plate to her customers. Something I haven’t heard of before in Amsterdam! They have also received a Happy Cow recommendation, a platform that is holy to all vegan’s & veggies around the world. Having their sticker stuck onto your restaurant window is like receiving 5 out of 5 on Tripadvisor in vegan land. Instagram

Mezebar Bodrum, vegan spots in Amsterdam
One of the most undiscovered vegan spots in Amsterdam!

Spirit, Czaar Peterstraat 2a
Coming from Rotterdam, this buffet restaurant offers a whole lot of vegan food that you will love! There is vegan beer, vegan wine, vegan everything! You pay by weight and trust me, you will fill up your plate! I first saw this concept in Prague where I couldn’t stop coming to this vegetarian buffet restaurant and I was hoping that something like this would come to Amsterdam. All the dishes at Spirit are homemade, organic and created with love. No bullshit, no chemicals, just pure food that you will love. www.spiritrestaurants.nl/amsterdam

spirit-vegan-restaurant-amsterdam
Source

Loving HutAdmiraal de Ruijterweg 334
Tucked away in Amsterdam Old West (sounds like a Western movie doesn’t it?), you will find the Loving Hut. It’s been around in Amsterdam since 2015 but they are part of the Loving Hut chain that you can find elsewhere in the world. They have more than 200 outlets in major cities all over the world! So what do they offer? Mostly Asian dishes plus some of the famous Dutch fast food snacks you will wake up for. Burgers, “broodje croquet” and more. Yup, the Vegan Junk Food Bar isn’t the only vegan comfort food joint in tha house! At Loving Hut the food is simple, cheap and tasty. And we must admit, we didn’t know it existed since 2 weeks ago! Join us in discovering this award winning vegan spot. www.lovinghut.com

loving-hut, vegan spots in Amsterdam

Zest For Life raw food cafe, Van Baerlestraat, 45
More than just a raw food bat for sure! This place offers detox vacations in Turkey, juice that will clear your body and exercises that will clear your head. But let’s not talk about that. Let’s talk about the raw food cafe for a minute. At the raw food cafe they show you that raw food doesn’t have to be boring. On the menu you will find slow juices, pancakes, cakes, wraps, pizza and even a pad thai noodle dish. It’s not big inside but they have a little garden! They are open everyday till 6pm except on Mondays. www.zestforlife.nl

Zest for life, vegan spots in Amsterdam

Maybe you’ve heard of a few, but we are sure you haven’t heard of them all! Enjoy discovering!

Love,

Elke

Why vegan? Check out our first ever vegan article!