Branie, a surprise Indonesian restaurant with Balls

When I arrived at new joint Branie, on the Ten Katestraat in Amsterdam, I had no idea what to expect. The front window had a crack in it, and there was only a small sign. You would walk straight past it, to be honest. Once inside, I was welcomed by the owner and the wonderful Indonesian hostess (who is also co-responsible for the menu). I was totally blown away by the innovating dishes and incredible spices. Let me introduce..

Branie Amsterdam

Branie stands for guts
I’m told that the name Branie is a combination between an Indonesian and a typical Amsterdam word. It means daredevil, but in a cheeky way. It totally reflects the menu and cocktails. Owner Remco, previously owner of secret cocktail bar Porem, tells me that he wanted to combine his Indonesian roots with the Amsterdam spirit.

Branie Amsterdam

Branie brani, b[a bakje]ráni, is an Malaysian word that means cheeky daredevil, someone with balls

The Menu
In Asian countries, people share their food. At Branie they do the same. You are advised to order about 4 to 6 different dishes and you are welcomed with some spicy popcorn. We decided to go for the soft shell crab bao (which is served as a whole crab), the tea salad, the squid, prawn wangton (available upon request), some traditional chicken saté, and the Jackfruit Semoor, that has a meaty texture but is completely vegan. The tea salad needs a little more explanation because it actually contains tea and is specially imported. It has a sour flavour and great as a cold starter. The magic truly happens in the kitchen and behind the bar.

Branie dinner

Branie KFC bucket
The Branie “KFC” mushroom bucket

Branie dessert

Remco is a cocktail master and gives a modern twist to his cocktails. From Pandan Daiquiri, to Crying at the Piscoteque or the Damsko Fizz. You must try at least three!

The decor still needs some finishing touches, but once the details are added (such as a neon light, and some plants), Branie is set to be your next “local” Asian with balls.

Branie
Ten Katestraat 26, Amsterdam
Website

Love,

Elke

The Birdhouse Amsterdam

Hip hip hooray summer is in the city: the sun is shining (and luckily isn’t going to stop with it), lots of smiling faces in urban parks, and a variety of birds which bring a colourful joy to Amsterdam. Our beautiful capital city in optima forma, thanks good-humoured Mother Nature! Not to mention all the new food kids in town, the hospitality industry don’t know a so called ‘cucumber season’. This time I visited The Birdhouse, almost my neighbours, or in WK football terms ‘a home match’. Definitely one of my new favourite spots in town, let’s have a look!

Birdhouse bar

The urban design jungle
Sometimes my expectations aren’t sky high before I drop by a new restaurant. Mostly it’s because of what was settled there before. I had that with The Birdhouse, situated in the Lancaster hotel. It always didn’t look very vibrant, it didn’t invite me to drop by. But since a couple of months my interest has been aroused with the arrival of this picture-perfect restaurant. Expect a really stylish restaurant with a lot of different kind of cosy corners, and detail-oriented. Overall, they’ve used natural materials to highlight the hotspot background: The Birdhouse is inspired by the bird gardens of Artis, their neighbours across the street. The outdoors has been brought inside, thumbs up!

The Birdhouse for all plumage
Whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, this restaurant will become in no time one of your new faves, mark my words. Breakfast bowls, savory toasts, birdhouse cocktails, every day all day long. I’ve been here for brunch / lunch on a Sunday morning, and it was one of my best hospitality experiences of 2018. I hear you think: Why? It’s the total package of genuine, welcoming staff (especially Luc, he’s born to do this), a stunning atmosphere and finger lickin’ good (looking) food. Yassss jackpot! I guess the pictures speak for themselves, no explanation needed.

birdhouse Amsterdam

Birdhouse amsterdam food
Simple, green and tasty!


Juicy

I can tell you so much more ins and outs about The Birdhouse, but this one deserves your visit. And this is cool: they’ve gift cards, so you can surprise every hangry boy or girl with this really original, appetizing present. So go go go for it, you smart bird!

Love,

Sharmaine

The Birdhouse
Plantage Middenlaan 46. Amsterdam
The Birdhouse Facebook
The Birdhouse Website
Opening hours: Every day 07:00 till 22:00

*Sharmaine is one of our guest bloggers from the Netherlands with a sweet tooth. The sweeter, the better! She no kitchen princess so she’s always in search for the best hotspots in Amsterdam! You can expect an article from her once a month! Check her out on Instagram!

SNCKBR IV Utrecht, The largest vegan restaurant of Europe

Vegan food is hot hot hot! Everywhere you look, a new vegan restaurant pops up in Holland. We already wrote about the Vegan Junk Food Barand some secret vegan spots in Amsterdam. But there’s now also a new vegan restaurant in Utrecht, which is the biggest plant based restaurant in Europe: SNCKBR IV.

SNCKBR
SNCKBR already has three other restaurants in the Netherlands, two in Amsterdam and one in Eindhoven. But the one in Utrecht is very special, mainly because it is 100% vegan ánd has 110 seats which makes it the biggest vegan restaurant in the whole of Europe. So it’s 100% VGN and 0% BULLSHIT, to use their own words. The place is a perfect hotspot for people who like both guilty pleasures as well as healthy and cruelty free food and snacks. The name might suggest a snackbar kind of place, but that’s not the case at all. They serve all kinds of international classics like Chinese bao buns, Indian curry, but also Dutch kapsalon and various pizza’s. Everything is cruelty free, so you don’t have to feel guilty. Even the interior is 100% vegan and the clothes of the staff are fair-trade.

SNCKBR

100% VGN, 0% BLLSHT

Delicious vegan bites and dishes
I have to admit: I think I have never eaten vegan before. Shame on me, I know…Every time I’ve eaten a vegetarian dinner, it was topped with cheese, cream or eggs. I am curious about vegan food, but never cooked something for myself nor did I try it in a restaurant before. You can imagine my excitement when I got invited to the press dinner in the new SNCKBR. I really had no idea what to expect.

SNCKBR Utrecht Avo Toast
Avo special on toast anyone?

SNCKBR Utrecht 2

The restaurant arranged a six course menu for us so we would be able to taste a variety of nice dishes. We started off with Gyozas, made with spiced tofu, shiitake, leek and peanuts. Then we got the Peking Luck which were thin pancakes we could fill with soy protein, spring onion, cucumber and plum sauce. The protein really tasted like duck, which was very surprising. My favorite dish was the third one, the Bao Bun with eggplant, panko zucchini, mayo and cucumber. It was very crunchy and tasteful. And it didn’t stop there!

SNCKBR Utrecht food

We also had the delicious Mushroom Wellington, which tasted much like beef Wellington, but without the meat. And we had two small burgers, one made of chickpeas, miso and chestnut mushrooms and one which was filled with mushrooms, seaweed, beetroot and soy protein. We finished with a tasteful Chocolate Ganesha made of chocolate, dates, mixed nuts and custard together with a scoop of rice ice cream.

Vegan desert SNCKRBR

Wow, who knew vegan food tasted so good! I really liked it and I am definitely going to check them out another time to try something else from their big menu. SNCKBR’s menu changes every few weeks so make sure you check them out regularly. They have many delicious recipes coming up!

Love,

Merel

SNCKBR IV Utrecht
Vredenburg 28, Utrecht
Website

*Merel is one of our guest editors from Utrecht and describes herself as a daydreaming student who has wanderlust ever since she traveled sround Jamaica for 3 months. She can’t wait to travel the whole wide world after she finishes her bachelor. Follow her on Instagram!

The Pressroom Amsterdam, Upgraded!

INK Hotel Amsterdam just launched their new edition of their very own restaurant, PRESSROOM. It’s not an extreme make-over but definitely an upgrade! Here’s what changed:

Interior upgrades
The interior only got a few upgrades but just enough to change the atmosphere. It now breaths more “full grown restaurant” instead of only the dining lobby of a restaurant. The decoration is modern but not too hipster. It’s the place to go to for a late night chat, a serious work discussion or a good meal (and not only for your Instagram feed). 


Open kitchen at Pressroom

Cocktails at Pressroom Amsterdam

Fun fact: Did you know that INK hotel is located in the building which used to belong to the former printer press of the newspaper ‘De Tijd’? You can find some nice details in the hotel that honor this history. So talking about late night chats; if you’re out of subjects to talk about of your date is getting awkward, try finding all those details.

The menu
Good food without difficulties: you see what you eat and you taste what you see. The chef finds inspiration around the globe but uses local ingredients, which I  very much encourage. There are not many good restaurants around Dam square where you can have a good meal with fresh products, without being designated to high society (read: expensive) hotspots. At PRESSROOM you will find a good price to quality ratio, accessible for all types or company. 

Pressroom Amsterdam
Too pretty to eat?

Dinner at Pressroom
Cheers!

Tip: unfortunately I didn’t have the chance to go, yet. But this one is definitely on my wish list: The Bottemless Brunch at INK hotel. For only €29,- p.p. you can drown yourself in bubbles, pancakes and savory dishes. And all that on a Sunday! In the end the best weeks starts with a hangover. 

See you at Pressroom?

Pressroom
Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 67, Amsterdam
Website

Love,

Eva

*Eva is one of our guest bloggers from Amsterdam. She’s a city girl who only leaves her heels 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.

LUST Spots

Venster33 » Not a new spot, but definitely a hotspot!

Normally when it comes to brand new hotspots, I’m like a fish that sees the bait. As soon as they pop up, I want to drop by. But this time I shine some light on an established one: Restaurant Venster33. I hear you think ‘why not a new spot’? It’s the older family member of Miss Moneypenny, and because my boyfriend and I were so enthusiastic about their shareable food, ambiance, and hospitality, they invited us immediately for a dinner at Venster33. We said yes! (obviously)

The story behind restaurant Venster33 Amsterdam
Two years ago I moved to the increasingly popular Eastern part of Amsterdam, hello hello lovely Javastraat. Since that moment I’m not a frequent cyclist to De Pijp. But sometimes it’s great to go back to my old neighbourhood, brings back good memories. Enough, let’s talk about restaurant Venster33. They’re up and running since 2015. This month they celebrate their third anniversary on the 26th whoop whoop! Good job Cas Jansen and your two companions / childhood friends. All three are Amsterdammers in heart and soul. The city love was an aspect they really wanted to highlight in their laid-back restaurant. That’s why all what they do has something to do with Amsterdam. Think about the famous Holtkamp bitterballen (by far my faves), tasteful wines of the colourful wine brand Grapedistrict, and daily fresh fish from the Albert Cuyp market.

Venster33 outside
Venster33 has enough space to sit outside Source

All day long up and running
The three food Musketeers had the idea to create a relaxed place for breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks. Recently they switched their whole menu. They’ve extended their assortment of small dishes to mix and match. And besides that, they’ve ’put some new more diet-friendly main dishes on the menu. More and more often they got the question for vegetarian, gluten- and lactose-free options. So voilà, they’ve taken it into account in their new menu.

I saw a lot of pretty cocktails leaving the bar

From a quick bite, till an extensive dinner
After my visit at Miss Moneypenny, my expectations were high with a capital ‘H’ for Venster33. The two have a totally different style, but the same welcoming vibe. Unfortunately, both of us were in a ‘no alcohol period’, so ginger beer it was! I did see a lot of pretty cocktails leaving the bar, so definitely don’t hesitate to go for the Grab Some Grape GT, the Apes and Apples or The Young Cuban cocktail. 


Pretty tasty drinks at Venster33

Food at Venster33 Amsterdam
Steak tartar

We started with some shareable food. Especially the steak tartare was very tasteful. For round #2 we decided to choose individually a main dish. I’ll never be the biggest meat lover, but my juicy leg of lamb was as it has to be. Tha boyfriend also appreciated his manly Picanha steak Brazilian BBQ style. Love to spice up your food? The last one is your match made in heaven. And surprise, surprise: we shared the choco lava cake and one of my favourite cheesecakes in town. Well hello food baby!

Yes, This golden oldie is worth visiting, no doubt. Thumbs up for the concept: mix and match or go for whole dishes, it’s totally up to you. Special likes goes to the sincere staff, bizarre how it can make or break your whole experience. So one more must-try for your food bucket list, no thanks!

Venster33
Eerste van der Helststraat 42, Amsterdam

020-3626423
Facebook /Instagram

Sunday till Thursday 10:30 till 01:00, Friday and Saturday 10:00 til 03:00

Love,

Sharmaine

*Sharmaine is one of our guest bloggers from the Netherlands with a sweet tooth. The sweeter, the better! She no kitchen princess so she’s always in search for the best hotspots in Amsterdam! You can expect an article from her once a month! Check her out on Instagram!

The JuiceBrothers open up their 6th location in Amsterdam!

We are happy to announce that JuiceBrothers has opened their 6th location in Amsterdam! To celebrate this we were invited to have a workout and lunch launch event at the Koninginneweg 29-31 in Amsterdam.

The Story
For those who haven’t heard the story behind the JuiceBrothers yet; it all started with four friends who were frustrated that they couldn’t find any cold-pressed juices in Amsterdam. So, they started their own company and made a plan to become masters of cold-pressed juicing. They really care for nutritious fruits and veggies that are delicious as hell! By using this method of cold-pressing, it assures the maximum essential vitamins, minerals and enzymes and preserves the natural flavors of the produce. They only use organic fruits and vegetables and other natural ingredients such as coconut or almond milk.

JuiceBrothers

Work It Baby!
Of course, one cannot become fit instantly. That’s why they let us have a workout first at Trainmore. First up: a JuiceBrothers energy shot and then we had to pick if we wanted to do yoga or take sweaty class from High Studios. I picked the high intensity training, which is not officially a part of the Trainmore brand, but is integrated in a few Trainmore gyms. This workout included an interval treadmill routine and a strength training that is proven to ramp up your metabolism so your body is burning calories for hours afterwards. The lesson was held in four different parts, which trained different parts of the body. Afterwards I was sweating everywhere (sorry for the details). I would really recommend High Studios because it is very varied and fun to do!


High Studio Training

After this high intensity training we finally got to my favourite part, lunch! We were treated with a healthy Açai Bowl and tried one of the cold-pressed juices named Cassius Clay. Really loved it!

It is really worth a try, so have a look at the new JuiceBrothers store and get a Trainmore workout as well since you are already there!

JuiceBrothers
Koninginnenweg 29 – 31, Amsterdam
Website

Love,

Michelle

*Michelle is one of our guest editors who lives in Amsterdam. She is a senior student on her way of becoming a media specialist. She’s got a big interest for design, writing and traveling. After exploring Amsterdam she wanted to discover more of the world. She’s not your typical typical tourist though, which is why she is always searching for the best local bars and restaurants! You can follow her on @michelle.debruin

Het Huis van Iemand Anders » A different kind of Café

If you’re looking for a laid back place to eat and enjoy drinks with friends, you should go to Het Huis Van Iemand Anders, which literally translates to The House Of Someone Else. (yes, the crazy Dutch come up with the weirdest names)

It started as an office space for a creative agency, then opted as a bar at night, and since a couple of weeks, you can also enjoy affordable (but tasty) dinners. The location is somewhat special and has 3 floors that all have a different feel to it. For one, there is a proper bar vibe when you first enter, but walk down the stairs and you’ll enter an inside garden area where you can sit down and enjoy dinner. Upstairs you have a living room vibe with lounge chairs that are perfect for relaxing and drink your cocktail(s).

Het Huis van Iemand anders
Het Huis Van Iemand Anders is located on the Van Woustraat in Amsterdam


Garden vibes

The Menu
Every couple of months, the menu will change and now and then a new pop-up kitchen will cook for the customers of Het Huis Van Iemand Anders. At the moment, you can enjoy different Gua Boa Buns for just €5,- each! This popular Taiwanese speciality is great to share with friends because there are plenty of buns to choose from. Peking Duck, pulled chicken, Ebi friend shrimp or beetroot burger buns are all on the menu.

Huis van iemand anders Amsterdam

Events
You can celebrate your birthday here, but have a look at their Facebook Page, because there are plenty events going on. On Kingsnight for example, they will host a party with DJ’s and drinks, and they have hosted Karaoke nights before (including bubble tea), so you’re always in for a night of fun at Het Huis Van Iemand Anders!

Come here for a fun night out, don’t dress up to fancy, and keep an open mind. With these ingredients, you are definitely coming back.

Het Huis Van Iemand Anders
Van Woustraat 2HS, Amsterdam
Website

Love,

Elke

The Vegan Junk Food Bar Amsterdam Eastside

Blink once with your eyes and there pops up another new ‘lets-drop-the-animal-cruelty-stuff-and-go-for-plant-based’ vegan spot. This time we say hi to the next big vegan thing which is born and raised in Amsterdam: Vegan Junk Food Bar Eastside which is located near the Dappermarkt. 


Shake it baby during official opening

Bitterballen Vegan Junkfood Bar Amsterdam Eastside
Spice it up with these vegan bitter balls

Friday the 13th of April was a lucky day for VJFB. They opened without too much fanfare and fuss. As a neighbour I can tell you from sec one it’s day after day packed. Doesn’t surprise me at all, East was waiting for it. The story: they believe in using plant-based alternatives can have a huge benefit on our health, animals and above all our planet. Besides I’m not a diehard vegan – more a ‘wegan’, try to be a vegan on weekdays – I find the concept of ‘junk food’ really appealing. Healthy and mouthwatering in one food package, perfect match. Looking forward to try the loaded kapsalon, the black daddy mc chik’n (hallelujah for these names) and the red velvet cake. But I can tell you the vegan bitter balls and GT were appetising during their launch party the 19th!

Goat Organic Apparel VJFB Amsterdam
VJFB organic, honest T-shirts VJFB x Goat Organic Apparel

Oh yaaas! These do-gooders launched their own organic t-shirts for those who have balls. Can’t wait to shine with quotes like ‘suck my bitter balls’ or ‘fuck me, I’m vegan’? Go to the VJFB shop or Goat Organic Apparels’ store.

Vegan lover or not, for me it’s worth trying. ‘When you know better, you do better!’

Love,

Sharmaine

Vegan Junk Food Bar Eastside
Eerste van Swindenstraat 389, BP Amsterdam
Monday till Sunday 12:00 till 22:00 No reservations
Website

Sunday is for Bali Brunch at Mama Makan

Getting a bit jealous when you see these Instagram photo’s pass by of people relaxing on Bali? If you haven’t quite saved up yet, you can at least enjoy the flavours and ambience of the tasty and healthy foods of Bali at Mama Makan in Amsterdam. They host a special Bali Brunch on Sunday and we had a look!

Mama Makan is the restaurant and bar that belongs to the wonderful Hyatt Hotel in Amsterdam East. It has a modern Asian menu and the interior is absolutely stunning. Something that looks like wishing balloons or traditional fishnets, hang from the ceiling, giving the space a modern Indonesian vibe. 

Mama Makan Bali Brunch

Mama Makan Bali Brunch

You can go back as many times as you want, so make sure you arrive with an empty stomach!

All You Can Eat
You can order a few dishes à la carte and step up to the buffet, where you can grab some traditional Gado Gado, Salads, Soto Soup and go crazy on the colourful dessert table. You can go back as many times as you want, so make sure you arrive with an empty stomach! I have to say, having Indonesian roots myself, the flavours could have done with a bit more spice. I love Asian food, when it has a little fire to it, but that might just be my opinion. The desserts were beautifully set up and very tasty! You could choose from fresh fruits, lemon pie, to coconut klepon cakes.

Bali Brunch at Mama Makan
Gado gado, fried eggplant, chicken curry and spicy shrimps

The Indonesian desserts 

Mama Makan is hosting the Bali Brunch every Sunday for only €35 p.p. or upgrade to include unlimited beer, wine & soft drinks for just €45 p.p, starting at 12.30pm.

Join the next Bali Brunch here!

Love,

Elke

Nomads Amsterdam » a New Restaurant Inspired by Travel

Amsterdam is home to another restaurant, and this one is directly linked to travel! We welcome Nomads Amsterdam!

Nomads Amsterdam

Nomads is officially opening on the 25th of April but you can already pop in for a experimental bite before they start serving the actual menu. Why is Nomads unique?  The restaurant offers a new menu every few months where a different country is highlighted. This way, foodies can enjoy a trip around the world (of food) and cultures. Fist stop is..Peru! This means lot’s of fish, corn and spices. We are exited!

Nomads interior
You never know in which jungle you are..

Nomads Amsterdam food
This month the Peruvian kitchen will shine

Nomads
Oranje Vrijstaatkade 55, Amsterdam
Website

Love,

Elke