Yuan’s Hot Pot | Traditional Chinese Fondue

Preparing food in a hotpot is a traditional Chinese cooking method where a simmering pot of Chinese soup base fills the middle of the dining table. During dinner, guests drop their favourite fish, meat, frogs (oh yes) or veggies in the bubbling hot pot (Chuan Chuan Xiang). You can compare it to a traditional fondue, but better and also a bit healthier because you are not frying your ingredients. Yuan’s Hot Pot is the first of its kind based in Amsterdam. 

Yuan's Hot Pot

How it works

You start off by picking the base of your soup.Tip: be careful with your choice in the level of spice. These levels are curated on the tongues of the Asians, therefore, the half-half spicy is already very spicy! You can try it out anyway if you’re a bit stubborn, they can also make it less spicy by adding some more cooked water. Whatever you’ll choose, there are enough ingredients to choose from. At Yuan’s Hot Pot, you order your favourite dishes and drinks on a tablet and add them into your digital basket. Very 2019. What you order arrives at the table on bamboo skewers. The hot pot keeps simmering while you place the skewers into the soup and wait a couple minutes until it’s cooked and ready to eat.

Yuan's Hot Pot Amsterdam

Bring your friends!

In my opinion Yuan’s Hot Pot is not the kind of restaurant you’ll bring your date to, but I’ll leave that up to you. The interior doesn’t scream “Instagram hotspot” but this is what makes it authentic and traditional. As a result, you will see a lot of Asian customers and this is always a good sign! You’ll have more fun with family or friends around the table and time flies by while the soup boils. It’s also nice to reserve a table with more people than two, because you will be able to try and share more. This way you might be brave enough to order the frog legs, which are a real recommendation! Another option and less scary than the frog legs: shrimp dumplings (we ordered this up to five times). If you are a vegetarian or vegan, you have plenty of choice too!

Yuan's Hot Pot Vegetables

Yuan’s Hot Pot is the first restaurant in Amsterdam with this Hot Pot concept.

Why visit?

In conclusion, at Yuan’s Hot Pot, you’ll experience the real authentic taste of the Chengdu Hot Pot. This is the first restaurant in Amsterdam with this Hot Pot concept. They pamper their customers with much kindness and their secret family recipe and dishes. Sounds good right? A recipe that has been passed down from generations must be good!

Yuan's Hot Pot

YUAN’S HOT POT
Rijnstraat 51, Amsterdam
Website / Instagram
Monday – Sunday: 12:00 – 22:30

Love,

Larissa

More Tasty Spots in Amsterdam?

These are the Top 13 Beach Clubs in The Netherlands

In the Netherlands we needed to wait a while before spring/summer knocked on the door, but she’s here. Finally! When the sun is out, people want to escape the hot city and go to one of the many amazing beaches. The Netherlands offers a few long stretched beaches with pretty amazing sunsets. Beach Clubs are all part of the fun and come in all sorts of sizes Each one has something special or authentic. To clear things up for you, we’ve made a selection of our top 12 beach clubs in The Netherlands.

Tulum, Noordwijk

This newcomer opened last year and is a big favorite! Why? The beach vibe is amazing and there is so much space to sit or lay down at. There are 2 area’s and buildings; the first building is the restaurant where you need to reserve a spot for lunch or dinner, and the second building is a place to order snacks, wraps, burgers and drinks. We prefer the second part because there is more space to chill, overlooking the shores of Noordwijk. The best time to come is at around 11am. This way you always get a good spot. Sunbeds are also available for hire, but if you order a consumption, you can sit on the many available chairs. www.tulumtulum.nl

Tulum beach bar Zandvoort Netherlands
Pretty Tulum

The Fat Mermaid, Scheveningen

Not new, but a breath of fresh air in Den Haag. Located on the busy promenade of Scheveningen beach, The Fat Mermaid is quite busy on sunny days, but we still recommend you to take a look while you’re around. Even though they don’t claim to be fully sustainable, they try to offer as many organic and local products. For example, they serve fish from local fish shop Ben de Lange and the meat is from the wonderful Lindenhoff farm. Therefore, families, couples, friends and dog owners all love it here. www.thefatmermaid.nl

The Fat Mermaid beach Bar Netherlands
The Fat Mermaid. Photo by Floor Boers

Blooming Beach, Bergen aan zee

6km from the hotel you will find Bergen aan Zee, the towns beach. It’s about a 30 min bicycle ride and you can use the bikes from the hotel. Blooming never sits still and they are always looking to add a little extra something to their impressive portfolio. So they’ve opened a beach club called Blooming Beach! Now, don’t mistake this beach club with the loud beach bars in Bloemendaal. No, this place is perfect for that sunny afternoon with a glass of wine in your hand. Put your toes in the sand or jump in the hot tub (yes, they have one!) while you smell the sea and the delicious food from the restaurant. Will this become one of Hollands best Beach Clubs? www.blooming-hotels.com

Blooming Beach Bergen aan Zee

De Branding, Noordwijk

Voted as the best beach club in The Netherlands 2016, this beachclub is very popular indeed. You can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner at this trendy place. The white decor set’s away beautifully at the beach. Enjoy good drinks and music whilst people watching. www.brandingbeach.nl

Beach Club de Branding
Branding-Noordwijk

Pepper Beachclub, Zandvoort

When you get to Pepper Beach Club you immediately feel that Ibiza vibe. The dream-catchers, colorful cushions and summer cocktails will make you stay until sunset. They describe themselves as hippie Chic, laid back, with good music, good vibes! www.pepper-beachclub

11091279_1479663958986130_6271870478417441335_n
1422616_1511473419138517_7763858370359386924_n
Source: Pepper Beachclub

Timboektoe, Wijk aan Zee

When we visited this beach bar a couple of years ago, it felt like a surfers paradise. Walking around are plenty cool surfer dudes and you really feel like you’re abroad. It’s still Dutch though, so you can order the famous Dutch Croquette on bread to keep you grounded. www.timboektoe.org

11241708_912087965508267_225566726_n
Source: Timboektoe Instagram

Elements Beach, `s Gravenzande

If you think Woodstock ’69 isn’t hippie enough for you, then you should definitely pay a visit to Elements Beach.
This Beach bar is supporting fairtrade, sustainability and create entrepreneurship with their hearts. The food is always organic and they organize yoga classes. It’s near Den Hague but not in the busy part. Come here if you want to escape the crowded beach bars in the summer and watch the kite surfers or close your eyes and pretend you in Bali.. www.elementsbeach.nl

Elements-beach Netherlands

Club Zand, Castricum

The Netherlands is lucky with a beach bar like Club Zand. Not only do they have a great relaxed location in Castricum at sea, they also hosts outdoor cinema nights with free popcorn! Their latest edition will be on the 2nd of May, so reserve your spot! Every Friday there is live music from a DJ or band, so there is something for everyone. The other thing we really like about this beach bar, is that they support sustainability. They are hoping to become the greenest beach of the Netherlands and they do this with several projects like reducing gas by 50%. Take a look next time you’re around Castricum! www.clubzand.nl

Hippie Fish, Zandvoort

Like Tulum, this beach bar has a vibe that takes you to another place that looks more like Mexico or Ibiza. It’s not large, but super cute and the food is tasty! Come here when its less busy, like a midweek or morning. This way you can enjoy Hippie Fish to the max. www.hippiefish.nl

strandtenten in Nederland hippie fish zandvoort
© HIPPIE FISH

Woodstock ’69, Bloemendaal

It’s an oldie but for people that are not from Holland, this one should definitely be on the list. This place will take you back to ’69 and brings out your inner hippie. On Sunday’s and when the weather is good, this is the place to be. People from all over the country drive up to Bloemendaal Beach to dance to the beats of some of the most talked about DJ’s of the moment. www.woodstock69.nl

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset
Dance with your feet in the sand at Woodstock

Beachclub Perry’s, Scharendijke

All the way in the south of Holland, you will find this fine beach club that’s been around for over 25 years. They have a North African atmosphere and serve dishes such as Tajine Casablanca and killer pancakes. Above all, it’s a great place to relax in their beach chairs overlooking the sea. www.beachclubperrys.nl

Top 10 beach clubs Netherlands
Arabic style Perry’s


Not at sea, but still worth a visit:

Down Under, Nieuwegein

This beach bar/restaurant has a few things that make it special. Besides the restaurant and bar there’s so much you can do. Wakeboarding, waterskiing, indoor bodyboarding and floating golf are just some of the water activities you can participate at Down Under. Besides this, there is a large grass and a sand area where you can sunbath. It’s perfect for families with young children, for instance, they have many kids activities. The beach club area can also be hired for business or private parties. Down Under is situated near Utrecht, right in the heart of The Netherlands. www.downunder.nl

beach club Down Under
down under

Key West, Utrecht

Situated next to one of the bussiest highways on The Netherlands, is the Key West Beachhouse. Okok, it’s not a real beach but it’s besides the “Haarrijnse Plas” where you can safely swim. It’s the perfect spot for a business lunch or lovely dinner. They cook with local and fresh products and as a result the menu changes per season. www.keywestbeachhouse.nl

Key West Netherlands

In conclusion, this list will give you enough choice to enjoy the Dutch beaches this summer!

Love,

Wander-Lust

Café Cliché Amsterdam

Memorable evenings don’t have to be made at the other side of the globe. Sometimes you can create them just around the corner, like I had at Sidney Schutte’s culinary living room Café Cliché in Amsterdam. Labelled as the ‘brasserie of the hood’ with lots of surprising nooks and corners. One to keep in mind due to their extraordinary ambiance, dishes and service.

Café Cliché, anything but cliche

The talented creator of edible artworks Sidney Schutte is a renowned name in the gastronomy. A man who loves his job to the moon and back. Sometimes his culinary magic doesn’t stop at two Michelin-starred restaurant Spectrum. Also at home the cooking hobs aren’t save from him. Being the home chef brought him the idea to start a new adventure. The super hot summer of 2018 reached the boiling point when Schutte’s daydream of creating a new hospitality concept came true. However, this is not your usual hotspot in Amsterdam. His friendly right hands David Baxter (chef) and Berber Vergeest (host) are running the place. And they do it with verve.

Bar Café Cliché

Café Cliché isn’t cliche at all. But I totally understand the choice of name

Café Cliché, your second living room

At entrance you’ll immediately notice that Café Cliché isn’t cliche at all. But I totally understand the choice of name. A place where the master chef and his crew can leave out all the decadent, gastronomic fuss. Time for some all-time classics, oldtimers which have proved themselves in Sidney’s kitchen. Expect a menu placed in plastic with not so picture perfect food photos, just the typical old school way. Normally I’ll become so disenchanted with such a menu, but at Café Cliché it has its astonishing charm. Skimming through it, the out-of-the-box, ‘Mokum’ names of the dishes will appear a little smile on your face. Pikketanussie, Gleuvenglijder, Blufkikker, Hittepetit and Lellebel. Those creative outbursts don’t have anything to do with the dishes, but the idea deserves douze points.

Café Cliché Amsterdam
Feeling right at home

Café Cliché, your new second home

A sincere hand shake on arrival, a happy jungle wallpaper, blue checkered tea towels, as much chitchats you would like between the courses, and the professionalism of a Michelin-starred restaurant. Expect home-away-from-home portions, aka bang for the buck. Although I can eat a lot – ask my loved ones if in doubt – those portions where massive. I’ve been feasting enormously with a food baby as a result.

Food at Café Cliché
Café Cliché’s Asparagus, Bordeelsluiper and Dijenkletser Lovely table setting

Really give their Dijenkletser (carpaccio), Bordeelsluiper (DIY tuna-seaweed package), Zwijntjesjager (vegetarian ravioli) and Blufkikker (entrecote). Hear you thinking: lots of meat. You’re right. Let’s say it’s almost 50/50 meat and fish with one or two vega(n) starter and main course options. It’s up to you whether you go for the 3-course menu (€39,50) or only for a starter and main or main and dessert or…mix and mingle whatever you prefer.

Main course Café Cliché

Kids can enjoy the same flavours in smaller size portions

Last but not least, you can easily bring your kid(s). Usually, a kids menu offers fries with chicken nuggets or a simple pasta. Not at Schutte’s place. He believes it’s essential to tickle the taste buds of the mini-you’s. That’s why they serve the same delicious, just like home dishes for them, but half-size portions. A great way to stimulate toddlers to become anything but fussy eaters.

Dessert at Café Cliché

Worth the try bon vivants!

Love,

Sharmaine

Café Cliché
Middenweg 35, Amsterdam

Website
Instagram

Opening hours: Wednesday till Monday 17:00 – 22:30
Tuesdays closed

*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!

6 beach clubs in The Netherlands you should visit this summer

The Netherlands is famous for its long stretch beaches and endless amounts of beach clubs. So many that sometimes is a bit hard to make the right choice. Where will the food be the best? Where do they have the best ice-coffee or ambiance? We’ve listed our 6 favorite beach clubs of the season.

Tulum, Noordwijk
This newcomer opened last year and is a big beach club favorite! Why? The beach vibe is amazing and there is so much space to sit or lay down at. There are 2 area’s and buildings; the first building is the restaurant where you need to reserve a spot for lunch or dinner, and the second building is a place to order snacks, wraps, burgers and drinks. We prefer the second part because there is more space to chill, overlooking the shores of Noordwijk. The best time to come is at around 11am. This way you always get a good spot. Sunbeds are also available for hire, but if you order a consumption, you can sit on the many available chairs. www.tulumtulum.nl

Tulum Beachbar Netherlands

Bries, Noordwijk
This beach club is situated in Noordwijk. You can enjoy a Mediterranean menu with Asian influences where you can taste several fresh fish dishes. If you like meat you can go here for the steak market on Sundays. On other selected days you can even enjoy yoga classes or massages! Not sure if the weather is good enough? Check their live webcam to see if the sun is shining! www.briesnoordwijk.nl

Beach bar bries
Source

Timboektoe, Wijk aan Zee
Probably the most chilled out beach bar in the Netherlands. It feels like a surfers paradise. Walking around are plenty cool surfer dudes and you really feel like you’re abroad. It’s still Dutch though, so you can order a famous Dutch Croquette on toast to keep you grounded. A big plus is that parking is free at Wijk aan Zee, so if you get there early, you can get a great spot near the beach! www.timboektoe.org

Timboektie beach bar

Unbuntu Beach, Zandvoort
It’s Sarah’s favorite beach club, and even though this one has been around for ages, it never get’s old. So why do we love it? The food is good, the service is great and they have swings (I mean, hellooo). Time to visit this all time favorite. www.ubuntubeach.nl

Unbuntu Beach bar Netherlands
Source

Blooming Beach, Bergen aan Zee
6km from the lovely Blooming hotel you will find Bergen aan Zee, the towns beach. It’s about a 30 min bicycle ride and you can use the bikes from the hotel. Blooming never sits still and they are always looking to add a little extra something to their impressive portfolio. So last year they opened beach club Blooming Beach! Now, don’t mistake this beach club with the loud beach bars in Bloemendaal. No, this place is perfect for that sunny afternoon with a glass of wine in your hand. Put your toes in the sand or jump in the hot tub (yes, they have one!) while you smell the sea and the delicious food from the restaurant. www.blooming-hotels.com

Blooming beach bar

Elements Beach, `s Gravenzande
If you think Woodstock ’69 isn’t hippie enough for you, then you should definitely pay a visit to Elements Beach. 
This Beach bar is supporting fairtrade, sustainability and create entrepreneurship with their hearts. The food is always organic and they organize yoga classes. It’s near Den Hague but not in the busy part. Come here if you want to escape the crowded beach bars in the summer and watch the kite surfers. Or close your eyes and pretend you’re in Bali.. www.elementsbeach.nl

 

Elements beach bar
Source

Love,

Elke

The Leeuwarden Guide 2019

Leeuwarden was voted the culture capital of Europe last year, and since then the city has been buzzing. New restaurants and shops pop up like mushrooms which resulted in more visitors than ever before. Time to check out the city of Fryslân everyone is talking about!

Bye bye hustle and bustle of Amsterdam, hello hello fresh air, calmness and…sugar bread! 

What to do in Leeuwarden

Street art tour Leeuwarden
A noteworthy tip is the street art tour in Leeuwarden. Great way to start your day, especially after a heavy breakfast. In 1,5 hours, you learn more about the interesting city background. We love the fact the talk was a perfect combi of historical and temporary facts. Guide Henk Leutscher and his team make so much fun of it! Check it out: a Guide to Leeuwarden.

a-guide-to-leeuwarden-street-art-tour-saskia-van-uylenburg-by-klaas-lageweg
Street art Leeuwarden style, love it!

Shopping
This fashion, flower and interior stores will pleasantly surprise you. It wouldn’t be out of place in Amsterdam. Lots of trendy stuff to pamper yourself, be prepared shopaholics! The Kleine Kerkstraat was even voted the best shopping street of the Netherlands in 2010 and 2013! Check out Scandinavian style concept store Nørd pictured below.

Leeuwarden shops

Blokhuispoort
Back in the days this used to be a prison, but now houses different business and eateries. Worth checking out.

Rent a boat
You can rent a boat at Greenjoy to see Leeuwarden from the water. Boats are available from about €25 euro.

 

Leeuwarden: a natural beauty
And if you want to escape the city for a while, please, please, please explore the raw and wonderful natural surroundings of Leeuwarden! Next time, I definitely want to have a pitstop there.

leeuwarden-emmakade-winter

In 2018 Leeuwarden-Fryslân was crowned the cultural capital of Europe

Where to Eat in Leeuwarden

Stek
This cute restaurant used to function as a bridge house and people actually lived here. If it reminds you of the popular brunch spot Pluk, you got it right. Stek is run by the previous co-owner of Pluk, which she started with her sister and brother in law. After a move back to the city she was born, she decided to start Stek and with great success. The food is lovely, and the coffee is good. Stek has an outside terrace overlooking the water. A must visit if you visit Leeuwarden.

Stek Leeuwarden

Lazy Lemons
If you have kids, you are going to love Lazy Lemons! Then again, you are also going to love it if you do not have any. Why? The food is simple but the portions are big, the service is good and there is enough space for families, friends and lovers. Upstairs you can find a large play corner for kids, which means a undisturbed lunch or dinner for the parents. We wished we had more of these in Amsterdam!

Lazy Lemons Leeuwarden

KB Food and Drinks
If you want a menu full of choices and options, you are at the right address at KB. Their formula works like this; you order a main and you can pick 2 side orders plus a saus of choice. The service here will make you happy and its no problem if you want to bring your kids. KB has a garden area, so you can enjoy those summer evenings. Fun fact: the building used to be a video library! www.kbfood.nl

KB Food and Drinks Leeuwarden
Dinner at KB food & drinks

Roast Leeuwarden
Must-try hotspot Roast Leeuwarden. Located in the middle of the city centre, this recently opened cozy lunch, dinner and drink spot is one to remember. Really like the fact they’ve put together a very diverse and continually changing menu for every budget. Their signature dish: chicken. But no worries veggies and vegans, there’s also so much appetizing food for you. If you can fit it, try the chocolate overloaded dessert, which is so yummy. Oh, and they’ve got two really cool tables with table taps, a perfect way to trigger your inner bartender haha! roastleeuwarden.nl

Roast Leeuwarden

 

De Neushoorn
My guide Henk told me about this must-visit…and he was right. It’s kind of a magical and vibrant place where music meets dance meets film. Visit one of the performances or feel free to pop by for a laid-back beer.

Moon
An Instagram dream with pink/purple walls, marble tables and a menu that you just need to take pictures of. It’s no surprise that you can order a matcha, beetroot or turmeric latte here. Get your freak on with a freakshake or go healthy with avo on toast. Yes, this place was made with the intention of being a hotspot. www.moonleeuwarden.nl

Moon Leeuwarden

Also worth mentioning:

  • Dr. Plant: vegan take-away restaurant in the heart of Leeuwarden.
  • Fruitbar SIS: the green and healthy hotspot with vegan cakes.
  • Blikspuit: a concept store with a kiddies corner, so great for parents.
  • Speelcafé: this café is made for kids and you’ll love it if you are a parent. There is a slide inside and countless toys. They serve great tea and homemade cupcakes.

Where to stay in Leeuwarden

Catshuis Boutique Hotel
We love boutique hotels and this hotel is certainly one that you want to check out. Located in the heart of Leeuwarden, it is the perfect place for couples. Beautiful rooms, lovely and always included breakfast and a stylish interior. At the hotel you can also book a high tea, great for friends! www.catshuisleeuwarden.nl

Post Plaza
In case you’re thinking about a citytrip to Leeuwarden, definitely book a room at the charming Post Plaza****. They invited me to stay and for sure I said ‘yes’. To be honest, I’ve nothing but praise. Especially the hospitality and extravaganza wakey wakey breakfast with everything a sweet tooth with a bit of a sleepyhead wants.. sugar bread. Do we need to say more?

Post Plaza, Leeuwarden
Hotel Post Plaza

Van Der Valk Hotel
We like this hotel because they have the BREEAM-NL certificate. This means that they are putting a lot of focus on being sustainable. For example, the heat from their restaurants is collected and re-used for the meeting rooms and kitchen. They have also installed bee hotels and a harbour to maintain biodiversity. It’s also a great hotel for families with kids, due to the family rooms and possibilities. Book your room here!

Van der valk hotel Leeuwarden
Van Der Valk Hotel

Explore the Friesland region and Leeuwarden if you get the chance!

Love,

Wander-Lust

Bakers Dough is serving Dough ice-cream and we want it!

Time to indulge yourself to the max because cookie dough bar Bakers Dough just got better.

After the successful opening in Rotterdam, the insta-famous Bakers Dough came to our capital city almost 2 years ago. Never heard of this sweet food trend before? Well, it’s pretty simple; remember the dough you used to secretly eat when your mum baked a cake? It’s just like that only this is the kind that doesn’t make your tummy hurt at the end. The cookie dough is topped with all sorts of things like chocolate, sprinkles, m&m’s or fresh fruits. They even have a gluten free and vegan option!

bakers-dough

Bakers Dough has visitors from over the whole world and this summer its getting even better because they just announced their Bakers Dough Ice-Cream cones! It’s not your typical ICE-cream, but dough balls in a cone, topped with anything you may like. WANT!

Ice-cream dough

Check out their Facebook Page for more info.

Love,

Elke

*All the images in this articles are courtesy of Bakers Dough

Nomads Amsterdam » The Restaurant Inspired by Travel

Last year, Restaurant Nomads opened its doors in Amsterdam. A one of a kind restaurant with a direct link to travel. Every couple of months they travel across the globe to be inspired by a different cuisine which then results in a brand new menu. After Peru and Jordan it was time for a new influence. Are you curious where Nomads will take you for the next coming months? 

Nomads Amsterdam
The Peruvian Menu at restaurant Nomads a year back

A trip to Portugal

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 and taste different cultures. For the next few months ahead you will be able to enjoy the Portuguese kitchen! Nomads Owners joined headchef on a 2 week trip in and around Lisbon where they discovered the best Portuguese flavours. This resulted in a wonderful menu with fish, squid croquettes, vegetables

Restaurant Nomads Amsterdam
Nomads will take you to Portugal for the next 6 months

Restaurant Nomads Amsterdam
Portuguese Mackerel Escabeche

Good to know

Eating at Nomads is not very expensive! For just €25,- per person you can enjoy a Chef Experience lunch which includes different dishes so you can taste all the flavours of Portugal. For dinner the Chef Experience will cost €37,-. There are always vegetarian options available. Also worth mentioning; they have a large outside terrace next to the water. Winning!

In short, no need to book your ticket to Portugal if you feel like traditional Pastel de Nata. 

Nomads
Oranje Vrijstaatkade 55, Amsterdam
Website / Instagram

Love,

Elke

5 Must Try Non-French restaurants in Paris

France is famous for its gastronomy, and Paris, being its capital, no doubt has some of the best French restaurants in town. However, we understand that one might not be in the mood for cheese and wine, or even their delicious garlic escargot all day, every day. And sometimes, we just desperately crave the exotic food that we’re used to having back home or elsewhere. We know what it’s like, so, we’ve compiled a list of top five non-French restaurants in Paris that serve anything but French food to help you satisfy those exotic cravings.

COOK’N SAJ
This family-run restaurant is like your normal family dining room, but better. The place is warm, spacious and homely, no wonder it fills up almost instantly as it opens its door at noon. The smell of fresh Lebanese and Syrian food is inviting and the whole place is filled with a delicious aroma of their homemade bread straight out of the saj, an oven responsible for all the delicious wraps, and the inspiration for the name for the restaurant.

Cook N Saj meal in Paris
Middle eastern food at its best

The owners are two passionate brothers and the main chef is their mother, which make sense since mothers are the best cooks. Here at COOK’N SAJ, everything is made to order, using the freshest and highest quality produce. Plus, with the supervision and quality control by the head chef, satisfaction is guaranteed. Also, shout out to COOK’N SAJ for using stainless steel straws! We love a good sustainable and responsible kitchen!

Cook n Saj Paris
Pretty drinks at Cook’n Saj

MIKUNA
This one is for not only Peruvian lovers, but also lovers of fine dining. Realising the majority of Peruvian food are enjoyed almost exclusively in the evening, MIKUNA is committed to making this refreshingly delicious cuisine accessible to all, serving fast but carefully crafted ceviches, alongside a variety of hot dishes, straight out of their South American kitchen both for lunch and dinner. Every bit of the place is inviting and radiates happiness, from the menu to its interior design.

COOK’N SAJ
Non-french food cravings?

The owner has clearly planned all of it with such close attention to details. Despite having opened its door three weeks ago, MIKUNA has already gained a steady customer-based. This isn’t a surprise considering how truly wonderful their food is. The menu is refreshingly creative, as the chef adds a Latina twist to the classic French dessert, crafting the most delicious dulce de leche pudding, quinoa au lait. Thanks to MIKUNA, you can enjoy quality Peruvian dishes that one would expect only from fine dining experience without draining your wallet.

Peruvian dishes at Mikuna in Paris
Exotic cravings Peruvian style

21G-DUMPLING
Despite the overwhelming collection of Asian restaurants in Paris, not many, I’d say, is indeed authentic. 21g-Dumpling is here to serve you some proper Chinese and Taiwanese food, with a delicate French twist to it (I know, I said no French, but trust me, this is good!) Located in the 11th arrondissement, 21g-Dumpling is guaranteed to satisfy your cravings, because, who doesn’t love a good Chinese meal?

21G-DUMPLING Paris
Source: 21G Dumpling

RESTAURANT LE MOSQUEE DE PARIS
You can’t leave Paris without visiting the Grand Mosque, which is conveniently located next to the Natural History Museum and the Jardin des Plantes. Not only is it the biggest mosque in Paris, but it has also a beautifully decorated restaurant serving authentic Moroccan and Middle Eastern food. The setting is absolutely stunning and even if you don’t want to commit to a full meal, make sure you grab one of their sweet pastries at the front and get yourself a glass of their mint tea.

RESTAURANT LE MOSQUEE DE PARIS
Feel like you are in another world, only in Paris!

DOSANKO LARMEN
The street behind Palais Royale is packed full of Japanese restaurants. The selection is overwhelming but worry not, Dosanko is the only place you need to go to for the perfect bowl of ramen. A small corner restaurant, you will often find a queue outside this little place and for good reason. The portions are big and the quality superb, Dosanko is definitely one of the most authentic Ramen places in Paris.

DOSANKO LARMEN Paris restaurant

With these five exotic restaurants on your list, I’m sure navigating the non-French food scene in Paris has just gotten much easier, seeing how many options there are in the city! Let us know what you think if you end up visiting any of them!

Love,

Chantelle

*Chantelle is one of our guest editor from Hong Kong. She has lived in three different countries and have travelled across many continents. Having been in England for the past nine years and graduated with a Law degree, she is now taking a break in Paris for the year as she figures out her next step in life. Always passport ready, she is an expert at traveling light and on a budget, although she still enjoys the occasional indulgence in a luxurious holiday. You can follow her on Instagram.

5 x amazing brunch spots in Utrecht

Brunch is hot right now. And we are not complaining! As of recently, Utrecht has seen various brunch-specialised spots popping up around town, and I selflessly volunteered to review them for you. Here are 5 outstanding brunch spots in Utrecht.

Frenchie Cafe
Frenchie is here to cater for a very specific crowd with its rainbow/unicorn and highly instagramable menu, and does a magical job delivering on its promise. It is decadent and it looks magical, unmistakably giving us a treat-yourself feeling.

Frenchie pankes in Utrecht

This brunch spot in Utrecht has the basics covered; egg benedicts, pancakes, avo on toast, smoothie bowls. But when it comes to plating, they turn the volume way up. We couldn’t pay Frenchie a visit without trying out their signature ‘Unicorn Pancakes’ – a rainbow-colored stack, with pink-dyed white chocolate sauce and some fruits for a touch of healthy. We also got tempted by the acai-bowl, for a lighter but just as delicious ride. And finally, because the place really whispers you to treat yourself, we gave in to a side of truffle-parmesan fries, which friends strongly recommended to us.

Cakes at Frenchie Utrecht

Overall review? It is on the pricey side, but if you want to step up your brunch game for, say, a girls brunch date or just because sometimes all we need is rainbow cupcakes, then Frenchie is definitely the wow-factor on this list. www.frenchiecafe.nl

Anna Pancakes
Anna Pancakes is a more relaxed and slightly less bedazzled brunch option, yet the menu and price point is pretty equivalent to above-mentioned Frenchie. Tucked on a side street by Vredenburg square, you will find a little plant-rich oasis contrasting with the surrounding busy shopping streets; Anna Pancakes.

Anna's Pancakes

As you might guess, the menu revolves around pancakes with various toppings, from sweet to savory, with the option to customize it as you please. But as any brunch spot calls for (in my biased opinion), the menu extends to egg dishes (benedict, poached on toast and so on), diverse smoothie bowls or even the magic words that caught my eye; avocado and halloumi on sourdough bread.

Anna Pancake's Brunch spot Utrecht

Similarly to many brunch spots in town, the price isn’t what I would qualify as very budget-friendly, but that halloumi was priceless in my cheese-loving eyes. The pancakes were equally to die for, and the owner made the whole experience a pleasure. Again, maybe more of an occasional destination, but definitely a must-try for the brunch-fanatics in town. www.annapancakes.nl

HOOI
When it comes to cosy, yummy and unpretentious, HOOI holds a special place in my heart. I’m keen to think the reason it kept its “hidden treasure” status as long as it has is that it is slightly off-center. Located on Burgemeester Reigerstraat (in between the center and Wilhelmina Park), this rather small cafe is perfect for a cheeky little brunch or just to chill out for coffee or getting a bit of work done. They also have an outside terrace which is great for sunny days.

Brunch spot Hooi Utrecht

Again, they’ve got your brunch basics. The pancakes don’t have the wow factor some others in town do, but they wow you in their delicious simplicity. Alternatively, you can opt-in for the breakfast plank with croissants, eggs and the likes, or yogurt, granola and fruits, even overnight oats. That’s all a fair brunch game so far, but here’s the twist: Homemade. Scones. And. Jam. This is a brunch battle, but brunch isn’t all HOOI is good at. In fact, they advertise themselves as a “lunchroom”, so they’ll be serving you soups, delicious sandwiches, salads, and they are always creative soup and quiche of the month. To sum it up: if you’re looking for simple and homely, HOOI is worth the little detour and won’t drain your wallet in the process. Give it a go! www.hooiutrecht.nl

Karibu
Don’t even get me started on the venue. Karibu’s dream jungle themed interior is a clear winner on the venue front. And don’t you worry, the food follows up on that dream trend. The menu has got what it takes to please brunch traditionalists and adventurers alike.

Karibu Cafe Utrecht

Yes, they’ve got the basic breakfast plates, eggs, toast, pancakes, granola (all amazing choices by the way). But they also serve some more unusual dishes; shakshuka, huevos rancheros, Vietnamese banh mi and the one menu item that tickled my halloumi-loving taste buds: shouf shouf habibi (grilled halloumi and eggplant, crunchy chickpeas, smashed cucumber, cherry tomatoes, coriander salsa & tahini dressing).

Karibu cafe utrecht

You might have to wait a tad for a table on weekends’ busiest hours, but nothing unreasonable, and trust us when we say it’s worth the hype. When the decor and food is on point, the word spreads fast. www.karibucafe.nl

Loaded
Loaded with flavor, loaded with friendly vibes, loaded in value for money; in short Loaded is my brunch winner, and as a result I just can’t stop going back. Situated in the beginning of Amsterdamsestraatweg (i.e. center-side), this unassuming little spot ticks all the boxes, and usually won’t have you wait to get munching. It’s brunch, in all it’s best forms: eggs benny, avo on toast, smoothie bowls, pancakes… bacon. All absolutely delicious and without breaking the bank. And brunch is only the start of what Loaded’s got coming out of the hat; after 3pm, get the borrel bites coming with their loaded fries, kichmi fries (you read that right), loaded nachos, and other salivating snacks.

Loaded Utrecht
Source: @loadedutrecht

What’s new? Your own beer-tap table, where you get to help yourself to some beer, while munching on aforementioned sharing plates. Disclaimer, we haven’t tried this new addition yet, but we’re dying to. Overall, yes it is mouth-watering foods, from brunch to dinner, and at a decent price. But what really does it for me is the people. Loaded’s staff is the friendliest bunch, always there for a little banter or to help you pick one of the many hot sauces in their collection. But don’t just take my word for it, go get yourself a load of brunch and let us know if you agree. www.loadedutrecht.nl

In conclusion, Utrecht has a lot of amazing brunch spots, we have yet to try them all, but let’s start with these five, shall we?

Hungrily yours,

Mathilde

*Mathilde is one of our guest editors who lives in Utrecht. She was born in Geneva, Switzerland, and currently works in Amsterdam as a Field Marketing Executive. She’s going to keep us updated on what’s happening in Utrecht and it’s surroundings!

15 x Best Terraces In Amsterdam West

The sun is out and so are the people. During the week, people run out of their offices when the clock hits five, trying to find the best spots to enjoy the last sun-rays of the day. So where exactly are those places? Well, as Amsterdam West is my hood, I did a little research and came to the conclusion that these are the best places where you can enjoy the sunlight until it goes down.

Hotel Buiten
Hotel Buiten is not just any hotspot, it’s a creative hub, build from raw and used materials, designed by Lenka Dittrichova. It stared with a few neighbours a few years ago, that wanted to do something with lost space full of weeds and grass. After a temporary set up, they managed to get more people involved and eventually 180 people and businesses helped fund the project. This resulted in a wonderful spot to relax in the sunshine whilst enjoying organic lunch and drinks.


Hotel Buiten

De school
Too cool for school? Well, not this one! Not far from Yumler, you will find this hotspot. Besides being an awesome nightclub with some of the biggest underground DJ’s, it’s also the house of a wonderful restaurant, cafe and gym with a large terrace! www.deschoolamsterdam.nl

Bar Kosta
If you live in Amsterdam, and you’ve been around the Overtoom, you must have seen the large terrace on the corner of Surinameplein. It used to be Café Ter Brugge, but it has completely changed it’s look, menu and name. Bar Kosta is just in time for the sunny weather this weekend! For all the pics and the menu details click here.

Bar Kosta Amsterdam
Plenty of space at Bar Kosta

Cafe Zurich
Probably one of my favorite terraces in Amsterdam West! It’s large and wide with many seats available. The service is good and the drinks are cold. Just what you need when the sun is out. Read more about Zurich here.

Cafe Zurich terrace Amsterdam
Part of Zurich’s large terrace Source

Frits
Across Zurich you will find bar Frits on the same square they call “Mecatorplein”. They serve a large range of beers so it’s always buzzing until the sun goes down and that’s when people go inside the bar. www.frits-amsterdam.nl

Bureau
Opened last year, this is rooftop heaven. You must visit Bureau if you haven’t been! Enjoy the garden, chickens and sunshine. It’s probably one of our favorite terraces in Amsterdam West. For more pictures and impressions, check our article.


Sunset at Bureau

Oslo Beers
Good news because Oslo Beers is open again and right in time for summer! They coped with a big fire 15 months ago but managed to build a brand new and better Oslo which resulted in a wonderful Oslo Beers 3.0. There is a nice outside seating space outside next to the bridge of Surinameplein with sunshine up until about 3pm. On the menu there are speciality beers and simple but tasty breakfast and lunch. www.oslobeers.nl

Oslo beers Amsterdam West

Corner Bakery
A bit tucked away in between the World Fashion Center and an apartment complex, but it’s the perfect terrace for after work drinks or your afternoon coffee in the sun. The corner Bakery can be quite busy during the weekends so be early if you want to enjoy brunch in the sunshine. More info about this Instagrammable spot here.


The Corner Bakery West

De Bakkerswinkel
Great coffee, and tasty scones! We love this place right at the entrance of Westerpark. Oh, and the outside area at the back of the Bakkerswinkel is pretty good too. Nothing fancy but great for friends and people with babies. www.debakkerswinkel.nl

Mossel & Gin
Oysters and Gin are a great combination and you can get the best over at Mossel & Gin. Drink cocktails and eat until the sun goes down. Right on the Westergas area, this cozy terrace is great for catching up with friends! www.mosselengin.nl

mossel en Gin Amsterdam
Mossel & Gin Source

Westergasterras
Also on the Westergas, you will find this extremely large terrace that is partly covered and there is an open lounge area where you want to sit for days, looking over the water. They have just restyled so have a look!  www.westergasterras.nl

Best terraces Amsterdam West

Bar kantoor
The building dates back from 1885, and was used as an office and assistant engineer’s house of the original Westergasfabriek. As an ode to the former destination and to keep it’s authenticity,  they named the location “Bar Kantoor” – meaning Office in Dutch. Every detail in Bar Kantoor has been carefully thought of. The menu, the accessories and the cool ceiling painting. (check it out!) When I entered, they were still painting and working on the outside terrace.  About that terrace..it’s located at the perfect spot and with Pacific and Westergasterras always full, this new terrace, that has space for 150 people, is more than welcome! More info about Bar kantoor here.

Conscious Hotel Westerpark

Cedars
Not many people have heard of this restaurant because it’s situated below the A10 highway and the road that leads to Hoofddorpplein. It has some of the best outside seating in Amsterdam West, believe me. It’s overlooking the water and you can order some tasty Lebanese bites. Service can be a bit slow but if you don’t mind that, you will love it! www.cedars.nl

Cedars Amsterdam
The hidden spot, Cedars. Source

Floor17
On top of the Armada hotel, it’s the highest outdoor terraces in Amsterdam West. Drink cocktails, enjoy tunes and stay for dinner! www.floor17.nl

Brandstof
If you want to enjoy the good looking people of Amsterdam, you should go here for a beer. For the girls, there is a fire station next door (read: cute firemen watching all day!) www.bar-brandstof.nl

Cafe Brandstof Amsterdam terrace

Plenty of choice we think! Enjoy the sun y’all!

Love,

Wander-Lust

Looking for the best after work drinks in Amsterdam? Check our selection!