Amsterdam is known as much for its wild nightlife as for its museums and beautiful canals. But it also has a distinctly international flavour in the form of its restaurants.
Herrie offers French and Mediterranean cuisine within a glamorous and sophisticated environment. Founded by TV chef Herman den Blijker and associate David as part of a competition, the restaurant is now up and running. Of major interest is the fact that there is no set menu in the upstairs lounge. You can request anything and specify any number of courses. For something a little more casual, the downstairs area offers finger food and cocktails.
Olav is set up to look like a 1950s living room. The traditional dark brown panelling on grey walls and granny chairs all add to the ambience. The rates are extremely reasonable for a four course meal and the menu changes frequently to keep you constantly surprised.
The owner of Foodism in the old Leliestraat is from the former Yugoslavia. Guests are invited to try the sandwiches, grilled vegetables, goat's cheese, and mint and to wash it down with fresh juice or a smoothie. Pastas, soups, and salads are served during the evenings.
The Supperclub Cruise is themed for a ship and comes complete with a “surprise" menu, DJ, performance artists, and a unisex toilet. The staff are said to be extremely friendly and the ambience is perfect for business lunches and romantic interludes alike.
Kilimanjaro is excellent for a taste of Africa. The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed. The menu features dishes from across the continent with an emphasis on the Ethiopian style of enjera pancake meals. Try the Mongooza beer, which comes in a calabash, or an exotic cocktail. At the end of the meal, you can opt for freshly ground Ethiopian coffee. . . and popcorn. It's different, but definitely worth a try.
Mamouche is a wonderful Moroccan restaurant in De Pijp. Its Parisian flavour makes it both romantic and elegant. You'll find Moroccan dishes like couscous with saffron-baked pumpkin or Ahram, which is a dark pyramid covered in a nutty caramel sauce.
For an Indian flavour, check out Balraj. Serving up curry for more than 25 years, the restaurant has a large fan following for its snacks, soups, and meals as well. This is arguably one of Amsterdam's best Indian restaurants. Dig into the Chicken Madras and wash it down with a cup of masala chai (spiced tea).
Orson Johnson writes for Holiday Velvet, a website providing Amsterdam accommodation rentals & Vacation rentals apartments .