Do you want to impress someone with dining suggestions in Amsterdam? Here are TWO picks from us, to wow them both by taste and concepts.
1. De Culinaire Werkplaats
Have you ever thought of having edible paper on your dinner plate? Creators of inventive food design and thought provoking meals, De Culinaire Werkplaats is an experience that will inspire you. Founded by textile designer Marjolein Wintjes and chef Eric Meuring, de culinaire werkplaats focuses on a blend of food, design and art.
Rethink eating out. There is no regular menu, each night is based on a theme. It is Vegetarian. There is no one waiting your tables, except when the food is ready it will come to your table. You are given a pen and paper and a honesty bar for you to write down how much you drank. You leave the dishes in the sink after each course and in the end you are not given a bill. How’s that for an unique experience?
Photo Credit: De Culinaire Werkplaats
Eating-Designer Marije Vogelzang is one-half of the founding team who authored the book, Eat Love and has been designing eating concepts since 2000. Her interest is in the verb ‘to eat’. Not only does she think deeply about what is on the plate (if there is a plate at all), but she also thinks about everything that surrounds the act of eating. The atmosphere, the people involved, the stories behind the ingredients, the taste and texture, sound, smell and color of food and the way it is prepared and served.
Meal of the night – ‘sign of the times’
Our night’s menu was called the eat’inspiration was ‘sign of the times’ – it was about the new luxury, about less and more. We got to explore and experience in 5 dishes – transparency, stones, pearls, water and essence – a small selection of the many new luxuries offered by the dinner plate of the future.
Started with a Flavored Water as Champagne and a play of Blini caviar with extremely tasty tomato crisps on top.
You sit around the kitchen and you get to watch other plates being despatched as they get ready.
Play on Food as the Zen Garden – with a mix of food in different forms and actual rocks to set the balance for the plate.
The Black Pearls – we also heard from the owners that they have a fascination for black ingredients and they have collected a wall full of black ingredients that they use in their everyday plates.
Vogelzang’s goal is to entertain; yet, and here’s the reason to the culinary madness, it must also nourish and engage the senses, to engage a dialogue about the psychological, cultural and design elements of food. As she told Wallpaper* last year at a late lunch party she threw us, ‘Food is a material that you can really shape. There is so much more to food that steady materials like metals, textiles or bricks. It’s funny that other designers don’t see the same potency.’ – Wallpaper
Sun dropping our dishes in the Kitchen.
Pear, five different ways. This is about the originality and uniqueness one brings to the table.
DIY, last course. Cake as puzzle pieces and a help sheet for you to build the dessert of your dreams.
End of a very adventurous and fun meal. And for the last part, since there is no set price for the meal, you can pay what you deem as the right price. While this is amusing, it was also hard for us to decide what the fair price would be, fearing for the fact that we might be underpaying. In the end, after thinking hard, we left EUR 170 for the two of us.
2. Restaurant De Kas
On the sustainable and organic farming front, De Kas offers a green dining experience of the most organic kind, catering to health buffs and food fanatics alike.
Michelin Star chef, Gert Jan Hagerman, has created a restaurant that lives strongly by the belief that food tastes best when it is prepared using the freshest ingredients.
The restaurant is set in a former city nursery and operates from the belief that food is at its best when prepared with the freshest ingredients, grown and harvested with care for the environment. Therefore, they cultivate their own herbs, seasonal vegetables and salads and buy fresh ingredients daily from local organic farmers.
“A kitchen surrounded by fertile soil where vegetables and herbs thrive … Where daylight shines in from all sides and where the chefs are free to express their creativity daily using the best the season has to offer.
It seems an obvious concept, but I spent twenty years surrounded by white tiles under fluorescent lighting before I came up with it.” — Hagerman
De Kas is an oasis of calm and whether you are at lunch or dinner, you feel transported to a different space, it is slightly away from the regular grind, and you do feel like you are dining in a farm/country restaurant that just looks so spectacular in design.
Started with a tasting of local Genevers, the juniper-flavored national and traditional liquor of the Netherlands and Belgium, from which gin is evolved.
Designed by Piet Boon, the space is modern, bright and airy with views all around that captures the living freshness in the outdoors and fuses it in the dining room.
For the first course, we had the season’s ingredients as a soup with a side salad of farm-eggs, warm bread and olives.
Flaky, Creamy, decadent comes to mind when I think of the Fish course.
This colorful dessert course is a Pumpkin Chiboust, blood orange sorbet. Soon we had the Chef come out to add some Chocolate Shavings, which originally comes in a sail boat from Peru to Amsterdam and bicycled to the restaurant, how’s that for a cool delivery of import goods.
And perks of being a freshgrub-writer, we got to chat with the chef, and he took us on a personal nursery tour and schooled us on modern-farming and different varieties of herbs that I have never before heard of.
Edible micro-greens tasting in the greenhouse ended our meal.