Exploring lifestyle & the culinary site of Amsterdam

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What a good way to start the new year. Straight on the 2nd of January I flew to Amsterdam to see my good friend Sophie and to explore the city with it's nice and cool cafés, restaurants and shops. Amsterdam has changed quite a bit since I was here last time. Maybe I or my interests have changed quite a bit since then too. This was my 3rd time in Amsterdam. The reason why I  come back all the time is my dearest dutch friend Sophie. I have known Sophie over nine years now. Wow, nine years! Time has flown by like crazy. Back then the both of us did a one-year exchange in New Zealand and got real good friends. Now we try each year or at least every second year to visit each other or to do a trip or a holiday together. So far we managed…Amsterdam22Sophie lives at the eastside of Amsterdam, which is a very hip place and a place where you can explore lots of things. She runs her own website with a girl together, on which they promote the east part of Amsterdam. The hood only became cool the last two years or so. Have a look at their awesome website metMik and find out where to go while you visit Amsterdam or even when you live there. Most locals use it to find out about new cool spots and places to go.First night we had dinner around Sophies place, called Michel-inn What a nice wordplay... I would characterize the Restaurant with three stars. Three stars actually means: "Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey" ("Une des meilleures tables, vaut le voyage"). It was definitely worth my journey.am37   AM38Michel-inn is a place where you can order little tapas. Sophie and shared the following 5 divine courses:
  • Dates and pancetta, feta and vinegar reduction
  • Roasted fennel from their stone wood oven
  • Gambas pil pil out off the stone wood oven with garlic and pepper oil
  • Crispy potatoes dusted in pimente
  • Pickled anchovies
AM6After that we went to the trendy „Bar Bukowski“ also called Henry's Bar. This is what the bar says about itself on their website: BAR BUKOWSKI IS THE HOTTEST PLACE IN THE EASTERN PART OF AMSTERDAM FOR BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND DRINKS-- WITH AN EXTENSIVE BAR MENU SERVED TILL AFTER MIDNIGHT. NAMED AFTER THE WRITER CHARLES BUKOWSKI, THIS BAR IS BREATHING HIS LOVE FOR ALCOHOL, WOMEN AND LITERATURE. FROM A TYPE-MACHINE LIGHT FIXTURE ABOVE THE BAR TO HIS QUOTES ON THE MENU; AS BUKOWSKI SAID,"THERE IS ALWAYS A REASON TO DRINK!"AM8Seeing each other and being in Amsterdam was more than a reason to drink. Our friend Robin from Citinerary  joined us for a drink there. Robins website welcomes visitors to explore city life through local citizens. Have a look at it and get to know one of the locals to show you around!The next day we had lunch at Beter & Leuk. A lovely place with amazing food. Well, if I had to describe the food there this is what I would say about it: close to nature, pure, real, healthy and on top of it very tasty. They also offer yoga classes. I had a cauliflower pizza there with zucchini, pesto, feta and roasted almonds. It came with a veggie lentil salad. Sophie ordered a quinoa, feta salad with beet root and we both had some yummy green smoothies along with it. For dessert they had a delicious gluten-free banana bread.am36   am32   am34   IMG_0392IMG_0385_MG_0397After lunch we went into town to have a look at the market and some sweet fashion boutiques and stores. The market, called Albert Cupystreet, is a fantastic place to find all kind of things, starting from food, to clothes, cooking accessories etc. I bought some useful cooking tools, such as a ravioli cutter, meat tenderizer and some props for my food photography. The area around there is called “de pijp”. They have nice cafés, bakeries and shops there. Definitely worth a visit!AM31Amsterdam30The next day I hopped on the back of Sophies bike and we started the day with delicious coffee from Coffeebru on the eastside: They soon will open another café not far from the original one. In the café it smells like fresh roasted coffee beans, as well as fresh croissant out of the oven.AM7We continued our tour towards the city, over the bridge, and stopped at a big and very hip designer shop called the Hutspot on ‘van woustraat’. What a place! I could have spent hours in the shop, exploring, trying things on or just looking at well dressed individuals. They also have a nice café on the top floor.Amsterdam4Amsterdam5We continued our tour (me still on the back of the bike) back to ‘de pijp’, where we had lunch at this special salad bar, called SLA (dutch for salad). There you can either choose from a range of salads from the menu or you order straight from the salad buffet in front of you. I had the grilled organic chicken with rocket salad, red quinoa, pumpkin, cauliflower, broccoli, pumpkinseeds & pinenuts. I actually topped it with green lentils. It was just divine. I very much like the design of their website: http://ilovesla.com/en/ and I also very much liked their vegetable prints on their walls.Amsterdam10Amsterdam12Amsterdam11Amsterdam13Opposite of the street there was a shop, where you can buy recipes and the exact ingredients you need to cook that one recipe. I knew this concept already as it is very similar to the company KochAbo I work for, as well as the Kochhaus in Germany or Feinkoch in Vienna. It was still quite interesting to have a look around and especially at the different food products they sold, such as popcorn with goat cheese.AM10 AM9After that we continued our journey towards the so called nine little streets to do some more shopping and exploring. We had a relaxing glass of wine at a bar called Brix. In this area you also find a very nice 2nd Hand Shop called ‘Episode’. Later we went to a great Italian and quite well known restaurant around there that is called 'De Italiaan'  in 'bosboom toussaintstreet'.  Believe it or not, they even had gluten-free pizza there. I was the happiest girl in town with my truffle pizza topped with rocket salad. After that we caught up again with Robin to have a farewell drink at a bar called Zouk.AM11All in all I had a fantastic time in Amsterdam with my great friend and even better city guide. And I want to finish this blog entry with the words I found on the website of SLA.We’re into food that moves us. Makes us smile, share and speak.We’re into food as into life. Maximizing its potential.

Some more impressions...

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