If you are looking for a relaxed, down to earth restaurant in Amsterdam, with delicious food, friendly staff and good wines/beers, then you don’t have to look any further: Cafe-Restaurant Amsterdam it is! I was there recently and today I’ll share my experiences with you!
Cafe-Restaurant Amsterdam is situated in the old machinery pump chamber of the city, that was built during the second half of the 19th century. Since 1853 dune water (from the Dutch dunes) was pumped via a huge, cast iron pipeline system, towards Amsterdam. Citizens could buy 1 liter clean and soft dune water for 1 cent, a bargain! Therefore it became more popular soon and the city needed more pressure to get the water everywhere in the city of Amsterdam. Therefore this machinery pump building – where the restaurant is now – was built.
The machinery room, including 4 big diesel engines, was used until 1996. Then Amsterdam decided to use another, bigger and better machinery pump room, about 200 meters further in West-Amsterdam. Since the 20th of December 1996 this place is Cafe-Restaurant Amsterdam – the ‘living room’ and favourite of many locals.
Bread, butter and red wine (Rasteau ’14 Domaine de la Soumade) is always a good idea
The menu at Cafe-Restaurant Amsterdam is big and there is something on it for everyone. Salad with burrata, tomato, aubergine or rucola for the veggies, Vitello tonnato or carpaccio for those who like their ‘classics’, oysters, the real Dutch grey shrimps with lemon mayonnaise, Boudin noir (black pudding!! ohhhh!), escargots, salmon with horseradish, Dutch herring or chicken soup to start with. Oh, and for the fancy ones: there are beautiful fruit the mer platters available too! For mains there is a big choice too. What about steak frites (always good), or Merguez lamb sausages, grilled sea bream with caponata, gamba’s with aïoli or ravioli filled with artichokes. All main courses are served with French fries or potatoes of your choice and a green salad.
We decided to start with Boudin noir (black pudding) with caramelised apple. My all time favourite! (Read here all about the market in Amsterdam where they sell the best boudin noir) And we ordered delicious snow crab with cocktail sauce. You have to crack the legs of the snow crab yourself to get the tasty crab flesh out yourself. I always like to eat with my hands so then it’s perfect. But if you don’t like to play with your food rather choose something different.
For the mains we decided to order the Rib-eye béarnaise and the Confit de canard….
…and that turned out to be a good choice! The Rib-eye was tender and chargrilled, béarnaise sauce very tasty and thick (yum!) and the confit de canard just perfectly prepared, served with sauerkraut, thyme and rosemary potatoes and garlic.
The confit the canard with Sauerkraut, rosemary-thyme potatoes and garlic was perfect. When you read this article I am in France (or on my way back) and I will try to find some tinned confit de canard to take home to cook with….
The list of desserts at Cafe-Restaurant Amsterdam is long and includes tiramisu, panna cotta with blackberry sauce, Greek yoghurt with honey and walnuts, crêpes, ice cream, dame blanche or ginger bolls with cream. I decided to have an espresso with 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream. Boring? Yes, maybe. But I was quite full already and I always like vanilla ice cream.
Cafe-restaurant Amsterdam is situated on Watertorenplein 6, Amsterdam and is open every day from 10.30 until midnight. The average price of a starter is 8 euro, for a main 17 euros and for dessert around 6 euros. A bottle of house wine costs 23,50 and there is an extensive beer menu too. The lunch menu is different from the evening menu and includes sandwiches, salads, small lunch dishes, coffee and cakes. There is a nice reading table with news papers and magazines.
*Note: I have not been asked, paid or invited to write about Cafe-Restaurant Amsterdam. It was my own idea as I like the place. All images are mine, made with a Canon EOS M camera.