Three weeks ago, we had the Jeune Genevois holiday on a Thursday. We took the opportunity to do our (potentially) last holiday travel for this year (excluding Christmas holiday) by taking a long weekend in Amsterdam.
I fly KLM a lot. When I say a lot, the KLM app reminded me that I have flewn 55 times with them in the past 8 years. About 90% of them, I transited in Amsterdam. Surprisingly, in that 8 years, this was my first time to actually visit Amsterdam.
Amsterdam is a beautiful city with so much things to do and see. The number of museums to visit are quite impressive. But as always, gravity tend to pull us towards food and drinks experience when we travel. While we did visit the Rijksmuseum, food and drinks dominated our long weekend adventure. Here are our favorite experiences:
Dinner at Vinkeles
I was surprised by the number of Michelin-starred restaurants in Amsterdam so, we couldn’t let the weekend pass without trying out one of them.
Vinkeles is a one Michelin star restaurant located in The Dylan Hotel. For an 8-course Chef’s menu at €145, I think this is one of the most reasonably priced Michelin-starred restaurants out there right now.
My favorites in the menu includes: raw hamachi with jalapeño, coconut and pistachio; norwegian scallops; dover sole with fennel, white grapes and beurre blanc. Aaron’s favorites included their freshly baked bread and butter.
One of the things I would recommend when visiting this restaurant is to try their wine pairing as well. It doesn’t necessarily mean getting the whole wine pairing menu. They have good selections of wine and Natasja Noorlander, their Sommelier, provided excellent suggestions.
After a fine dining experience, we had our next dinner in this cool, casual dining restaurant outside the city center that mostly serve seafood (particularly mussels) and gin cocktails.
We love mussels and gin and tonic is our ultimate go-to cocktail drink so, we were excited when we learned that this restaurant exists.
We tried their soft shell crab and mussels in creamy roquefort sauce. Their fries come with their own gin mayonnaise.
We really enjoyed the food and drinks here. It reminded me of my mussels adventure in Brussels a couple of years ago.
For their cocktails, we tried the gin with strawberry, lime and ginger beer, Jenever with pineapple, basil and vanilla, and gin with mango, lime and thai chili.
We can’t do a trip to Amsterdam without checking out the Heineken experience. A visit to the original factory of one of the world’s most famous beers was worth it.
To say that the tour included a beer tasting experience in the end is an understatement. After learning the history of Heineken and how they make their beers, guests can have up to 3 glasses of beers – one after some party room experience and 2 at the bar at the end of the tour.
When you fly business class in KLM, you get a little ceramic house with a shot of Bols in it. That’s the first time I’ve heard of Bols.
The experience wasn’t really as cool as rhe Heineken tour but it was still pretty interesting. We wanted to the tour with the cocktail making class but they were pretty booked already.
What we liked about it is we got to enjoy a big glass of Bols cocktail at the end of the tour.
Our last food adventure was visiting the Foodhallen. Actually, this made us miss our flight – but that’s a different story.
At Foodhallen, we got to try different varieties of food from Spanish cheese and charcuterie, Vietnamese spring rolls, to burgers with truffles.
One thing about Foodhallen though is that although the website says they open at 11h00, most of the food stalls only open at 12h30. But it is worth coming early, especially on the weekends, since they get really busy at lunch.
Conclusion on Amsterdam
We love it a lot! The culinary scene is amazing and worth checking out. There are still so many things we wanted to do but we didn’t have enough time. So, we’ll definitely be back.