Miss Foodie’s Guide to Amsterdam

Amsterdam is probably my favourite city in Europe, I’ve been 5 times in the last 2 years!  It’s only a 45 minute flight from London costing as little as £40 return, and it has some of the best foodie spots.  Plus its so small that you’re practically able to walk everywhere, making it great for exploring.  The canal views are not bad too!

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Where to have breakfast:

De Bakkerswinkel

This place does the BEST french toast.  It’s made from brioche and served alongside maple syrup.  It’s super cute and cosy inside, but is very popular so be prepared to queue on weekends.  Its also great value for money, they throw in a juice and hot drink with any breakfast plate you order!

Location: It’s a chain, but the most central one is just off Dam Square at Warmoesstraat 69, 1012 HX Amsterdam, Netherlands

Website: www.debakkerswinkel.com

Price: €10 – €15

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Where to have lunch:

Pancakes Amsterdam!

Here you’ll find some of the best pancakes on the planet.  Pancakes Amsterdam serve Dutch style pancakes, American style and mini poffertjes.  My favourite are the Dutch savoury pancakes, I always get the mushroom, spinach and dutch cheese pancake (because Dutch cheese > English cheese, obv)

Location: There are 3 branches throughout Amsterdam, but the largest venue where you are most likely to be seated quickly is at Prinsengracht 277, 1016 GW, Amsterdam

Website: www.pancakes.amsterdam

Price: Approximately €10

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Where to snack on Chips & Mayo:

Manneken Pis

This is actually just a chip stand, but chips with mayo seems to be a Dutch favourite, there are so many chip stands in the city but this one has been voted the best. Don’t be put off by their name & logo!! What I love about it is that whilst queueing you can see the hot chips being prepared in the background and placed onto one giant chip mountain!  Make sure you get the classic chips with mayo, its a slightly sweeter mayo than usual, but its SO good.  If you’re not a mayo fan, they have over 20 other different sauces to chose from.  Plus, they’re open late on weekends so are perfect as a midnight snack.

Location: Near Dam Square, Damrak 41, 1012 LK Amsterdam

Website: www.mannekenpis.nl

Price: Starting from €2.50

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Where to have Apple Pie:

Winkel 43

Winkel’s is probably the most exciting spot on this list.  They serve THE BEST apple pie.  Ever.  I literally have never tasted nothing like it.  They are famous for this delicious dessert, which is freshly made every day and served alongside some whipped cream.  It’s super tiny inside, but they have some lovely tables set up outside which overlook a canal.  It’s a must-visit.

Location: Noordermarkt 43, 1015 NA Amsterdam, Netherlands

Website: www.winkel43.nl

Price: €4 per slice

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Where to have Indonesian food:

Max Amsterdam

The historical Dutch-Indonesian connection means that there are so many Indonesian restaurants in Amsterdam.  Seriously, they’re everywhere! My favourite was Max, Amsterdam.  You chose between a 2 or 3 course menu which features a fusion of Indonesian and Western items.  A must-try dish is the Indonesian Seabass in banana leaf.  It’s amazing! It’s a tiny restaurant and is very popular so be sure to book ahead.

Location: Herenstraat 14I, 1015 CA Amsterdam, Netherlands

Website: www.maxrestaurant.nl

Price: €31 for 2 courses/€39 for 3 courses

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Fine Dining:

Guts & Glory

Guts & Glory is a prime dining hotspot in Amsterdam, opened by chefs Guillame de Beer and Freek van Noortwijk, who have also recently opened up a second venture, Breda.  The menu offers a single-ingredient concept whereby the chefs focus on a different type of ingredient for a few months and create a tasting menu with up to 7 courses around it. When I visited, the theme was ‘vegetables’, and they really went all out.  For dessert we had aubergine ice cream alongside a chocolate and pecan mousse, which sounds a bit strange but was honestly incredible.  The flavours worked so well together, and vegetable ice cream is my new favourite dish! Normally I’m not a fan of fine dining tasting menus because they tend to often be a case of style over substance, but here is an example of one that really works in a completely non-pretentious environment.  Reservations are necessary.

Location: Utrechtsestraat 6, Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands

Website: www.gutsglory.nl

Price: €49.50 for 5 courses

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Where to have a fail-safe dinner:

Casa di David

I call this place a ‘fail-safe’ eatery because it’s not too expensive, is very central, has a great atmosphere, and as it is Italian, caters well to vegetarians and fussy eaters (who doesn’t like pizza?!).  The interior is rustic, warm and cosy and if you request a table on the top floor next to the window you will have great canal view.  The ingredients are super fresh, almost tasting as good as in Italy itself.  Their pizzas are particularly delicious, as was the fresh pasta.

Location: Singel 426, 1017 AV Amsterdam, Netherlands

Website: www.casadidavid.com

Price: Approximately €30 for 2 courses

What to do:

Have a picnic in Vondelpark

Vondelpark is a great place to have a picnic, pick up some delicious picnic food from Pluk or Sla and head over (when the weather is good of course!)

Art

My top art galleries are the Rijkmuseum or the Van Gogh Museum. They are both next door to each other so you could even visit both! The Rijkmuseum features Dutch Art from the Middle Ages to the present day, and features some key paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer and other Dutch Masters. The Van Gogh museum is massive, and is dedicated to the works of Van Gogh and his contemporaries in the Netherlands. Here, you can view his famous ‘Sunflowers’!

Anne Frank’s House

Anne Frank’s House sits on the pretty Prinsengracht canal and inside you can visit the Annexe where she lived whilst in hiding. It’s super moving and extremely popular, the queues are up to 6 hours long! So if you visit, definitely book in advance.

‘Cheese Hopping’

Dutch cheese is easily some of the tastiest I’ve ever tried! There are so many cheese shops dotted around the city, and most of them have free samples. I’ve had truffle, pesto and even chilli flavoured cheese! If you want to find the largest choice of free cheese samples, visit the Cheese Museum…its delicious!

Flower Market (Bloemenmarkt)

This is more than just a flower market, it’s the world’s only floating flower market! Besides smelling amazing, it’s a great place for a colourful afternoon stroll, and you can even pick up some bulbs to take back home!

Easter Rocky Road

Prep time: 25 minutes 

Makes approximately 30 squares

I love Easter (Probably because I was born on Good Friday!). But also because Easter chocolate is better than any other type of chocolate! This Easter Rocky Road recipe is full of Oreo Easter Eggs, Mini Eggs and M&Ms… And lots of other things that are super delicious and not very good for you!


These Rocky Road bites honestly taste amazing… I took a batch to the office and they were literally gone within seconds. The soft marshmallows and the crunchy biscuits provide the perfect combination of textures. The marbled finish also makes them so pretty and perfect for serving the family over Easter.  It’s so easy to make, and doesn’t even require baking!



Ingredients:

  • 200g Dark Chocolate (this can be any type or brand of chocolate – I like to use Asda’s Smartprice brand, it’s so cheap, yet is one of the best tasting chocolate I’ve tried!)
  • 200g White Chocolate (this should be a ‘best for baking’ type of chocolate, to avoid curdling)
  • 100g mini marshmallows
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 90g mini eggs 
  • 90g mini Oreo eggs (these can also be substituted for mini creme eggs)
  • 160g digestive biscuits
  • A handful of pink cake decorations including hundreds of thousands and mini hearts.
  • 50g M&Ms
  • Pink food colouring 
  • Blue food colouring 

Method:

  1. Line a square cake tin with baking parchment.
  2. Melt your dark chocolate, golden syrup and butter in a saucepan over a low heat. 
  3. Place your digestive biscuits in a sandwich bag and smash with a rolling pin until the biscuits are around the size of 5p pieces. Add these to your saucepan and stir until all the biscuit pieces are covered in the chocolate mixture. Add half of the mini eggs and half of the marshmallows to the mixture and stir so they are mixed together.
  4. Pour your mixture into your baking tray and pat down firmly with a wooden spoon. Add a few more mini eggs and marshmallows on the top but make sure there are still some left over for the topping.
  5. Divide your white chocolate into 3 glass bowls and bring a saucepan full of water to boil. Melt the first batch of white chocolate in the bowl over the saucepan. Leave this batch uncoloured. Once melted, drizzle over your biscuit mixture in the cake tin. Add a few more mini eggs, marshmallows, Oreo eggs chopped in half, and a few m&ms on top.
  6. Melt your next batch of white chocolate and add the pink food colouring. Drizzle over your mixture in the cake tin to create a marbled effect. Add a few more mini eggs, marshmallows, Oreo eggs chopped in half, and a few M&Ms on top.
  7. Melt your final batch of white chocolate and add the blue food colouring. Drizzle over your mixture in the cake tin to create a marbled effect and add your remaining mini eggs, marshmallows, Oreo eggs, M&Ms and sprinkle your pink cake decorations over the top. 
  8. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours, until hard. 
  9. Cut your Rocky Road into small squares and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks (if they last that long!!)

Venerdi

Overall: 8/10
Location: Homerton

Venerdi (meaning Friday in Italian!) is a bright and airy Italian restaurant situated on Hackney’s bustling Chatsworth Road. It’s such a lovely place to sit and have lunch, with large French Windows and a waft of wood fired pizzas and garlic hitting you as you enter the room. The restaurant has recently undergone a renovation, and now has a relaxed, yet elegant vibe.

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To start we were served warm bread with an olive oil, balsamic vinegar and rosemary dip and a side of olives, which all tasted super fresh. This was followed by the calamari which was another top starter, and was served with a home-made sweet chilli sauce. What really stood out at this stage was the freshness of the ingredients, which made every dish particularly delectable.

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The menu is well priced, with pizzas starting at £9 they also serve fresh pasta and INCREDIBLE desserts! The chocolate fondant was one of the best I’ve ever had, it was crisp and crumbly on the outside with a warm melted centre.

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The starters and the desserts really stood out for me, the pizza main and salmon in lemon butter were also delicious but nothing can beat that chocolate fondant! Everything was well-presented and I cannot fault the food, which tastes super authentic. Even their coffee rivals some I’ve tried in Italy! I’d also recommend sampling one of their cocktails, the mojito was a favourite at our table!

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The staff are super friendly and welcoming, making my overall experience at Venerdi super positive. In the summer, this will be a particularly lovely place to visit, with heaps of natural daylight and also outdoor seating.  This place is a must visit if you’re ever in the Hackney area!

Website: http://www.venerdi.co.uk

Address: 9 Chatsworth Rd, London E5 0LH

Courgetti Bolognese 

Overall time needed: 1 hour 15 minutes 

I’ve been a bit naughty this weekend and may have overindulged in carbs and chocolate yesterday! (Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a balanced diet and am a firm believer in the importance of carbohydrates… But 5 plates of pasta is probably too much!)  So today I’ve tried to make up for it by whipping up my Courgetti Bolognese. It’s packed with protein and loadsa veg and is a perfect Sunday night dinner. Plus any leftovers can be taken to work for lunch on Monday! I used lamb mince but this could be easily substituted with beef or turkey if you prefer.


To make this recipe you’ll need a spiralizer – one of the worlds greatest inventions!! It’s so useful, not just for courgetti, but for making vegetable crisps and also jazzing up boring salads. If you haven’t got one yet I’d wholeheartedly reccomend it. 


Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 250g lamb mince (this could be substituted for beef or turkey)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 150g mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 red pepper 
  • 1 stick of celery 
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 1 chicken stock cube (450ml boiling water)
  • Pinch of salt and crushed black pepper 
  • 2 courgettes
  • grated cheddar cheese, to serve 

Method:

1. Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the lamb mince. Fry until browned and then set aside in a bowl.

2. Fry the onion on a low heat for 5 minutes, then add the garlic, carrot, red pepper, celery and mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes until softened. Re-add the mince to the pan. 

3. Add the tomato purée and the chopped tomatoes and stir so all the ingredients are mixed together. Add the salt and pepper. 

4. Add the chicken stock in boiling water and then lower the heat to simmer for around 45 minutes until the sauce has thickened. 

5. Whilst the sauce is brewing spiralize your courgettes using a spiralizer. 

6. When the sauce is ready, add your courgetti to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until lightly softened. 

7. Serve and top with some grated cheese. Enjoy!

Spicy Chicken and Chickpea Salad 


I am a firm believer of packed lunches, and spend most of my Sunday evenings meal-prepping for the week. Hence why I’m super excited to launch this new ‘packed lunch’ recipe section on my blog! I genuinely hate spending money on an overpriced salad or sandwich from a supermarket for lunch, plus home cooking is always healthier.
Also, on a side note, I love this lunchbox, which was a birthday gift from my lovely colleagues because I get so hungry that I usually end up eating my lunch by 11:30am!

Over the years I’ve come up with some great recipes which I can’t wait to share with you guys… Starting with my spicy chicken and chickpea salad! Now that the weather’s (finally) getting warmer I’m switching up my soups to salads. This salad is packed with protein meaning it’s actually filling and will keep you going throughout the day. I find it doesn’t really need a dressing because the seasoning on the chicken and the chickpeas ends up spreading and diffusing through the salad, but you can add a dressing of your choice if you prefer!

Prep time: 20 minutes 

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken breast, chopped into small cubes 
  • 50g chickpeas 
  • 25g sweetcorn 
  • 3 sundried tomatoes, chopped into slices 
  • 25g mozzarella cheese, chopped into small chunks 
  • A handful of rocket leaves 
  • 10 olives 
  • 8 cherry tomatoes 
  • 25g cucumber, chopped into small cubes 
  • 2 teaspoons paprika 
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala 
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander 
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

Method:

1. Fry the chicken cubes in olive oil on a medium heat for 5 minutes, or until cooked through. 

2. Add the chickpeas and sweetcorn to the pan. Then add the mustard seeds, garlic, paprika, garam masala, ground coriander and a pinch of salt and pepper to the pan and cook in the spices on a low heat and leave to simmer for 5 minutes. Leave to cool while you prepare the rest of the salad.

3. Add the rocket leaves, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, sundried tomatoes, olives and mozzarella to your lunch box and then add the cooked chicken and chickpea mix. Toss the salad so that all the ingredients are mixed together. 

4. Store in the fridge until ready to eat and then enjoy!

Chocolate Biscuit Bites

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I originally saw this recipe being made on Blue Peter over a decade ago! They called it ‘Blue Peter Party Cake’, but then a few years later my best friend came over with the same exact cake calling it ‘Polish Cake’.  Either way, it’s been a firm favourite in our household ever since, and we now call it ‘Chocolate Biscuit Bites’ because, well, that’s basically what it is!

They are super buttery and delicious and basically taste like biscuits dunked in hot chocolate.  What’s not to like?

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Prep time: 15 minutes 

Ingredients:

  • 225g plain biscuits (I used plain digestive biscuits)
  • 110g margarine
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • 2 dessertspoons cocoa
  • 2 dessertspoons drinking chocolate
  • 1 dessertspoon caster sugar

Method:

  1. Break up your biscuits by placing them in a freezer bag and smashing them with a rolling pin.  Break until they are around the size of 5p pieces.
  2. In a saucepan, mix the margarine, the golden syrup, cocoa, sugar and drinking chocolate over a low heat until combined.
  3. Once they’ve all melted together, pour the mixture over the biscuits and mix it all together with a wooden spoon.
  4. Spoon the mixture into a well greased cake tin, I used a square one so it can be cut into mini squares but you can also use a circular one if you prefer.
  5. Put some greaseproof paper on top and then, to keep it tightly packed together, stick a plate on top and then a couple of tinned soups or beans to weigh it down.
  6. Leave to set overnight in the fridge, then remove and cut into squares.
  7. Store in an airtight container at room temperature, enjoy!

Pivaz 

Overall: 9/10

Good for: brunch, casual dining with friends 


Pivaz is an all-day Turkish eatery on the vibrant Chatsworth Road in Hackney. I’d never actually ventured out to that side of London before, but I will definitely go back, there’s so many cute cafes and eateries round there, Pivaz being one of them.


The food is a modern and British take on Turkish food, with dishes such as burgers and English breakfast plates with a Turkish twist featuring on the menu. 


They have a great cocktail list, I had the elderflower fizz which was a mix of prosecco with subtle hints of elderflower. 


To start I had the calamari and for the main I went with the veggie burger which was MASSIVE! And stacked with halloumi, portobello mushrooms, red pepper, aubergine and hummus, and served alongside sweet potato wedges which were seasoned to perfection. 


But the star dish of the day was definitely the prawns. They were served in a white sauce alongside some rice, which is undoubtedly the best rice I’ve ever eaten. I didn’t even realise it was possible for rice to taste that good! According to our waiter, it was cooked in a Turkish butter, which made it so delectable. 


Another highlight was their home made chilli sauce, it was super fresh and is testament to the kitchen’s high quality ingredients.


For dessert we had the sticky toffee pudding – it was just as amazing as it looks in the picture below!


The interior is cosy and relaxed, I LOVED the decor featuring patterned top tables and teacups hanging from the ceiling. The staff were kind and welcoming and overall it was a great experience, definitely worth travelling across London for! 


Pivaz currently have 2 branches, one in Hackney and one in Epping, with a third branch in Brentwood opening soon!

Address: 35 Chatsworth Road, London E5 0LP 

Website: http://www.pivaz.co.uk