During my recent stay in Amsterdam I had the pleasure of having lunch in one of the most significant and interesting restaurants in Amsterdam. The word ‘organic’ seems inevitable when talking about this place and so does ‘light’, which is a great part of the restaurant’s soul and concept. Only top quality ingredients will make their way to the plates here, and the restaurant even has its own nursery to maintain the level of freshness and quality. I’m talking about Restaurant De Kas – and here’s my review of it.
Fancy a gourmet dinner that probably beats anything you ever tried before? Then do yourself a favor and try out De Kas in Amsterdam next time you’re in Holland. It’s a place worth traveling for if you’re a lover of quality and good food, but also if you wish to overcome your prejudices against organic cuisine. cause there is more to it than raw vegetables on a plate!
A tram took us directly from the buzzing city centre of Amsterdam to the peaceful surroundings of Frankendael Park, where the restaurant is situated in green, idyllic settings. It takes approximately 15-20 minutes and after the meal it’s definitely recommendable to take a stroll in the park.
What meets us a massive greenhouse, which dates back to 1926 and was previously owned by the municipality of Amsterdam. In 2001, top chef Gert Jan Hageman, who had previously earned a Michelin star for his effort in the field, took over the place and converted it into the restaurant we know today.
Fresh and local
An 8 metre-high glass building greets you at the entrance and you know you’re about the experience a different dining experience.
We were met by 2 friendly waiters, who showed us to our table in the middle of the greenhouse. It was raining outside, but that really didn’t matter. I was captivated by the extraordinary light and the minimalistic interior of the restaurant, which – even though it was minimalistic – provided a cosy ambience.
We ordered two glasses of rosé wine and an accompaniment of large, green olives and a snack of cauliflower. After a quick look at the menu we decided to begin with 3 starters followed by a main course and a dessert.
The waiters were attentive and just 10 minutes after ordering we received our 3 starters each, which consisted of different, local specialities. My favorite was the salmon with asparagus followed by the chilled soup of beetroot.
De Kas daily daily create a menu based on the harvest of the nursery, which means not two days are alike. Furthermore, the kitchen is inspired by the pastoral Mediterranean cooking style with fresh, local vegetables playing an important role.
Moving on to the main course, I had the most delicious white fish, which says a lot, as I’m not usually into dishes with fish as a main ingredient (except for salmon). But every bite was a pleasure as it was very well-prepared and had just the right texture.
After the main course we had the last serving, a dessert consisting of luscious, fresh strawberries with meringue, compote of rhubarb and celeriac. An interesting mix proving to be the best one I’d tried for weeks!
Full and happy we ended our meal and began our little tour around the property of De Kas. One of the friendly chefs showed us to the kitchen, where a couple of smiling chefs greeted us and gave us a sneak peak of the room ‘where the magic happens’. Afterwards we went to the nursery to experience the delicious vegetables, which we just had a taste of before. All kinds of Mediterranean vegetables, herbs and edible flowers were growing both inside and outside, but the most peculiar delicacy I encountered was a small fruit with the look of a lemon; a hybrid between a mandarine and a lemon.
Our lunch at De Kas had come to an end and what an experience! I’d like to return some day to enjoy a dinner in the private garden of the restaurant, but until then I can only send my warmest recommendations to pay the greenhouse a visit. I’m convinced it’s one of the finest – or should I say best – restaurants in Amsterdam.
For more information on De Kas go to www.restaurantdekas.nl.
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