Review: Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen in Amsterdam

The ‘Fifteen’ concept
Since 2004 Fifteen has been serving well-made, genuine food in an old warehouse situated at the harbor of Amsterdam, but the food isn’t the only thing worth coming here for; it’s the apprentice programme as well. Jamie Oliver has gained great success with his programme, allowing 15 apprentices to work at the restaurant in order for them to establish a better life. These 15 employees (waiters, chefs etc.) are mostly younger people, who have faced massive challenges in their lives and at Fifteen they get a second chance to change their life completely. An amazing concept if you ask me, and definitely the reason why I was even keener to spend a night here. Fifteen is located in a quite empty area of Amsterdam, or at least it’s not the neighborhood you’re most likely to spend an evening in. Situated in an old warehouse on a pier, the restaurant combines the past with the present in an elegant and modern way. There’s plenty of space and high ceilings with old rafters.

Honest food in laid-back surroundings
It’s a Monday night and still the restaurant is quite full. People laughing, eating and enjoying themselves in all corners of the warehouse, and luckily, we get a table in front of the kitchen. It’s an open one, so we can see directly where the magic happens.

The ‘forgotten’ vegetables

A young man hands us the menu and asks us what we’d like to drink. I go for white wine and so does my friend, whom I haven’t seen for ages. She lives in Amsterdam and our reunion is definitely something to celebrate! The menu is attached to a clipboard and it looks nice and simple. No hidden agendas, just a manageable selection of starters, small dishes and main courses. The desserts would later be presented independently. I go for a steak tartare with egg yolk and cripsy sourdough for a starter and my friend, who’s a vegetarian, chooses the ‘roasted, forgotten vegetables’ with parmesan cheese. The starters appears on our table about 15 minutes after we’ve ordered and my steak tartare is super simple yet very delicious. Who would’ve though a steak tartare without most of the ‘garniture’ would be this good? I certainly didn’t.

The sea bass

Our main courses are served just 15 minutes after we’re done with the starters. Dutch leg of lamb with string beans and potatoes for me and pan fried sea bass with fennel and roasted tomatoes for my friend. The lamb is almost too good, leaving me full after just finishing half the plate. But still, we have to try the desserts! This time around, I go for the Dutch strawberry with white chocolate and rhubarb ice cream, and my friend chooses the mocha cake consisting of caramel, biscuit and Butterscotch ice cream. As the dessert-lover I am, I’m absolutely stunned by the lavish portion of fresh strawberries and white chocolate that dominates the plate. It’s very sweet and maybe a bit cloying if you finish the whole thing, so go for the cheese or the mocha cake if you’re in lack of that sweet tooth. To accompany our desserts we had two glasses of dessert wine.

The Dutch strawberry

The staff at Fifteen, is quite young, adding a casual and laid-back atmosphere to the restaurant. This is not fine dining, but genuine food in relaxed settings allowing you to bring both your loved one for a romantic dinner as well as your parents or friends for a casual meal. The ambience is cosy and the food is fresh and tasty. What more could you want? The location (apart from the beautiful old warehouse) isn’t the best, so do go by car or taxi if possible.

For more information about Fifteen in Amsterdam go to www.fifteen.nl.

Fifteen Jollemanhof 9
1019 GW Amsterdam
Phone: +31 20 509 5015

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