So I came up with the subject of business lunches since one of my main passions in life is cooking and my main passion is, well, eating (going to the gym isn’t).
One of the other reasons for my choice was a self-image of me playing this sort of Michelin-Guide-restaurant-reviewer-role, who will even make chefs like Mr. Ramsey sweat
in the kitchen and waiters attend to my every need & demand …
Back to reality (and the fact that when I proposed this to my boss, he laughed at me as if he was watching an episode of Fawlty Towers for the first time); I have been to the below suggested restaurants, so unfortunately no need to go again on the bosses’ expense.
Okay, so this is the scenario; you are in Amsterdam for business, you need to have a meeting about this & that but would like to avoid stuffy meeting rooms; you know the ones that come without oxygen, U-form seating, stale coffee and school canteen-like sandwiches prepared the night before. Better option: going out for lunch. Even though Dutch cuisine is not renowned like the French or Italian; Amsterdam boasts some pretty good attempts. Here is my top 8 of potential meeting venues to get some food for thought.
Located in the centre of Amsterdam, one can find Sumo; a Japanese restaurant with beautiful oriental-influenced decor, contradicting the hustle and bustle of the Leidse Square. Okay, there are some rules that you have to follow when eating here, however this is all compensated by one of my favorite phrases: ALL YOU CAN EAT! Oh yes! So now the general rules: you have 2 hours to do so. You have 5 rounds and per round you can order 5 dishes per person.Out of respect, you are expected to eat what you order (which is never a problem for me).
A cozy & homely type of lunch-room which is more suitable for the casual-type business meetings or get-togethers. Dig into sandwiches with regional & seasonal toppings, home-made soups and killer fried eggs. No microscopic dishes with fancy yet futile garnish; what you see is what you taste and what you taste is a fantastic blend of good honest products!
Located alongside a quiet canal just behind the Leidse square, this cafe has a bit of a Parisian feel to it. Suitable for all regarding variety and portions; from salads, to sandwiches, to hamburgers and a choice of 4 different types of fries (which is a little detail that I think, makes all the difference!)
Don’t let the name discourage or encourage you for that matter, the word ‘vak’ in Dutch means ‘section’. This restaurant is located in the south of Amsterdam, near the World Trade Centre, in the Olympic stadium which used to be home to football team Ajax in our glory days. The menu consists of a melange of European & Asian ingredients and flavors. Dishes that I highly recommend: ‘Ossenhaas (tenderloin) Vakzuid’ & the ‘Tempura’, both of which are the signature dishes of the restaurant. Be sure to order a portion (or two) of fries with their famous wasabi-mayonnaise: absolutely lush!
If you are not a fan of fish…well this is not really your thing even though they do have 1 non-fish dish. However, if you are; prepare to be amazed! Chef and owner Michiel Deenik is a scientist/artist with his diverse creations and signature dishes like the sashimi and bouillabaisse, not to forget the fantastic oysters for the real fans! And then we have the wine…this is a book I just want to read over & over again! It contains abeautiful combination of classics and new world wines from countries such as Chili, New Zealand, South Africa and Australia. If in doubt about what to choose, the knowledgeable waiters & waitresses will be more than happy to offer advice. The restaurant is located right across from the Rai Congress Center and poses as a good pit-stop to do some business when attending an event there.
You may have heard of the ‘haute cuisine’ dish of Holland: the ‘kroket’. A bit of history for you: Croquettes originated from France in the 1800s and were invented as a way to use up leftover meat. It then became a popular method after World War II in The Netherlands. A young man named Aat van Dobben started doing the same successfully and in 1945 opened his ‘broodjes’ lunchroom, with the van Dobben kroket as the crowd-puller. Don’t expect a gourmet meal here. These are back to basic sandwiches and the decor of the lunchroom is even more so. However the service is fast & friendly and the sandwiches & toppings are mouth-wateringly incredible.
Okay, so if you’re a vegetarian there is no point reading further, Loetje is for real carnivores! The meat is fantastic and the gravy is so good I just want to dive in it. This place has real atmosphere and is always quite busy, so if you are looking for a quiet place to discuss budgets and forecasts, maybe do that in the office beforehand! P.S, for the die-hards who always have room for more; try the ‘sticky toffee cake’, it is fantabulous!
Located in the Nieuwmarkt area in a monument building, this restaurant has quality dishes at a good price. This combination is accomplished by having a menu with just 5 starters, mains and 2 desserts, all prepared by 2 young & ambitious chefs. Enjoy international cuisine with excellent national as well as international products. They also have a separate meeting/lunch-room for business purposes that can fit up to 28 people and, on request, the kitchen can prepare a 3 to 4 course business-lunch.
Christmas Shopping in Amsterdam (Dec 12, 2011)
Picture Perfect - Dutch Masters (Dec 08, 2011)
Amsterdam Business Lunches (Aug 31, 2011)
Prior to arrival in Amsterdam (Jul 07, 2011)
Find a Brewery in Amsterdam
Amsterdam Rules: That’s Just Fine
Destination of the Month: Berlin
Welcome to Amsterdam
Amsterdam by Bike
If You Say So…
Dutch Public behaviour...