No More Kroket in NYC

The Dutch kroket is like Pernod in the south of France or Turrón in Alicante. A local food you discover and fall in love with while traveling but that seems to have lost all of its magic when you have it back home.

So it’s not all too surprising, but nonetheless sad, that Dutch kroket chain Danku had to close doors of its NYC location. Danku had been promoting Dutch krokets and other fried food for the last few years. They ran a cool campaign with a very Dutch cow in Central Park against a NYC skyline. And were offering Dutch staples such as the famous “Broodje Kroket” as part of their quick lunch menu.

kroket nyc danku

Now both US review site Yelp as well Dutch restaurant news source Misset Horeca have reported that Danku is closed due to financial difficulties. There also are reports that Danku will re-open in another location, so some hope remains to relive those Amsterdam moments back in NYC.

More Sake in Amsterdam

Two weeks ago I wrote about two great sake resources I discovered in Amsterdam. Places with a selection of different quality sakes, where you can get advice and pick up a good bottle of sake according to your own preferences. Turns out there is more good sake available in Amsterdam!

The first source came up in the comments of the previous post: Restaurant Yamazato in the Okura hotel has an extensive sake list (pdf), including an organic junmai ginjo and several daiginjo. The Okura is also planning to offer sake tasting workshops as part of its Taste of Okura cooking classes, although no dates have been announced yet.

And I got even more excited when I discovered that my favorite wine shop, Ton Overmars, had started carrying a selection of sakes! I went there last weekend to pick up some bottles of Tempus Two and immediately spotted the new sake section above the port and cognac. Ton now has 15 kinds of sake available, complete with classification and some descriptions.

choko sake at ton overmars amsterdamWhat was even better was that Ton spotted me checking out the sake and was nice enough to not only help me make a selection but let me taste five kinds right on the spot! Apparently I had just missed one of his memorable tasting evenings in the neighborhood church. And luckily there were some bottles of sake left open and ready to be tried.

I settled for a bottle of Sake Nabeshima Chõko,which is an unpasteurized junmai with a complex aroma and a very smooth structure from aging. Ton also has the Kizan I got some time ago at the Pure Markt, as well as some specialties like a reddish colored sake, a bottle with active yeasts and a 31 year vintage sake!

If you are into sake, you should definitely check out Ton Overmars on Hoofddorpplein in Amsterdam!

Oyster Party Amsterdam

Slowfood Netherlands is organizing an oyster party on September 13 in cooperation with Slowfood New York.

400 years ago Henry Hudson discovered the island of Manhattan and founded New York, then known as New Amsterdam. The local Indians received him well with oysters.

To celebrate the anniversary the Slowfood organizations of the Netherlands and New York are throwing a big oyster party. The event will take place on September 13 in restaurant Kompaszaal on Loods (dock) 6 at KNSM-Laan 311.

From 4pm to 6pm there will by oyster tasting and presentations by two oyster experts. The party will follow with oysters, movies and live jazz music.

Oyster Party
Oyster Party

June is Food Festival Month in Amsterdam

amsterdam-roots-festival-2009-logoJune is food festival month in Amsterdam.

Last week the Holland Food Festival and the Weekend of the Rolling Kitchens were jointly held on the Westergasfabriek. And on June 25, 26, 27 and 28 the Taste Festival will visit Amsterdam for the first time.

Another event that will be a lot of fun for foodies is the Amsterdam Roots Festival Sunday 21 June from noon to 9:30 pm in Oosterpark. The Roots Festival promotes cultural diversity and portrays Amsterdam’s global community. Seven stages will fill the air with music from local and international artists. And a world market with over 100 booths will tickle your multi-ethnic taste buds with exotic food, drink and more.

Restaurant Marius Covered in NY Times

Restaurant Marius Amsterdam is one of the four restaurants on Dutchgrub’s top Amsterdam restaurants list. So I was happy to hear from an avid reader of dutchgrub that the NY Times had just published a nice write up of Marius.

The article goes into Marius’ history. Chef and owner Kees Elfring used to cook at Berkeley institution Chez Panisse, which provided both training and inspiration for the name of the restaurant. Marius is the title of a movie that’s part of a trilogy in which the main character is called Panisse. The article also goes into details of the daily market menu that the author thoroughly enjoyed! With pictures.

It’s nice to see that Marius is getting well-deserved praise. And since it’s such a small and genuine place, I am not worried that too much coverage would ruin the magic.

dutchgrub is a Qype Insider

dutchgrub recently was promoted to Insider on Qype! My Qype profile is now highlighted by a blue star and they sent me a t-shirt and a pack of Haribo Colo-Rado.

Qype is the largest user-generated local review site in Europe with a strong focus on restaurants and night-life. It’s like Yelp for Europe. The company was founded in Hamburg, Germany, and not surprisingly is strongest there with more than 110.000 restaurants reviewed. Qype is now expanding in other European countries and has built up a good following in the UK with 40.000 restaurants currently in their database.

Amsterdam restaurants reviewd on Qype

Qype is still small in the Netherlands but is becoming an interesting alternative to current leaders iens and dinnersite. iens has been around for many years, starting out as a printed restaurant guide with content contributed by anyone willing to fill out a test form. iens is, however, steadily declining. The reviews tend to be short and generic and the search and browse functionality makes it difficult to filter out the right restaurants. Sponsored content is taking a more and more prominent place.  dinnersite organizes the restaurantweek and generally aligns more closely with restaurants rather than guests. It never managed to gain sufficient scale, and while being useful for finding general information, lacks in the reviews.

I have always loved Yelp and Chowhound, mostly for the great content by foodies for foodies and in Yelp’s case also for the nice user interface. You might need to take some time reading through the reviews, but I think it’s great how many valuable reviews foodies post there. Reading through them gives me a great impression of restaurants when researching a trip abroad. I hope that Qype – or Yelp, which is now expanding in Europe – can do the same for Amsterdam!