In the course of my Amsterdam research, I came across de Kas restaurant. It is a highly regarded restaurant within a greenhouse that serves lunch and dinner. Perfect! We prefer to have a larger lunch than dinner and it really sounded like a cool place with delicious food.
Our reservation was at 1215 on our last day in Amsterdam. SMS was very concerned about being on time because he had picked up my phone when they called to confirm the reservation and he said they sounded very stern. Don’t worry, I wanted to be on time too! We took two trams across town to get there. It is outside the tourist center and took about half an hour, but it didn’t feel long at all. Our stop was just across the pedestrian bridge that led into the park and right in front of De Kas.
The hostess was quite nice and efficient. We were seated along the periphery of the room in a great location. I looked into the restaurant and SMS looked through the glass to the outside. He let me know of any and all cute dogs passing by. We also saw a heron grab a crab in the marshy pond outside the restaurant.
We were seated and met our waiter, who seemed like a nice young man (how to sound old lady without even trying). He had just come back from a seven week vacation and said he was a little rusty, but he seemed great to us!
We started off with “snacks,” which was a delicious bread course, olive oil (neutral, not v peppery), and a tapioca crisp served with a celeriac root emulsion.
Next, we ordered oysters that were so good! Medium sized, meaty, and pretty neutral. Not overly briny and definitely not buttery like East Coast US oysters. We both went with the vinaigrette with shallots. There was an oyster/beef tartare option that is probably amazing. It was tempting to try that spin on surf & turf, but we stayed with a reliable basic.
After snacks, we had a few bites of different amuse boche. These included radishes in a poppy seed crumble, a gazpacho of green herbs, and tempura squash. All were wonderful.
We started with our first course, a sliced tomato, basil, fennel, and strawberry stack with olive oil and a gochugaru pepper oil. It was nice, but the tomatoes were on the good side, rather than super delicious. This is a super minor point since the flavors were really cool. I’m going to try and play up the sweet in tomatoes in a future dish since I so often focus on the savory. But the strawberries in this dish were super cool.
Next we had a lemongrass foam, pea, plum and fennel stack that was a wonderful mix of textures and taste.
Our main course was an amazing mackerel dish with more foam. Oh my gosh, it was like eating the freshest fish with a taste of the ocean. Not too salty, but so savory and so good! This was really an exceptional dish!
It is possible to order 3 or 4 courses at lunch. This translates into lunch +/- dessert. SMS and I decided to go for it. We were so into the place, plus the dishes hadn’t been too large. Dessert was a super indulgent blackberry, chocolate brownie/cake, and super rich chocolate gelato. It was so good.
But then it kept going! There were two complimentary desserts, which we definitely hadn’t realized. The first was a canelé with red berries, followed by a “flower” sorbet that was exquisite. SMS was a huge fan- we’re still talking about it!
After we finished, we ditched. Jk, we paid like civilized humans and then toured the greenhouse & gardens. Oh, and in case you’re wondering since it was a hot day, the restaurant part of the greenhouse is temperature-controlled and was delightful. The AC is kept a little higher than it would be in many American places, but it’s very comfortable.
After our short walk, we headed back to our hotel to pick up our bags and head to Leiden. Lunch was really a delightful treat and a fun way to experience a culinary feast.