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New on the Haarlemmerdijk: Deksels!

Front and tiny terrace of Deksels! on the Haarlemmerdijk in AmsterdamLevi and I used to frequent De Vries on the Haarlemmerdijk until one day, after we got back from our travels, we rode our bikes to that spot to have lunch and... found it closed. There was mail piled up on the mat, the place was deserted. Today we discover there's a new place at that location, it is called Deksels! and we decide to try it out immediately.

Our welcoming host Guus makes sure we get a seat on the tiny terrace (a bench, two tables and four chairs). A few people are sitting there already, but no one minds sharing the bench so everyone can sit outside in the sun.

There are interesting things on the lunch menu, like a salad with leafy spinach, courgette, feta and a red onion compote, or an open sandwich with merquez, cucumber, yoghurt and mint. Lunch is offered from 11.30 am until 3.30 pm. Cook Ellas stretches the rules a little bit for us, and makes Levi and me a sandwich with smoked mackerel salad and a horseradish sauce (E7,50), eventhough we arrive after 3.30. I order a smoothie to go with it, Levi gets a German weissbier.

Dinner at Deksels!
Where De Vries was only open until 6 pm, Deksels! is also open for dinner. In the evening the kitchen is open from 6.30 pm until 10.30 pm. The menu includes lovely sounding main courses like steak entrecote with roseval potatoes, jus de veau and spring onions (E18,-), or redfish with roasted fennel and baby potatoes (E17,-).

Smoked mackerel sandwich with horseradish sauce at Deksels! When our sandwich arrives we are impressed by the size (which is just as well, seeing the price of the dish). Two thick slabs of good, brown bread (from the baker on the Zeedijk, Guus tells us) are topped with a few leaves of salad and a copious amount of smoked mackerel salad. The salad is a little lacking in salt, but that is easily fixed. The zesty horserdish sauce gives the dish a well-balanced punch.

My orange-banana smoothie (E4,-) is heavenly. I was a fan of the fruitsmoothies in Asia, and it has proven surprisingly hard to find shakes of the same delicious kind in our usually cold country, but I have found a friend in calm Ellas (who, after finishing his shift with our sandwich, joined us all outside). His smoothie is smooth, fruity, full and creamy. I love it.

The terrace is a lively place, great to observe people. The Haarlemmerdijk is always busy with traffic, people on bicycles, people on foot, and trucks unloading wares in the middle of the street.

Big pot lid serving tray at Deksels!Guus, Ellas and sous-chef Victor seem like a bunch of laid back guys who have put their heart into this new place. Their sense of humour is evident in the serving trays they use. Deksels! is a very old Dutch expression, that was used as a curseword, when cursing itself was still considered very offensive. Drat! might be a good translation. Literally though, a 'deksel' is a lid. Like from a pot. And the serving trays at Deksels! are big lids of what must have been very big pots. A nice touch, no?

I'd love to come back here for dinner some time. I'm adding it to my (very long) list of (lovely) thing to do.

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