Amsterdam City Blog restaurants, shops, people and life in Amsterdam


Authentic Italian flavours at Mazzo

Tomorrow I am having my wisdom teeth taken out. It's my first time at the dental surgeon and it scares the living daylights out of me. So, to celebrate my last days of being able to eat solid food, my friend Matt and I had dinner at Mazzo on the Rozengracht in Amsterdam.

Mazzo on the Rozengracht in AmsterdamI've been wanting to go to Mazzo ever since Matt sent me an article on it on The Cool Hunter. It is a huge place, with an industrial and modern look, and yet a very homely feel about it. The enormous Chesterfield on the left wall looks inviting, but I'd advise against choosing to sit there, as it makes eating off of the low table a challenge.

Antipasti misti at Mazzo in AmsterdamWe started with the antipasti misti, which turned out to be a lovely big plate full of bruschette, cuts of meat and salads. We shared everything and enjoyed most of it (I especially loved the bruschette and the small pulpo salad).

Then we both had a pasta. Matt chose the Arabiata, I had the Carbonara. The pastas come in two sizes: small for around E9,- and large for around E13,-. Very tasty and good value too! It's also very Italian: the pasta is not smothered in sauce, like the Dutch tend to make their pastas.

Mazzo's signature Pizza MazzoLastly, Matt and I shared a pizza Mazzo. It's the one with buffalo mozzarella, lardo (baconfat), rocket and truffle tapenade. The bottom was thin and crisp, somewhat like the romans like their pizza. The topping was fresh, rich and gorgeous. We had thought to try a few desserts too, but it turned out we were full after the pizza. Next time, Mazzo, next time!

There were so many things on the menu that I'd love to try. A cold pizza Primavera for one, Stuzzichini (fried nibbles, like croquettes and stuffed olives) and the toasted tramezzino from the lunch menu. I definitely need to come back here!

Rozengracht 114
020 3446402



The best of South East Asia in a nutshell

view from Utopia, Luang Prabang, LaosAfter a tour of eight weeks in South East Asia, visiting Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, Levi and I put our feet firmly on Dutch soil again last Friday.

Of course there is much too much to tell about those eight weeks, so I am going to cut it short (this is, after all, a blog about Amsterdam) and tell you only about the very best finds.

1. Mediterraneo in Hanoi, Vietnam. It is run by a true Italian and also has a place in Hue. Levi and I had the most amazing pizza's here (that tomato sauce... so tasty, sweet, intense. The best ever) and an unforgettable vegetable lasagne. It was a far cry from the usual stodgy fare, it was light and surprising and utterly delicious. In case you ever find yourself in Hanoi, do yourself a favour and visit this original Italian place on 23 Nha Tho Street.

2. Utopia in Luang Prabang, Laos. The bamboo deck, covered in comfy cushions and low sidetables, is suspended over a small valley overlooking the Nam Khan river with gorgeous sunset views. Catering to traveller's taste, the food is good, if not exceptional. This is the spot to go to for relaxing, unwinding, some lovely freshly pressed orange juice and an exciting eveningtime match of beach volleyball. It may be a bit of a walk (Ban Aphay, opposite Wat Visoun, follow the UTOPIA signs to the river), but paradise is waiting when you get there.

3. Yew's place on Ko Phi Phi, Thailand. While it is hard to find a passable latte or cappuccino on Phi Phi (for some reason they do not seem to know the difference between the two), Yew does know his latte from his cappuccino and makes strong, but flavoursome coffee, complete with lovely latte art (leaves or hearts in the gorgeous fluffy but firm foam).

The place is in fact a clothesstore, but the clothes in the store are well overpriced (as nearly everything on touristic Ko Phi Phi is). The coffee however is very reasonably priced, although there is no seating space (we had ours in paper takeaway cups on the steps of the store while chatting with Yew about coffee). Location is in Ton Sai village, towards Long Beach, near the noisy Apache Club. Look out for the grey espresso machine in the storefront.