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


Restaurantweek 2014: I ENVY me

Every year in March and September, it's restaurantweek in the Netherlands. You pay 27,50 EURO for the pleasure of dining. Some restaurants try to make off easy, by making a 'middle of the road' three course menu that will please 'most people'. After having been to about 10 restaurants for restaurantweek, I've seen it more than once. But ENVY does it differently: this chef chooses to showcase his talent and takes on the restaurantweek challenge to shine. My tastebuds are still in awe.

Pork belly lacquered with hoi sin sauce at ENVY, on the Prinsengracht in Amsterdam
The food was creative, gourgeous and delicious. A feast for the eye, an adventure of textures and tastes. There were five courses (amuse bouche, hamachi with lime, pork belly lacquered with hoi sin sauce, a Bloody Mary 2.0 and a Donkey Kong dessert to finish) and I fully understand why ENVY has made it to the number 1 or 2 favourite restaurantweek menu the past years.

The ambiance is a little dark, with spots for dramatic lighting. But it fits, because it's different and ENVY does things differently. And then there's the service. We were served (among others) by a lovely girl with a very long pony tail and fiery red lips: friendly and passionate about the food she served. The young man who came to explain to us what was on our plates before each course was very knowledgable, knew all the dishes and their many elements by heart and presented the dishes to us with a talkshow host flair that we found amusing.

Margerita 2.0 at ENVY in AmsterdamTo sum it all up: it was the best restaurantweek experience to date. It was my birthday yesterday and I envy me for having had dinner here. In fact, I would like to go to ENVY on my birthday every year!

Prinsengracht 381
1016 HL Amsterdam
+31 20 344 64 07


A Thursday Friday list in Amsterdam

Random November Thursday morning in Oud ZuidOn this, a capricious Thursday afternoon with sprinklings of clouds and sunshine, I find myself a little down in the dumps. The combination new job/exam period at school is wearing me down.

So! Time to make myself feel better. Eventhough it's not Friday yet, I think it's time for my blog's first Friday list. Here's a list of things that make me thankful:

1. sunshine. Everything's just better when the sun shines (or 'less bad', depends on what kind of glass you have ;))
2. friends. They offer help when it's needed and even if they can't help, the fact that they want to warms my heart.
3. our flat. I love the light and the space. We have doors that can be closed, an actual bathroom, an actual kitchen. Ok, so after two months of living here it's all still not finished yet (in part due to the fact that new things keep breaking down), but hey, we'll get there.
4. Amsterdam. Look at the photo I picked for this post. Isn't it just gorgeous?
5. Leafde! I love this new find on the Prinsengracht. Will post about it soon. I bought a pair of amazing Amsterdam earrings from a lovely woman called Harumi.
6. and last but not least, let's end this list with liefde. Levi is always there for me. He warms my feet when they are cold at night, he cooks for me when I am stressed out, cramming for exams or trying to finish a project. He makes me take time off to sit in the sun with homemade cappuccino.

Thank you.


Any given Tuesday

Just thought I'd share one of the many, many reasons why I love Amsterdam: look at this photo. Just a random Tuesday evening in the Spring, when the light is starting to last longer. Spring evening in Amsterdam, Prinsengracht


IJscuypje is taking over Amsterdam

IJscuypjeAfter my April post on IJscuypje on the Prinsengracht, in which I mentioned that they also have a branch in the Albert Cuyp area in Amsterdam, I have seen another branch pop up on the Haarlemmerdijk and Levi spotted one on the Amstelveenseweg (direction of Amstelveen). It looks like IJscuypje's franchise is taking over Amsterdam!

The website was still under construction when I posted about them last time, but now it's up and running. Here's a link to the page with their exact locations in Amsterdam.


Gorgeous yoghurt-cherry icecream at IJscuypje

IJscuypje on the PrinsengrachtHaving just put the thumbcrews on a wellknown French actor at the Ambassade Hotel I decide to reward myself with an icecream on the way home. I stop at IJscuypje on the Prinsengracht. I've passed by here a hundred times on my way home from the centre, but I've never gotten around to trying it out. This cloudy/sunny/cloudy/sunny day is the perfect opportunity.

I opt for the chocolate cookie icecream and then decide to splash out and get the yoghurt-cherry too. The scoops are huge (as well they should be, for the hefty sum op E1,50 for one or E2,75 for two). You can get a cone or a cup, but there are no kiddie cones (as opposed to everywhere else, like Monte Pelmo).

The yoghurt-cherry flavour is divine. The cherries are tart and plentiful, the yoghurt full but fresh. The chocolate cookie icecream is creamy, with swirls of a crunchy cookie consistency and a nutella-like chocolate and nut flavour. The cone it all comes in is a bit thick and doughy for my taste. I prefer the silly light kiddie cones, as they don't interfere with the taste of the icecream. If ever I return here, I must remember to get a cup instead of a cone.

Perfect location on the Prinsengracht
And I may well come back, because as in real estate, there's one thing that is crucial: location, location, location. And IJscuypje is very well situated in the heart of Amsterdam.

When I was once in De Pijp, I noticed that there is a branch there too. As it is near the Albert Cuyp market, I am assuming the chain started there. But I can't find IJscuypje on the Internet, so I can't give you any additional addresses besides the one I got off the Prinsengracht branch's businesscard. (Stupidly, the website listed on the card is:, but it doesn't contain anything to do with icecream)

Prinsengracht 292
1016 HJ Amsterdam