This month's restaurant recommendations include a Lewis Carroll themed fish bar, a healthy all-day brunch perfect for sunny spring days, and what some are calling the best Thai food in Amsterdam.  

The new one: The Walrus & The Carpenter

The latest in a frenzy of fish bar openings in the city is an easy-going eatery in fast-gentrifying Javastraat, with a décor that embraces nautical clichés. There are life buoys on sea green walls, fishnet lamps, washed-up wood and a large mural depicting Lewis Carroll’s characters, for which the restaurant was named. In the eponymous poem, a walrus and a carpenter lure a bevvy of big oysters from their bed for ‘a pleasant walk’, only to gobble them up ‘along the briny beach’. Fittingly, oysters play a prominent role here, with at least four varieties on offer daily and an oyster happy-hour on Sundays (from 15:00-16:00) with Creuses - so fat and fresh you can still taste the ocean – for €1.00 each. The rest of the menu is reasonably priced too, with offerings such as crunchy calamari (€7.00), perfectly cooked razor clams (€6.50) and simple fish and chips (€12.50). Of course, there’s a good selection of bubbles and whites, but we were far more impressed by the clever pairings with local craft beers, such as Oedipus Brewery’s sensational Swingers, ‘the first Dutch Gose beer’, made with Citra hops, grapefruit, lime and sea salt, a zingy counterbalance to all that rich protein. Javastraat 40 //

The critic's choice: Foodhallen

Amsterdam’s hip high-end indoor food court is still drawing in the crowds two and half years after opening, but the recent addition of a number of new stands is an excellent excuse to (re)visit. Try Taqueria Lima West’s chipotle braised beef tacos with fresh herb salsa, pickled cactus and sour lime cream (two small soft tacos for €7.00), Pita’s top shelf chicken döner kebab with housemade garlic sauce and harissa (from €6.50) or Dimsunting’s Hong Kong fusion creations. Don’t forget to admire the former tram depot’s original features – exposed tram rails, raw brickwork walls, arched olive doors, soaring glass ceilings – and check out the adjacent shops. Bellamyplein 51 // Foodhallen

The classic one: Fa. Pekelhaaring

The cross-generational clientele somehow suits the mismatched furnishings at this quirkily named café-restaurant, which has become a neighbourhood favourite for its reliable Med-led cuisine and casual vibe. The food is affordable and unpretentious: think deep-fried sprats with lemon (€6.50), classic beef tagliata with rocket, balsamic vinegar and shaved Parmesan (€19.50) and vegetarian lasagne with portobello mushrooms and spinach (€13.50). Dessert’s a no-brainer: the white chocolate cheesecake with raspberry sauce (€6.50) is renowned. Van Woustraat 127-129 // Fa. Pekelhaaring

The trendy one: Dignita

Head to Zuid for a healthy yet delicious all-day brunch that goes way beyond smashed avo on toast. The courgette and chickpea fritters with grilled halloumi, minty yoghurt, yolky poached eggs and cashew nut dukkah alone, is worth the trip, but there are also various smoothies, gluten-free granola bowls, homemade crumpets, eggs Benedict and lemon-poppy seed pancake stacks. And, if eating all that fibre doesn’t make you feel smug, knowing that 100% of the profits go to a good cause should do the trick. Koninginneweg 218HS //

The quick & simple one: Boi Boi

Classic Thai cuisine contrasts a contemporary decor with graphic white-on-black designs, whimsical window art and a monkey mascot. Share the mixed appetiser platter (€9.45), followed by an aromatic massaman curry with lamb shoulder, sweet potato and coconut milk (€18.95), washed down with house brand Bok Bok bock beer. Dapperstraat 12 //

Text: Karin Engelbrecht for A-Mag Amsterdam Magazine March-April 2017