As little as a decade ago, there was a desperate dearth of Dutch restaurants in Amsterdam, with only a smattering of tourist traps, some better than others. But with at least four new Dutch restaurants opening in little over a year and a recent Low Food symposium , which aims to create a Dutch food revolution, times are changing. “We have everything we need to make it happen,” says Joris Bijdendijk, a talented local chef and one of the initiators behind Low Food, “we have a wealth of good products and talented young chefs”. One of these up-and-comers is Alex Haupt. Fresh off Netflix’s The Final Table, his buzzy new restaurant 101 Gowrie combines the chef-owner’s Antipodean upbringing, Eurasian roots and inspiration from his adoptive land to create what he calls a “New Dutch Cuisine”. Of course, celebrating Dutch flavours isn’t novel, and similar terms like the “New Dutch Kitchen” are now well-used. In fact, restaurants like the iconic De Kas, next-door Merkelbach, hip Wilde Zwijnen, and chic Bolenius were Dutch farm-to-table pioneers. And, more recently, De Pijp-based Floreyn, Frisian specialist Thuskomme and Bijdendijks’ RIJKS have also made their mark as passionate purveyors of pure local flavours and seasonal products. The latest additions to the Dutch food scene include two brasseries, Carstens Brasserie and Brasserie De Roode Leeuw, and, at De L’ Europe, the new So Dutch Afternoon Tea presents classic Dutch flavours with tea-time finesse. With plenty of places to choose from then, there’s perhaps no better time to try a cuisine that places local produce on a pedestal than right now, in the spring, when a treasure-trove of creamy Limburgian asparagus and delicious Dutch strawberries await you.
Join me at the table via my Amsterdam restaurant podcast, Mokumista, where I talk to chef Alex Haupt about the historic inspiration behind his dishes at 101 Gowrie (at 14:00), or get the inside scoop on what to order by checking out the most recent episode (at 14:00) in which I sample the whole menu at Carstens Brasserie with fellow foodie Eveline Kuyten and we discuss our favourite dishes.