Culinary patriotism: todays local food celebration turned into a great restaurant concept.
A few weeks ago, I was visiting the new Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. You know, the famous museum where Rembrandts’ De Nachtwacht’ is exposed, besides many other magnificent Dutch art and history from the Middle Ages and some major aspects of European and Asian art.
Normally each self respecting museum nowadays has its own restaurant, where the food is excellent and the atmosphere at ease and non conform.
So does the Rijksmuseum. They have two.
The concept is simple but genius: The Rijksmuseum tells the story about the Netherlands, all the influences from countries far and near. At RIJKS® they follow the same pattern: food, ingredients and drinks from The Netherlands, or cultivated by Dutch living abroad; Dutch recipies re-invented and foreign kitchens who influenced the Dutch ‘cuisine’ over centuries. You can see it as a perfect example of ‘culinary patriotism’ or todays local food celebration turned into a great restaurant concept.
It reminds me of the same stunt they pulled of launching The Rijksmuseum last year. This was also a huge collaboration of all Dutch creative talent, all in honor and celebration of ‘their’ new star museum.
Dutch design. Dutch creativity. Dutch food. Genius and above all with style and confidence.
Back to the food of RIJKS.
Did I mention that all products are sustainable, locally grown or produced and seasonal and with the huge open kitchen?
And because of this impressive kitchen & counter, you can see the bunch of chefs and sous chefs preparing all kind of impressive plates.
It’s ‘head chef’ Bijdendijk who prepares unusual but wonderful combinations of ingredients that are on one hand beautiful creations to look at, but even more important, very special dishes with a delicate surprising taste & texture.
We made a selection of the ‘RIJKS’ warm menu, but the cold selection is as ‘yummie’. This is what we ate:
bakked langouste tale
curry cream_trout eggs_puffed buckwheat
clams, mussels and razor clams
butter from Amsterdam
home made mayo
soft cooked codfish filet
dry matured rib-eye
Sound great, no?
What else? A plate of salt, butter and caramel biscuits from the city’s famous Holtkamp bakery and for a great apero, the bar is stocked exclusively with Dutch spirits. The wine list tries to incorporate the patriotic influences choosing a vineyard in New Zealand by a Dutch winemaker.
The interior is airy, loads of light coming in, although the walls and furniture have a more dark feel, what is suitable when going for a late diner. The restaurant design is not really new, or exciting but lean-modern, sober and timeless. Maybe that’s ideal, it doens not take away the attention from the great food.
It works and you should visit. Now, before everyone else discovers this spot.
Rijks® Museumstraat 2 Amsterdam
+00 31 20 6747 555; rijksrestaurant.nl
Opening hours: 11.30 – 23.00
All images courtesy of Kate Stockman_The Squid stories