28 Sep Restaurant De Kas: in an Amsterdam greenhouse
Forget the Rijksmuseum, my recommendation for a visit to Amsterdam is lunch at Restaurant De Kas, translated as The Greenhouse, in a converted 1920s municipal greenhouse in a park south of the city centre.
I took the No 9 tram from Spui, near where we were staying in the trendy De 9 Straatjes, or 9 Streets district. I then travelled ten stops to Hogeweg, crossed the road, walked over the wooden pedestrian bridge into Frankendael Park; and there was De Kas, with its glass and steel structure, and slender brick chimney.
De Kas is for those who like creative, seasonal dishes, based on what is harvested each day. It is a fresh, colourful, airy experience. The herbs, vegetables and edible flowers come from the surrounding grounds and gardens, as well as their farmland 10km outside Amsterdam. All the fish comes from the North Sea and the more local Wadden Sea, protected from the North Sea by the Frisian Islands, as well as working with other carefully selected suppliers.
The garden was looking very autumnal that day, with yellow dahlias, red rose hips and green agapanthus seed heads. In the greenhouse, I found not only a pair of wooden clogs holding open the door, but tomato plants, beans and trays of seedlings, and I might just have bumped into the founder and owner of De Kas, Gert Jan Hageman.
The menu at De Kas + Dutch wine
At lunchtime there is a fixed menu of 3 dishes for a very reasonable €32.50 and 4 dishes for €42.50, with no additional costs squeezed in, like so many restaurants in London. For dinner, there is a 5-course menu for €52.50.
A wine pairing is also suggested for each course. That day the fish course was paired with a Dutch wine, Apostelhoeve, Müller Thurgau. After lunch, I was heading off to work in the Beyond 2020 pavilion of contemporary art photography fair, Unseen Amsterdam. I wanted to have a totally sharp and clear head, so I stuck with water.
What I ate at De Kas for lunch
We started with…
Mustard Cracker with Celery Dip, Greenhouse Tomatoes with Caper Leaves, Farm Veggies with Piccalilli and Poppy Seed Crumble.
Then the main meal started…
Braised Kohlrabi with Lovage, Radish, Green Beans and a Coconut Bisque …
I am a lover of lovage. I’ve tried to grow it from seed in my garden, but to no avail. A very underused herb.
Braised Cabbage with Mussels, Cumin, Green Herbs and a Piment Gravy …
Fish of the Day with Baked Red Pepper, Tomato, Potato and a Parsley Sauce …
The fish of the day was cod, cooked at 55°C/130ºF and then charred on the outside.
Poached Wild Peach with Thyme Ice Cream, Verjuice and White Chocolate Crumble …
De Kas in a gif
The one photo I did not include was of the hedgehog nosing around in the grass by the hornbeam hedge that surrounds De Kas’s grounds. So cute!
Did I get to the Rijksmuseum? As far as the entrance. I then backtracked and went instead to the Foam Photography Museum, smaller, more intimate, less touristy.