van Kerkwijk

100% love it
Buzzy and excellent near-best-kept secret in a quiet but central street
Situated just two minutes south of tourist-mad Dam Square in a low-profile street you'll find this minimalist and not quite big enough restaurant with loads of integrity in the kitchen. Started in 1997 by two sisters by the name of van Kerkwijk, it remains a genuine find, marked by creative and hearty meat and fish options including their signature dishes Irish steak with warm strawberry sauce and creamy coconut Indonesian chicken. The helpful and frisky staff dictate the menu from memory; there's nothing written down on paper. For the many who don't get a table right away there's a small bar at the back, which doubles in part as the spillover from the poky adjacent kitchen. Not cheap, but definitely not pricey, especially given the flavours and portions. A one-off.