Dinner at Belhamel

brouwersgrachtWhen mama is town things get fancy; that’s why we went for dinner at Belhamel yesterday. One of the restaurants on my “where to go for dinner” wish list. This cute Parisian style restaurant is located in the Amsterdam neighbourhood Jordaan. It’s a very cosy somewhat romantic restaurant at an even more romantic location overlooking two of the typical Amsterdam canals; Brouwersgracht and Herengracht.IMG_2947We started off by selecting a bottle of white wine to over think our menu choices. Besides their a la carte menu they have a seasonal menu to choose from as well. Most of the dishes derive from French – Italian cuisine but all of them have a multi-cultural twits to it.

After reconsidering all possibilities – I am the worst at making menu decisions – I decided to take a starter from the seasonal menu and my main course from the a la carte menu.

So to begin with I had a half quail stuffed with a soaked plum and armagnac parsley jus. My brother choose for the sautéed prawn and scallop with puff pastry and a chive-shrimps beurre blanc. My mother enjoyed the fish plateau with lobster, smoked Bawykov salmon, crayfish rosti and a ravigotte sauce.

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As my main course was New Zealand rack of lamb and Jan was having grilled organic Iberico cutlet we had to change from white to red wine ;). We choose a delicious Cotes de Rhone from Chapoutier to accompany our great meal. I have to say my side dish – an egg-plant biscuit – was literally the best food I had in months. Or to quote “I want to marry this cookie”.

Because the food was so good, we couldn’t resist to try the desserts as well. My brother choose the classic profiteroles and I opted for the delicious white chocolate cheese cake and raspberries.

Belhamel dishes have been rewarded with the Michelin Bib Gourmand award for 6 years in a row. Besides this prestige price they also received a certificate of excellence on Tripadvisor – rated 4,5 out of 5. So it is not just me who loves their food. If I were you I would add it to your “where to go for dinner” wish list as well.

A last advise is to go with your mother as the prices of the menu are somewhat above budget for the job-hunting youngsters amongst us.

Enjoy!

Welcome To The Future

wttfTo be honest it took me a while to buy a ticket, lucky enough two days before it sold out, but in the end I was very excited to go to Welcome to the Future (WTTF) last Saturday. The seventh edition of the festival, organized by ID&T , was hosted in Het Twiske near Amsterdam.

WTTF is a environmentally conscious festival rated 3 out of 4 stars by “A Greener Festival Award”. However, as heavy rain was predicted we decided to go by public transport instead of by bike (not so environmental friendly of course). Funny to know though; WTTF organises a special bike route all the way from Amsterdam Central station. Any problems half way? No worries, they even organise a pitstop that has repairman with a magic touch and a special ‘Pimp my Bike’ team. Next to that you can re-load at with a refreshing, biological beverage and snack!

A pity we had to miss this 11KM ride, as my bike can use some serious pimping, but the shuttle service from train station Sloterdijk took care of us arriving rain-free at the entrance of the festival. After the usual “ticket, backpack and empty your pockets” check we got our locker, dropped our stuff and got the party stared.wttf3 wttf2 wttf

The festival site, divided into seven areas and two “organic” food corners, was nicely decorated with colourful balloons and romantic hammocks. As part of their being green mentality the terrain was kept clean by a Green Team, a group of volunteers picking up trash. A nice idea, but they lost the battle against empty cups within one hour. Besides their team of volunteers WTTF tried to stimulate environmental friendly behaviour by offering the opportunity to collect 10 plastic cups and exchange them for a token for another drink. However, in my opinion, the greenest solution was the free tap water in reusable bottles. Because when the sun came out the heat was almost unbearable. Shirts came off and manly six-packs make girls thirsty.

Music wise I only had one DJ on my wish list; De Sluwe Vos (which would be translated into the sneaky fox). He played the smallest stage, the forest, but had the biggest party. As we were a team of seven we checked out most stages, but decided to stick at the forest and main stage as those where the outside stages. We did check out the Circus Tent for the set of The Man With No Shadow but stayed outside to enjoy the sun. By the time closing act Joris Voorn entered the main stage the field was filled with totally excited party people. The crowd went wild, and although his set wasn’t as bad-ass as usual, I really enjoyed his performance and dancing my favourite techno dance moves to it.

Unfortunately, half an hour before the festival would end the music stopped. We were lucky to have a sunny day with no rain, but around midnight some really bad weather including thunder storms was predicted. The organisation took no risk and decided to send everybody home before all hell would break loose. Wise decision in the end! We made it home save, sound and looking forward to the next edition of WTTF.

As we will have to wait a while for the after movie of 2013 check out the video of 2012 and some of my party pics below.

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Dinner at Pink Flamingo’s

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It has been a few days that I was online to blog something. But summer is full-on (we are currently experiencing the first heat wave since 2006) and let’s be honest the few sunny days we have must be enjoyed to the fullest. So, the past few days I spent relaxing at the beach in Zoutelande. Not so coincidentally elected the best beach of the Netherlands by Zoover. A nice picture to proof this on the side.

But as befits a city girl, after a few days of “hanging” at the beach, it is time to go back to the lively city and meet up with friends for social activities, preferably in the wining and dining category.

So, yesterday I met with Joyce, part of our usual group of four, for a dinner for two (as the other ladies are enjoying the sun overseas). As always we tried to find a restaurant that we haven’t been to before. This time we choose for a pizza place with a slightly tropical name, Pink Flamingo’s, to celebrate summer and talk sex & the city. This small restaurant is located in the heart of one of the most popular neighbourhoods in Amsterdam “De Pijp” (Gerard Douplein 8).

pink flamingosLucky as we are, we were able to find a front-row spot on the cosy terrace, otherwise completely filled with happy people enjoying drinks and pizza. And because we were thinking pizza we were expecting the usual suspects on the menu like a margarita, Quattro Stagioni and 4 cheeses. But no, Pink Flamingo’s offers nothing like that. Their slogan “Pas commes les autres” (not like the others) gave it away a little bit of course. Instead of the ordinary pizza’s they have a menu filled with funky combinations that you would never imagine to be delicious on a pizza. To name a few; the Obama with bacon and pineapple chutney and the Ho Chi Min with chicken, shrimps, green curry and coconut milk.

We, however, decided to take the Pizza Du Moment (made with season products and inspiration of the chef) and a Aphrodite and split the two. The Pizza Du Moment was topped with fresh figs, pistachios, goat cheese and honey. The Aphrodite was nicely decorated with slices of grilled egg plant and humus. So like I said not your ordinary pizza, but super delicious nonetheless. Accompanied with a few glasses of sauvignon blanc and summer stories to share we could not ask for anything more to enjoy the lovely evening.

pink flamingo amsterdamSo I would definitely recommend to go and try out the tasteful 2.0 pizza’s. And, no worries, Pink Flamingo’s is not only based in Amsterdam. The chain also has four restaurants in Paris, and locations in Bordeaux and Valencia. If you are living close enough to one of the shops consider yourself lucky; Pink Flamingo’s delivers there pizza’s at home as well, but by bike only.

Funny fact; Pink Flamingo’s Amsterdam is co-owned by Jaap Reesema winner of the 3rd series of X-factor in the Netherlands. The chances of running into a Dutch celebrity are thus very high.

Interested in reading more about Pink Flamingo’s and their pizza philosophy check out their website: pinkflamingopizza.com. Interested in enjoying the best beach of the Netherlands, let me know and I’ll hook you up with some great tips.

Enjoy summer!

A pleasure doing business with you…

A pleasure doing business with you…#businesscards #careerchange #jobhunt

A post shared by Niki Seelen (@nikis202) on

My new business cards arrived. It is time to start looking for new career opportunities as a Creative Project Manager. It begins, off course, by sending out my resume, handing out my business cards and using my network to meet the right people.

It will be pleasure doing business with you.

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Now playing…De Sluwe Vos

Sometimes you realise that time flies. Over a month ago I was dancing to the phenomenal beats of the Sluwe Vos at Amsterdam Open Air festival.

De Sluwe Vos is a young Dutch DJ that is able to make the crowd go wild with his highly energetic music. Or as beatport likes to describe it; aggressive kicks, resonating strings, and hi-hats that cut through your eardrums.

Check out the set played by De Sluwe Vos at Amsterdam Open air.