Calling itself ‘an eclectic selection of culinary locations’, Must Eat Amsterdam is not intended to be a comprehensive restaurant guide to Amsterdam, but rather a highlights tour, showcasing the best the city has to offer.
Author Luc Hoornaert has an interesting background. He’s the owner of SWAFFOU (Sexy Winemakers Association Fighting For Overall Understanding), a website devoted to wine education as well as Swaffood, which sells high end Japanese ingredients. He’s also the author of the Must Eat series of books, which cover New York City, London and the Netherlands and now have a specific title for Amsterdam.
The photos are by Kris Vlegels and they are mouth watering. He captures from brilliant shots of the chefs and owners of the various restaurants as well, along with some interior photos of some of the locations.
It’s a stylish little book with a brief introduction and photo (along with contact details) of each restaurant included. It then highlights one dish from the menu along with a photo and offers a description of the restaurant, the chef, the menu and the ambiance as well as some quirky facts about the place.
The book itself is organised by location, breaking down Amsterdam into its geographic components (Centre, West, East, South and North.) The bulk of the selection are unsurprisingly located in the Centre with South also having a good showing. Usefully, each location also includes their average price, ranging from under €12.50 to over €40 for a main course and a drink.
The locations range from food stalls to high end restaurants and nearly everything in between. Cheese shop Abraham Kef makes the list as does &Samhoud Places. Cuisine varies from croquettes to seafood and from Surinamese to Spanish.
There is no ranking system for any of the restaurants included in the book and each review is written with such gusto, that it is hard to imagine any as falling short. Unfortunately, the author gives us no criteria for any any restaurant was included in (or, for that matter, left off) the list.
Overall, it’s a pleasant little book that leaves the reader hunger and with a list of must try places in Amsterdam. It would be a good edition for the bookshelf of any foodie living in the country, as well as a reasonably good list for any tourist.