Discover Benelux, Issue 55, July 2018

Page 28

Discover Benelux  |  Amsterdam City Centre  |  The Ultimate Summer Destination

Contemporary bistro-style dining TEXT: MALIN NORMAN  |  PHOTOS: KAAGMAN & KORTEKAAS

Kaagman & Kortekaas is a hotspot on the Amsterdam food scene. It is well-deserved too, as this bistro-style venue is popular for its tasty food combinations and fabulous wines. The restaurant is named after its owners Giel Kaagman and Bram Kortekaas, who met in the midst of their culinary careers: Giel as a chef, Bram as a maître d’and sommelier. With an education in classic French dining, Giel prepares traditional dishes with a modern twist, while Bram makes sure only the best wines find their way to the restaurant. Opened in 2015, it quickly became a success with great reviews and is still going strong. The menu is inspired by the contemporary bistros in Paris and based on what is currently in season and available in the local market, often combining new and interesting flavours. “Our guests are often surprised,” admits Kortekaas. “For instance, we serve

Dutch lobster with Dutch rabbit, a combination that works really well. We try to make food more accessible, not to shock guests but rather give them a great fine-dining experience they might not have expected, and in a casual setting.” Chef Kaagman explains that the menu changes every week. “We still have the same concept and ideas for our restaurant, but it’s important that our menu develops and incorporates seasonal and sustainable produce. Every week, we have six new courses, often combining meat and shellfish and in harmony with our beautiful wines.” The successful duo is still exploring and developing their business bit by bit - for example, adding more wines to its list and offering interesting food and wine pairings. Last winter, Kaagman & Kortekaas expanded its venue and now also offers private dining at the back, with a separate kitchen and bar as well as staff, serving up to 34 people.


Amsterdam’s cosy, Moulin Rouge-style restaurant and club


With its sumptuous red velvet and dark wood interior, entering Burlesque feels like a different time and place. Reminiscent of Paris in the 1930s, its style is cosy and welcoming. “Everyone comments on the warmth of the place and its luxurious décor,” says Bert Nijhof, founder and owner. “We’ve been open six months and I’m happy to say that our clientele is a real mixture – both tourists and locals come here to enjoy a touch of glamour and lots of fun. This street used to be Amsterdam’s main gay area,

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but I’d say now it’s a perfect mix and everyone enjoys the extensive club and bar scene.” During the week, Burlesque serves up a delicious tapas-style menu made for sharing, and mouth-watering cocktails. Gin is definitely their thing and the wine list is extensive. On Fridays and Saturdays, there is the added bonus of a burlesque show ‘with a twist’, explains Bert. Janey Jacké, one of Holland’s most famous drag queens, dons her sequins and feather boa for a show-stopping performance together with Burlesque’s talented professional dancers. A

special show-menu is available to complement the evening’s entertainment, and the performance takes place between courses. Expect a star-quality night of sensual overload. For a night to remember, full of fizz, fun, entertainment and delicious food, Burlesque can seat up to 70 guests and the space can be rented for private parties too. An intimate terrace area overlooks the bustling street below. Web:

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