If you’re looking for something a little different from your evening meal while in Amsterdam, then may I suggest giving De Culinaire Werkplaats a go. Located on a quiet side street near Westerpark, this rather special little restaurant is hard to describe without sounding a bit pretentious, but I’d say that ‘interactive dining laboratory’ comes somewhere close.
The idea is to give diners a brand new culinary experience, so they (‘they’ being awesome food design power couple Marjolein and Eric) work with a monthly theme to design an artful five course menu using vegetarian ingredients prepared and presented in surprising ways. The food is artful, but the setting is informal and unintimidating – you’re asked to pour your own wine and return your plates to the open kitchen at the end of each course.
When we went the theme was Van Gogh, so we enjoyed dishes based around some of the artist’s works and lifestyle choices. Absinth cocktails, potatoes coated in clay that we had to peel ourselves, a Japanese foraging garden and a wall of chocolate were just some of the experiences that made up what was honestly one of the best meals out we’ve ever had. Check out the website to see what the current theme is.
Some pictures from our last visit:
The restaurant is only open on Fridays and Saturdays, and seats just 35 people. So early booking is advised. You can book online by email up to 30 days in advance. If your booking is for five or more people, you’ll need to call them (they speak good English).
One last tip: You might notice that there are no prices on the menu. This is because at the end of the meal you’ll be asked to pay what you think the evening was worth. Tricky eh? It’s a total etiquette nightmare for socially anxious Brits like us, so if anyone has any thoughts on what the ‘right’ amount to pay is, please do let us know in the comments below!
Fannius Scholtenstraat 10