Duende - this place is a bit bipolar in the sense that it combines the 'bruine kroeg' idea with an authentic spanish tapas experience. The food is basic but oh so good.., do NOT leave without ordering the Ropa Vieja (spanish slow cooked beef), their signature dish. It is divine. Come here for an extremely casual night out with great basic food and forceful riojas at bargain prices.
Le Salonard - this place is tiny and the owners have sacrificed table space (they only have 1 table!) for an amazing, mouth-watering selection of cured meats, cheeses, wines, patisserie and fresh artisan breads. They make the best sandwiches in De Pijp and also have soups and salads. Perfect for lunch.. the owners are warm and incredibly knowledgeable. Must visit.
Oolong - everyone needs priorities in life and my first culinary priority after arriving in Amsterdam was to find a bar shaking up a decent lychee martini. Oolong has the Li-Na on their cocktail menu, which is very decent indeed and totally satisfies my craving. A nice bonus are all their other equally nice cocktails and the large selection of tasty dim sum. Not top notch in any way, but affordable and a rather happening place to hang out...
Great place for super fresh, unpretentious seafood. The place has a buzz and is full every night (or so we were told). My grilled king crab was succulent and with a great smokey hue: top notch! Seafood will never be cheap but value for momey is really good here.
Izakaya - what a find! While we were spoilt for choice with Japanese, Nobu-style fusion & cocktails hot spots back in Dubai, we had yet to find a worthwhile similar place here in Amsterdam. Our search ended at Izakaya. Great Japanese fusion food, long and surprising cocktail menu, good service...We'll be back soon :-)
Warung Spang Makandra - home-cooked style delicious Surinam food...I've been working my way through the menu and so far everything has been extremely tasty. I love the saoto chicken soup and tjawmin fried noodles with mixed grilled meat.
Great place for informal yet fabulous dinner (perfect for date night)...Original sharing plates at affordable prices, paired with interesting wines & beers make for delighted taste buds. Some people in my company found the canteen style interior lacking atmosphere..I loved it because it is different!