Combining Indonesian spice with European ingredients and New World wines requires a delicate touch and an experienced chef in the kitchen. Happily, Blue Pepper has both in the shape of Sonja Pereira, resulting in an intriguing menu based on seasonal produce and authentic West Javanese flavours. The classic rijsttafel is the standout offering, while finely balanced dishes such as grilled scallops with a tangy tropical fruit salad and mixed vegetables sprinkled in grated coconut add depth to the diverse menu.
Blue Pepper, Nassaukade 366, 1054 AB Amsterdam, +31 (0)20 489 7039
For a fan of seafood, there is no better restaurant in Amsterdam than Bridges; its menu features every kind imaginable from crab, prawns and octopus to sea bass, yellow fin tuna and cod. Head chef Aurélien Poirot adapts traditional French recipes to incorporate local produce and showcase the flavours of each individual fish, delicately balancing ingredients to complement rather than overwhelm his dishes. More experimental patrons can sample something from the Raw Bar, the only one of its kind in the Netherlands.
Bridges, Oudezijds Voorburgwal 197, 1012 EX Amsterdam, +31 (0)20 555 3560
Bringing a taste of the Mediterranean to Amsterdam, District 5 is located on a picturesque square in a quiet part of the city, and its sun-drenched patio is the ideal place in which to showcase its rustic Italian cuisine. The menu is updated every fortnight to make the most of fresh seasonal ingredients but relies on a core foundation of pasta, meat and fish dishes. The award-winning house wines complement each course; many dishes even feature a specific kind, such as the grilled wild boar with paprika and a rich Barolo sauce.
District 5, Van der Helstplein 17, 1073 AR Amsterdam, +31 (0)20 770 0884
Delightfully unfussy and unpretentious, Razmataz excels at providing a relaxed, all-day experience; dash in for coffee and homemade cake at breakfast, a classic croque-monsieur at lunch or French cuisine with Italian touches in the evening. The menu builds on a straightforward concept: high-quality organic ingredients enhanced with simple flavours, whether French-inspired or with an Italian edge such as the oven-baked aubergine served with mozzarella, parmesan, tomato and basil.
Razmataz, Hugo de Grootplein 9-11, 1052 KV Amsterdam, +31 (0)20 486 8408
Every aspect of the distinctive interior of Visaandeschelde has been inspired by its seafood cuisine, from its herringbone-tiled mirrors to its maritime prints and blue-and-white colour scheme. The menu ranges from luxurious oyster and lobster dishes to Italian-style dishes such as sea bass and shellfish risotto. Only the very freshest fish is used; the menu changes seasonally, so each visit will be filled with new tastes.
Visaandeschelde, Scheldeplein 4, 1078 GR Amsterdam, +31 (0)20 675 1583