Amsterdam Restaurant Week takes place twice a year (in spring and autumn). From 1st to the 10th March, customers will have the opportunity to try out some of the finest cuisine in Amsterdam, with the choice of a full 3-course dinner for 27.50 € or lunch for 22.50 €, (excluding drinks).
Flinders Café, one of the participating restaurants, located on Frederik Hendrikplantsoen 36, caught my attention about two months ago. I get De Echo, the free local newspaper every week and in November, Flinders Café had just started to advertise their Prosecco Brunches. Every Saturday and Sunday, between 9.30am and 16.30pm, they offer eggs and toast with cheese, croissants with strawberry jam, coffee or tea plus a glass of quality champagne, all for 9.96 euros. The café is only ten minutes walk from my house and I pass by it at least once a week on my way to yoga in Amaliastraat, which is very close by, so I thought I’d try it out.
I booked a table for 6.30pm on the 16th January but because I’d had a late lunch, I wasn’t hungry enough at 6pm to have a full dinner. So I phoned the café at 5.30pm and asked them if I could postpone the reservation till 7.15pm and they said that was fine. The photos of the restaurant on their website make the café look really inviting and true to its word, the atmosphere was cosy and inspiring. The interior of the café was designed by American designer Kenneth Jaworski and all the chairs, lamps and other furniture you see there can be bought at the webshop:Flinders Design. They are also the first place in Amsterdam to have heated chairs on the terrace, quite a unique feature in Amsterdam.
When I walked into the café, I was greeted by the guy behind the bar and told that I had my choice of tables. Off to the right of the bar and down two steps, was a brightly-lit open alcove, with semi-circular comfy couches and round tables. I decided to sit at one of the tables here. I liked the feel of this little corner of the café, with fun and quirky photos of people in various scenes on the walls. It took over ten minutes for the waiter to come and serve me but that was because of a misunderstanding on their part. They thought that I had booked a table for two and that I wanted to wait for the second person to arrive. I had only booked a table for myself and told him this, so he came over then with a menu and asked me what I’d like to drink. I ordered an iced-tea.
They have a good selection of sandwiches, snacks, breakfast, lunch and dinner options and a meal of the month where you can chose to have a two-course meal for 27 euros or a three-course meal for 32 euros. None of the main courses on either of these menus appealed to me so I opted for the Fish and Chips, with salad and tartare sauce, which was on the main menu. The fillet of fish was coated in breadcrumbs and sat on top of half a bowl of oven cooked chips. The salad – lettuce, red onions and green olives – was doused in a vinaigrette dressing and was quite crisp and fresh. I enjoyed it. It was filling and tasty. I thought to myself “what the hell, I might as well enjoy the experience and order the chocolate tart, tea and a brandy” and did just that. The chocolate tart had a soft, chocolate mousse filling that melted in my mouth. The base was a thin layer of sponge and it was all encased in dark chocolate which crackled every time I dug my spoon into it.
While I was drinking the tea and brandy, I was reading the book that I had brought with me. It was a good thing that I did bring something to read, as there were no other customers in the café, which I was a bit disappointed about. I guess with the cold weather and the snow outside, I shouldn’t have been surprised that it was so quiet. There was a good selection of music on the sound system; a mixture of popular songs that I recognised from the ‘80’s. The waiter did come over once or twice to ask if everything was ok. I asked for the bill and the total came to about 22.50 eur which is quite reasonable. It’s a comfy place to sit, relax and enjoy a good meal. I would come back here again but I hope it will be a little busier the next time.www.flinderscafe.nl