What I ate: Amsterdam

When I traveled to three cities in Europe back in February, I sacrificed a good chunk of my baggage allowance to make room for cup noodles and Fita biscuits and otap (don’t ask). This was because I was convinced that I wouldn’t be able to afford to eat decently where I was going, and dying of starvation in the Paris Métro was obviously not in my bucket list. In hindsight, I really need not have gone to such extremes because I actually ate rather well in Europe. In fact, I ate quite lavishly for one who was meant to be traveling on a budget. (This is when I pat myself on the back for having a penchant for over-budgeting.)

Now would have been a good time to share what I ate and where. However, not only did I manage to take just a handful of food photos, I also did not have the presence of mind to take down the names of the various establishments that I ate in (except, perhaps, for the IKEA in Amsterdam, and we all know why that doesn’t count). This is where I fail as a blogger.

And as further proof of my failure, I did not even find any of the places that I planned to dine in. I had a whole list, largely based on TripAdvisor reviews, which I completely forgot about the moment I got there. Not that I minded. The restaurants and cafés that I did manage to drag my hungry, half-frozen self into were each fantastic in their own rights. I can still see each one of them in my mind’s eye, and I reckon I know exactly how to find them all when I go back. We shall see soon enough.

First, Amsterdam!

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This was the closest that I have ever been to Scandinavia (so far). It would’ve been morally wrong of me, indeed, not to partake in Swedish meatballs and a variety of delicious desserts with names I can’t pronounce.

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Oh, wait! I do remember the name of this place! Mainly because it’s K and B’s favorite neighborhood Chinese restaurant. It’s called Fook Sing, and not only did it have the most amazing wanton noodle soup in the whole, wide world (so good, I didn’t get to take a picture!), it also had the most loquacious Chinese hostess/waitress/owner in the whole of Amsterdam. And don’t get me started on the duck . . .

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On my second day in Amsterdam, K and I had a lovely brunch in a lovely café off a lovely square. I had bacon and eggs, and it somehow it tasted better than all the other bacon and eggs that I’ve had my entire life. I also ordered milk to go with my tea, which the waitress – and myself – promptly forgot. When she finally turned up with it (apologizing profusely, I might add), she told me it was on the house. I was blown away. That sort of thing never happens in the Philippines!

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We also ate in some sort of foodcourt-slash-cafeteria place atop the Centrale Bibliotheek, or the main public library. I had a huge chicken sandwich that B had to finish for me because it was, well, huge.

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And then there was that burger joint somewhere close to Rembrandt Square. As I was starting to find out, Dutch portions are massive, and my burger was no different. It was so big that it lasted me 3 meals. I was leaving for Paris the next day, so I took it with me and ate it for lunch and dinner because I’m economical like that.

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My second weekend in Amsterdam was spent in Zaanse Schans, gawking at windmills and eating gigantic cheesy Dutch pancakes like this beauty above. Look at all that melted cheese goodness!

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Dessert was a pastry called advocaat, which was all sorts of yummy. I still salivate at the thought.

Though it might seem that I ate out a lot in Amsterdam, much of my time in the city was actually spent eating my hosts out of house and home. Both K and B are excellent cooks, so I was one extremely well-fed guest. K cooked up a storm of Filipino food, from adobo to champorado. Hell, she even had dried fish. The (then) pregnant lady was just happy having someone to eat Filipino fare with, methinks. Of course, I was more than happy to oblige!

They also introduced me to the stroopwafelI loved it so much that I brought home loads of it. And then I got severely depressed when I ran out after two weeks because I did not have the foresight to pace myself.

And, of course:

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I got hopelessly, irrevocably hooked on Gouda. I suspect this is one of the main reasons why we chose Amsterdam to move to later this year. And really, should there be a better reason than that?

Next stop: Paris and Rome!

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