{case value="case-studies"} {/case} {case value="news"} Bruce Gillingham Pollard - {/case} {/exp:switchee}

De Kas Restaurant and Nursery, Amsterdam

Outstanding dining, situated in a vast greenhouse, serving home-grown produce

Outstanding dining, situated in a vast greenhouse, serving home-grown produce

Emily Spencer

Amsterdam; the capital and most populous municipality of the Netherlands, is known for its contemporary shops, forward fashion and some less desired reasons.

Having visited over a decade ago I didn’t remember too much about the city, making my arrival quite surprising. The skinny buildings are so full of character and there were an array of shops I could happily spend far too much money in. Friends we travelled with enjoyed the city so much, they were returning only a few months after their first trip, meaning our visit was already planned out and we had reservations in some of the best restaurants.

All of our meals were delicious, ranging from street markets to high-end dining but De Kas particularly stood out. The restaurant and nursery is located in a set of greenhouses, dating back to 1926. Once owned by the Amsterdam Municipal Nursery, the greenhouses were due to be demolished until Gert Jan Hageman; a Michelin star chef stepped in, saving and transforming the nursery to what it is today.

Situated in Frankendael Park, if it wasn’t for the constant stream of cyclists passing by, you almost felt out in the countryside whilst being in the heart of the city. The setting is an oasis of calm, the staff are super friendly and the chefs look relaxed and happy, on view for patrons to see. The ethos being the restaurant and nursery, is that food tastes best when it is prepared with the freshest, local ingredients, so using the original purpose of the site, the majority of the herbs and vegetables are grown in the greenhouses and gardens at the restaurant, and on their farmland in the Beemster area.

A fixed menu is created daily, focused around the ingredients harvested that day, which in turn minimises the possibility of waste and means upon each visit you are feasting on new flavoursome dishes. It also means the vegetables are unbelievably fresh, light and the star of each dish, elevated to another level.

After sitting in an 8 metre high glass building, eating flavour combinations I had never experienced before, and being able to walk around the nursery and gardens to see the produce first hand, made this an unforgettable experience and makes every other meal seem mundane.

Next time (there will definitely be a next time), I am determined to dine in the evening, I have heard the setting is even more magical at night, sitting underneath the stars (almost) with warm ambient lighting.