Everybody wants to have dinner in Amsterdam Noord these days. This is hardly surprising. Although separated from the rest of Amsterdam by the river IJ, free ferries zoom across the water from behind Amsterdam’s bustling Central Station every couple of minutes. Accessibility can hardly be an issue these days.
The old image of Amsterdam Noord as one of the poorest districts in the city is now well and truly fading. Already the new skyline commands attention. The latest addition – the Eye building (Film Institute Netherlands) joins the ex-Shell building to catch our eye.
Over the last couple of years, restaurants concepts of above average quality have popped up throughout Amsterdam Noord, attracting more & more South of the Ij Amsterdammers to this green & picturesque riverside. Amsterdam Noord is on the doorstep of many pretty little rural villages as well as the natural park Het Twiske. It also houses a yacht marina which is usually packed in summer.
Over the past 10 years, we have always enjoyed visiting & exploring Amsterdam Noord. On this particular occasion, we came to dine with friends at Café Modern.
Café Modern sits in a building that used to house the local branch of ABN Amro bank. You can still explore the old bank vaults when you visit the bathrooms downstairs. In a large dining room, Café Modern offers a fixed 5 course menu for EUR40 per person in a relaxed and convivial atmosphere. Personally, I like this arrangement very much. It’s as if the chef has chosen the very best dishes for me personally! And as everyone is more or less is eating the same dishes, the food becomes a focal point of discussion with everyone at the table comparing flavours and commenting on the combinations. The Café Modern team do run through everything with you first to make sure that you’re ok with all the ingredients on the menu.
We found the courses to be perfectly sized so it was no problem whatsoever to enjoy all 5 dishes and even fit in an extra cheese course.
Every week, head chef Sander van Melick creates a new 5 course menu. On the evening we were there, we enjoyed the following dishes:
Dish 1 – a rather delicious combination of belly pork, soft-shell crab & radish.
Dish 2 – Argentinian potato (Argentina being the country of origin of the potato) combined with ‘worst’ and pancetta.
Dish 3 – a sublime dish of gnocchi with cantharel mushroom and fennel.
Dish 4 – wild duck, sauerkraut & quince
Dish 5 – tarte tatin.
With these, we enjoyed a Grauer burgender spätlese, followed by a red Chinon.
Our menu was intriguing to say the least, and we all enjoyed it thoroughly. The creative pairings, such as pork belly and soft-shell crab worked extremely well. Overall, this was excellent food, served with passion in a relaxed environment.
Café Modern is open for dinner, Monday to Saturday from 19.00.
It’s also open for lunch, operating as Jacques Jour.
Above the restaurant, the team have installed a hotel, so you can enjoy an overnight stay!