Parool – Carstens Amsterdam
The local Amsterdammer who, for unclear reasons, ends up at the Nieuwendijk and is looking for something to eat, has two choices: die hungry or reluctantly find comfort in a tourist trap with bright pink waffles of questionable quality.
Although, venturing into the Hasselaerssteeg, you will find the newly opened Carstens, a slick brasserie with a solid menu by concept-chef Maik Kuijpers (33).
For fourteen years Maik was the chef of De Librije, a three Michelin star restaurant. He had the idea to bring the farm to the city in a refreshing and accessible way with this brasserie. Words like ‘honest’ and ‘beautiful products’ define the menu and the restaurant focuses solely on Dutch products. More entrepreneurs are likely to boast local, forgotten and undervalued ingredients, but Kuijpers really tries to surprise his guests. Enjoy shrimp cocktail in hollowed out salad leaves, brussel sprouts roasted on the stalk or crispy kale caesar salad. Note: Even though Carstens Amsterdam may offer a low-threshold experience in contrast to De Librije, it is still really a chic experience. Anyone who expects to eat a small burger (€ 16) in plain sweatpants may will feel somewhat uncomfortable seated in such gold-colored chairs. In that case, then better go find one of those pink waffles.