Last week, I wrote a response to Thrillist’s ranking of the Rembrandtplein as the top neighbourhood for eating and drinking in Amsterdam. (Say whaaat?!) Eager to find out whether the any of the plein’s recent restaurant offerings were worth their salt (or my money), I set out to taste the lobster and burgers at surf ‘n turf joint Hummbar. The results were – umm – unequivocally horrible. At least on the burger front. Which is kind of important in a burger bar.
But as a couple of eagle-eyed commenters rightly pointed out, one bad restaurant does not an un-foodie neighbourhood make. Clearly much more research would be required. It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it.
I’d had Vietnamese restaurant Ô Mai, just off the aforementioned plein, on my radar for a little while, although I can’t now remember when or how I’d heard about it. I was due a catch-up with recently single girlfriend, so we decided to drop in for a drink and a couple of portions of spring rolls and pho.
The spring rolls were fresh and tasty, and came with three different dipping sauces, which I always appreciate. In the end, we eschewed the pho for a bowl of Hủ Tiếu Nam Vang (good luck pronouncing that one!): flat rice noodles with a medley of prawn, char siu and ground pork, and even what appeared to be a little quail’s egg. Beansprouts and broth came on the side, which meant you could make it as soupy or dry as you preferred.
I liked it, but was the overall experience of the food plus the spartan ambience and somewhat brusque service enough to convert me to the wiles of the Rembrandtplein? I still prefer Taste of Vietnam as a “posh” Vietnamese venue, and Little Saigon for its cheap-and-cheerful hole-in-the-wall nosh. Ô Mai can have four stars; but the Rembrandtplein? It’s still far from topping my rankings.
Where in the Rembrandtplein ‘hood would you like me to review next? Let me know in the comments below!Leave a comment...