Portuguese food in Amsterdam: Girassol, reviewed

Please note that since writing this blog post, Girassol has closed down

A quick bit of Googling informs me that girassol means sunflower in Portuguese. So it seems fittingly ironic that the first time we were able to get a table at Weesperzijde restaurant Girassol was on the first rainy day Amsterdam has seen in months. We’d tried on previous occasions, but the terrace was either too packed or too hot. But last Friday, sitting inside a cosy Mediterranean restaurant adorned with blue and white tiles and replete with a warm hubbub was the perfect counterpoint to the weather outside.

We ordered a bottle of red wine – I think it was from the Douro region – and a few starters (€6-14) to share. Spoiler alert: I loved every one of the entradas. Clams were heady with white wine and garlic and plenty of salty ocean flavour. Seabass ceviche didn’t look all that promising but tasted fantastic – the fish firm and fresh, the vegetables crunchy and the citrusy juices full of pizzazz. And saltcod croquettes were just as they should be: crispy on the outside, soft and pillowy textured on the inside, with a lightly spiced mayonnaise.

Portuguese food in Amsterdam - restaurant Girassol
Bright, sunny starters at Portuguese restaurant Girassol

Feeling fairly full by this point, we split a main course (€22) between us: a whole octopus tentacle, grilled to charred perfection and served with sweet potato purée and buttery vegetables. We had to order more bread to soak up the juices from the various dishes – it would’ve been a crime to waste them.

Sated and happy, we walked home in the rain – the good old Amsterdam summer rain. Normal Dutch weather has been resumed.

all the info

Girassol (Portuguese)


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