Amsterdam Foodie

Little Collins: Western Promise

When I lived in West (which I did up until about eight months ago), I was forever sending messages to the owner of Little Collins in de Pijp: “There’s a venue just opened up in the Spaarndammerbuurt – how about a second location?!” Or: “What about this place in the Staatsliedenbuurt? I think it has a horeca licence!” I guess she finally got the hint because a couple of weeks ago, Little Collins announced that they’d just opened at a second, bigger location on Bilderdijkstraat. Great news for those living in West… which goddamnit no longer includes me! (But seemingly includes every other Westside dweller in town – I saw three people I knew on the opening weekend alone.)

Much like their first location, Little Collins West has an industrial vibe and an eclectically international menu. But it’s bigger so you should, in theory, have more chance of scoring a table. So far, I’ve popped in for both brunch and dinner: the former was as hectic as ever (Amsterdammers are still obsessed with brunch, it seems) but the latter was a more leisurely affair. Whatever time you choose to eat, cocktails, coffee and caboodles of flavour are the order of the day.

Little Collins West, Amsterdam
Winter comfort at Little Collins West

In the evening, I highly recommend you order the milky-soft white beans with succulent beef cheek, deep-green kale and punchy chorizo (pictured above) – a wintry, earthy, satisfying dish with a surprising lightness of touch. Another highlight is the ray, served with brown butter, black garlic and pickled ribbons of celeriac – a delicate fish that’s elevated by umami flavours that are real heavy hitters.

Also worth a try is the lamb kofte, which comes with cauliflower puree, cumin-spiked flatbread, dukkah, a so-called green chilli salsa verde and – at brunch-time only – a fried egg. Mr Foodie rightly noted that the green stuff was more chimichurri than salsa verde, but that didn’t detract from the overall quality of the dish.

Little Collins West, dinner and brunch
Bottom left: ray and celeriac; top right: cauliflower and tahini

Drinks-wise, Little Collins offers a good selection of wines by the glass (I particularly liked the Pinot Noir Gamay) and twists on a few classic cocktails – think Mezcal Negroni or Maple Old-Fashioned. And, if you’re into the whole Dry January thing, the bartender (formerly Tales & Spirits) will even make you a virgin cocktail. Prices are friendly, service is friendly – everything is, frankly, friendly.

My only hope, now that I live just across the river from de Pijp, is that Little Collins’ original location will be a little less busy from now on…

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Little Collins West (International)
€€

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