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.)
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.
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…