Middle East Meets Mokum: Bar Mitts – reviewed

After reviewing BARDAK the other week, I hadn’t planned to write about another Middle Eastern restaurant so soon afterwards. In fact, I’d intended to do a small feature about Indian restaurants in Amsterdam, but for various reasons that plan got derailed at the last minute. I found myself instead drinking a couple of beers at De Groene Olifant in Oost, with no dinner reservation on a Saturday night. It was a case of trial and error: call every half-decent place within a kilometre of my location on Google Maps until someone had a table. And so it was that I spontaneously turned up half an hour later at Bar Mitts, having heard absolutely nothing about it and with no expectations whatsoever. If I didn’t live in the most overcrowded city in Europe, this is the way I’d probably like to visit every restaurant. But spontaneity is not Amsterdam’s strong point.

Luckily for me, my lack of a plan paid off: Mitts is a cosy little place, with natural fabrics covering cushioned benches and greenery adorning the walls. The mezze-style menu is designed to be shared, and the fact that no single dish costs more than €10 makes it highly affordable, too. The bites and dips looked tempting, but since we’d just finished having beer and borrelhapjes elsewhere, we decided to skip them in favour of the main event.

Middle Eastern restaurant Amsterdam - Bar Mitts
Foreground: broccolini; background: lamb kebabs

Dishes are split into a longer list of veggie options and a shorter list of meat ones, of which we tried what felt like a representative sample. Roasted beetroot with burrata and pistachio nuts was creamy and wintry, while grilled broccolini with tahini and za’atar tasted fresh and healthy. The cauliflower with pomegranate, almonds and herbs, however, could’ve done with being grilled or roasted for a little longer to create that charred umami coating that cauliflower takes on so well.

Meanwhile in the meat department, two small kofte-style lamb kebabs were possibly my favourite dish: served with a spicy tomato and herb salsa and more tahini. Pulled chicken with hummus, pecan nuts, pomegranate seeds and herbs was also delicious, especially when piled onto pillowy pitas.

Bar Mitts Amsterdam
Pulled chicken with hummus

Not quite sated, we had a well-made sgroppino for desert. Coupled with the very drinkable bottle of Valpolicella (€37) that we drank, this meant we ended up paying €55 each, including a tip for the very attentive service. But if you’re prepared to forego cocktails and fancy wine, Mitts would be a good option for a budget meal – two or three dishes per person should be plenty.

At some point, I’ll make it through my list of Indian restaurants. But in the meantime, I seem to be accidentally adding to a list of rather delicious Middle Eastern ones…

all the info

Bar Mitts (Middle Eastern)


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