Post-lockdown dining: Kop van Oost – reviewed

Amsterdam’s restaurants have been open for two weeks so far, and we’ve all been getting used to the new rules of dining. Sitting a metre and a half away from other diners, answering a series of health-check questions, communicating with serving staff through their masks… It feels strange at first, and then suddenly very normal – like we can’t remember a time when we did used to kiss our friends three times on the cheek.

My first reservation in Amsterdam was at A-Fusion: an old favourite of mine since 2008, and a restaurant I desperately hope will make it through this crisis. But my first dinner somewhere new was at Kop van Oost – a lockdown favourite of two good friends of mine (they highly rated their takeaway meals) and a location with possibly the best terrace in Amsterdam. Perched on the water overlooking the Brouwerij ‘t IJ windmill, it’s the perfect spot to take visitors. (You know, if we ever have any visitors ever again.) As for the food, it’s above average for its price point: mackerel ceviche was firm and fleshy, with tart citrus balanced by sweet potato and crunchy quinoa. The burrata was an interesting take on a caprese salad, with a mild tomato and pepper salsa topped with a crispy tostada. And the dorade came with pleasantly smoky eel sauce, seaside-tasting marsh samphire and a toasty crunch of hazelnuts. Including dessert or cheese, three courses comes to €34.50, while no single a la carte dish costs above about €20.

Kop van Oost, Amsterdam restaurant review
Dorade at Kop van Oost

As for the social distancing (which I suppose we have to talk about in today’s restaurant reviews), the tables are well spaced apart, whether you’re indoors or out on the terrace. We scored a perfect table right by one of the wide open French doors, which meant we were sort of half inside/half outside. The serving staff were not wearing masks or gloves, and there was no special process for serving the food. It felt very business as usual, which I was comfortable enough with but others might not be.

The verdict? I’ll be back for that windmill view once family and friends start visiting again…

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Kop van Oost (International)


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