No ordinary eetcafé: Wijmpje Beukers – reviewed

What makes an eetcafé? Is it the simple decor? The range of beers on tap? Or the ubiquitous presence of chicken satay on the menu? At Eetcafé Wijmpje Beukers, just off Van der Helstplein in de Pijp, you’ll get the beers on tap and the simple décor (albeit the café was all dressed up for Christmas the night we were there). But you won’t get anything so pedestrian as chicken satay. You also won’t find any of that fixed, multi-course, chef’s menu malarky that seems to be in favour by 90% of Amsterdam restaurants these days. Instead, you’ll find an elegant, creative, well-thought-out à la carte menu  made up of five starters, five mains and five desserts. Plus a decent-sized wine list with some very good wines by the glass – and none of those children’s beakers that café wine is sometimes served in. From the get-go, Wijmpje Beukers is a cut above your average eetcafé.

First up, we tried the wild boar, which came in a kind of croquette format, with chestnut purée, beetroot sauce and radicchio. It was very good, but not quite as good as the smoked carrot with goat’s yoghurt, fenugreek and pumpkin seeds – which was savoury-sweet, chewy-smooth and full of autumn flavour. See? I told you this was no ordinary eetcafé.

A cut above your average carrot!

For mains, we ate perfectly tender bavette with confit red cabbage and a hearty hash brown. And rode poon (gurnard?) with new potatoes, samphire, an apple and dill salad and a sauce of smoked eel and lardo. On the wine list, I worked my way through a Limoux chardonnay, a Pfalz pinot noir and a Rioja Crianza. They were generous pours and good examples of their grape.

My fishy main at Wijmpje Beukers

Of course, all that good food and wine doesn’t exactly come at eetcafé prices either: mains range from around €20-26 while a glass of wine will set you back €6-9. But then again, do eetcafé prices even exist in late 2022? I paid €21 for a chicken satay and chips elsewhere recently, and I doubt they’d even made the satay sauce from scratch. So I have no problem paying for the level of quality that Wijmpje Beukers is delivering. The only downside is that they don’t take reservations. So at popular times (which is most of them) you can expect to wait a little for your table. Don’t despair, though. I’ve heard they’ll mix you a mean espresso martini at the bar.

Where else to eat in de Pijp? Qlique bar-bistro

At the opposite end of de Pijp next to Marie Heinekenplein, I recently ate at Qlique – a buzzing bistro and bar serving excellent sharing plates, cocktails and wine. We tried about ten dishes off the “bites” menu to split between four of us. The most popular among my group included the silky octopus with cucumber and lime aioli; raw scallops with citrusy grapefruit, capers and fish eggs; creamy burrata with grapes, pear, pecan nuts and mint (my personal favourite!); and lamb meatballs with tomato sauce, ricotta and sage. A fun night out, with two sittings on weekends.

Meatballs and more at Qlique

all the info

Qlique (European)

Eetcafe Wijmpje Beukers (European)


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