Daily changing experimental menu
I had this restaurant earmarked but it didn’t make it on my shortlist for some reason. Until I went into vintage store …and asked the handsome owner what his favourite dining spots in Amsterdam were and BAK crept up. So, instead of checking out De Kas, we ended up here instead. BAK is located in the Zeeheldenbuurt neighbourhood of Amsterdam West, near the IJ.
BAK started life as a pop up but the owners found a more permanent space on the top floor of Het Veem, a former warehouse that has now been converted into a number of offices, including artist studios and the Het Veem Theater. The restaurant is in a long, fairly narrow room, which felt a little cold and barren to me; perhaps this was because the space was quite empty the evening we went. Apparently, you can get a good view of the river IJ, if you book one of the tables by the two large windows.
FOOD & SERVICE
They certainly like their fruit and veg at BAK and in some ways, this place reminded me of Grain Store in London . Each day they draw up a set menu using local produce (if you have special dietary needs, they can cater for you, just let them know in advance). There is a 5 course and 7 course menu available. My San Fran friend and I opted for the 7 course. I really enjoyed most of the courses, in particular the plums, beets and radishes with a bit of buttermilk cream, a delicate and refreshing dish, that kick started the courses very nicely.
Having not eaten red meat for over 15 years until late last year, I have been venturing into beef land more and more in recent months. Their standout dish of the night was the veal cheek with beans and artichoke puree, which was just melt in your mouth delicious.
Things started to go a little pear shaped when we hit desserts zone. We were served yellow and red tomatoes with strawberries and yoghurt – which was quite an interesting dish. It definitely had the sweetness of a dessert delivered from the yoghurt and strawberries but I have to admit I wasn’t massively keen on the combination with the tomatoes. Although the tomatoes brought texture to the dish, it was just all a bit liquidy and it felt like an attempt to make a healthy-ish tasty dessert, which I don’t buy at all. Desserts should be full fat and proud.
As I mentioned earlier, vegetables and fruit really played a starring role on the menu with some dishes being more successful than others but overall I enjoyed the food and my time at BAK and would certainly be keen to return. Service wise, it was very professional, confident and warm.
Rather amusingly a dating show was being filmed when we dined here. Other than that couple, there were a few groups dotted around the room; I expected it to be a bit busier but it was a Sunday, so perhaps it’s more vibrant from mid-week – Saturday.
At the time we went in September, 7 courses cost us €55 and we went with a wine pairing (5 glasses – 100ml) at €30. In total we paid €99 each including service (C.£75).
THE TAKE OUT
Bak serves up a daily changing menu of locally sourced produce. Experimental and interesting pairings that can delight but can also be off the mark.
Cuisine: Modern European (daily changing menu)
Cost: €45 (x5 courses) or €60 (x7courses) – not including wine
Address: Van Diemenstraat 408, 1013 CR Amsterdam
Hours: Wednesday to Sunday – Dinner ~ Saturday to Sunday – Lunch & Dinner
Phone: +31(0) 20 737 2553
LAST VISITED SEPTEMBER 2015
Cover image from BAK Facebook page