Bars, Restaurants
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The food scene in Amsterdam continues to gain momentum with a glut of new restaurants popping up around the city. Whilst a good portion of the places grabbing the headlines seem to be offering either rotisserie chicken or a dirty burger from a hip part of town, Terpentijn (we’re not sure why it’s called that either) stands apart by offering finely crafted Asian-inspired cuisine from an unlikely part of Amsterdam Centrum.

We love burgers and chicken, let’s get that straight, but when there’s a buzz about a new restaurant on what’s essentially a culinarily-neglected building site, our curiosity was too much to contain. So off we went with visiting friends in tow to try out the mysteriously-titled spot on Centrum’s Rokin.

Intimate but airy Terpentijn interior

Intimate but airy Terpentijn interior

Terpentijn is split into two zones. Downstairs there’s a bar serving the drinks, cocktails and ‘street food’ (see we didn’t say there wasn’t a trendy theme of sorts), while the restaurant upstairs provides a full menu to sink your teeth into. We didn’t manage to sample any of the bar snacks – just stopped in for a drink while we waited for our table to be ready – but the bar is comfortable and cozy enough to imagine spending a good bit of time with friends, grazing on a delicious looking bar menu.

Speaking of delicious, the food in the restaurant is some of the best Team Kompas has had in Amsterdam. We were all still discussing our meal an hour after we’d left the restaurant.

Beef Pho

Beef Pho at Terpentijn

The menu is compact, with 15 dishes and two specials covering the starters, main courses and desserts. But it’s fortunate that the menu is pared down so well; each dish is described so tantalisingly that the necessity to choose what to eat feels almost unfair. When the food arrives though, each one is presented beautifully, and above all it’s just very, very tasty.

It’s well worth a visit. And during the time it took to write this post, the group behind Terpentijn also launched Atelier Amsterdam; a flexible workspace for creatives and entrepreneurs. Nothing stands still for long in this city.

Specialities Beautiful and delicious Asian-inspired food
Price Mid-range
Booking Encouraged for the restaurant
Groups Keep it to six or less

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