Lifestyle

New York: The Mermaid Inn

The Mermaid Inn New York City East Village oyster happy hour

My friend took me to the Mermaid Inn last Tuesday and I was already excited because of the name! Between 5 PM and 7 PM, it’s happy hour which means the oysters will be sold for 1 dollar each! Look at the pictures and stop by there whenever you’re near!

 

The Mermaid Inn New York City East Village The Mermaid Inn New York City East Village seafood oysters The Mermaid Inn New York City East Village restaurantThe staff was friendly, the vibe was good and the food was nice. You’ll get chocolate pudding after your dinner from the restaurant. With the bill they will give you a fortune teller fish which predicts your mood. Sitting outside and watching people during the oysters is a must!

The Mermaid Inn New York City East Village oysters happy hourThe Mermaid Inn New York City East Village pudding dessertThe Mermaid Inn New York City East Village fortune teller miracle fishA sneak peek of the menu:

The Mermaid Inn New York City East Village Happy Hour East Coast Oyster

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New York: Chelsea Market

Chelsea Market New York Manhattan 1

If you’d like to try a lot of different kinds of food at one place, the Chelsea Market is definitely a great idea. This indoor food hall is located in the Meatpacking district. The building used to be a biscuit factory. That’s why the market has an underground vibe with lots of nice food, drinks and more.

Chelsea Market New York Manhattan 3

The market is open every day. From Monday till Saturday starting from 7 AM to 9 PM. Only on Sundy the market starts at 8 AM t0 8 PM.

The nice thing about the market is that you can get a preview of all the things inside. Check out the pictures below of the variety of food and spices:

Chelsea Market New York Manhattan Art Audrey Hepburn Asian

The cookies from Eleni’s inside the market are playful and unique. They’re nice as a gift, also sold as a set in boxes. The cookies are shaped and colored as rainbows, taxi’s and other sweet things. Not only does she sell the cutest cookies but also the coffee is worth a try!

Chelsea Market New York Manhattan Eleni's Cookies CoffeeChelsea Market New York Manhattan Italian Pasta FoodChelsea Market New York Manhattan OystersChelsea Market New York Manhattan Cooked LobsterChelsea Market New York Manhattan Spices Food

 There is a nice Morrocan store inside as well with magical lamps and carpets. I liked the art work on the walls a lot. If they were sold as postcards, I would grab a few to enlist them at home 🙂

Chelsea Market New York Manhattan Marrakesh Middle EastChelsea Market New York Manhattan Chinese Art

Enjoying Eleni’s New York coffee on the way back!

Chelsea Market New York Manhattan 2

Maenaam Thai Restaurant

Maenaam Thai Restaurant Amsterdam


When it comes to food it´s definitely something my boyfriend and I always agree on, we love Asian cuisine! Thai food is  nice and it seems difficult to really mess these dishes up! I never had bad experiences with Thai food, so I had good expectations when we were trying a new restaurant called Maenaam Thai in Amsterdam. This restaurant is located at the Spuistraat, which is 2 minutes walking from the famous Dam Square. It’s also 5 minutes walking from the restaurant to Central Station. So this was an ideal place to grab food before we had to catch our train for a 2 hour ride to see my parents 🙂 Little detail: Maenaam ( แม่น้ำ ) means river in Thai. 

A few pictures of our dinner:

Maenaam Thai Restaurant Amsterdam Thom Kha Koeng

Tom Kha Koeng

In my opinion there’s no other soup that can compete with Thom Kha Koeng. This is because I prefer soups with a coconut milk base. This soup contains coconut milk, prawns, mushrooms and coriander. 


Maenaam Thai Restaurant Amsterdam Plaa Shoe Shie fish

Plaa Shoe Shie

Fried fish in a red curry sauce with coconut milk and sweet Thai basil. The fish was fried pangasius fillet, normally we prefer other fish than pangasius, but this main course with white rise was tasting ok.

Maenaam Thai Restaurant Phad Thai Kai

Phad Thai Kai

Pad Thai are typical Thai fried rice noodles. I took the pad thai with vegetables, egg, tauge and chicken. I like taking Phad Thai as a side order next to white rice.

Maenaam Thai Restaurant Amsterdam Buddha

The dish I liked most was the Tom Kha Koeng. This soup was delicious and I can recommend this as a starter. The menu is not expensive, average as other Thai restaurants I know. Starters are around 5-7 euro’s and main courses are around 14-18 euro’s. I have seen lots of vegetables sculptured into various animals like swans of flowers. But I’ve never seen an onion carved into a flower as a decoration on a plate. I found this quitte original 🙂 There are no desserts on the menu, but we had 2 scoops of vanilla icecream with almonds and whipped cream. Staff is friendly and mostly English speaking.

Maenaam Thai Restaurant Amsterdam bar

Skyybar @ Westcord Fashion Hotel

skyybar bar

 

Last weekend, me (Stephanie) and my sister celebrated our birthday at the Skyybar of the Westcord Fashion Hotel in Amsterdam.

The Westcord Fashion Hotel is located in the westside of the city and is easy to reach by tram, bus and car (parking fee). The Skyybar is on the 10th floor of the hotel. It is closed (not open-air), fashionable with mostly dark colors and shiny stuff and of course you get a nice view of the beautiful city of Amsterdam.

Skyybar westcord fashion hotel lounge

Skyybar lamp

First impression

When you enter the first things you’ll notice is the bar and the mannequins everywhere, making it feel like you’re entering a Paris catwalk show. The Skyybar is not that big, so it actually feels cosy. On the right side there is a lounge with beautiful lights on the ceiling, which distinguishes the Skyybar from any other bars as you actually get a feeling that you’re clubbing. From 10 pm there is even a DJ on site. The Skyybar looks beautiful and classy and gives honor to it’s hotel’s name. You can order drinks, cocktails and bites like sushi. Although not so exclusive like other (open-air) sky bars, it is a nice place to hang out and have some drinks.

Skyybar Fashion hotel bar

Skyybar fashion hotel lounge

Party

The theme of our party was… tadaa… “This City of Gold”! and believe it or not my sister came up with it. The gold did fit the whole interior of the bar which was mostly black and velvet.

For a party from 10-35 people, you can reserve the lounge upstairs and that’s what we did. The lounge covers half of the bar, so you can still see the bar from above and enjoy the music. The lounge looks nice and fashionable like the rest of the bar. They say it is for max 35 people, but i’m pretty sure 50 people would fit too. We definitely invited more than 35 people. You don’t have to pay to reserve the lounge, but there is a minimal spending limit of 500 euro’s, which is not hard to spend when you invite so many people.

The beers and wine aren’t very expensive, around 3 euro’s. Liquor on the other hand was much more expensive, but normal for Amsterdam (7 euro’s). We pre-ordered some bites, like vegetable egg rolls, mini croquettes, sushi and potato wedges. The egg rolls, croquettes and potato wedges were delicious. The sushi was too, but there were some complaints that they fell apart easily. We also pre-ordered a birthday cake. This was quite expensive, costing 5 euro’s per person. We ordered a small cake as no one really wants to eat cake anyway. You can order whatever flavour cake you like. We decided to go for the whipped cream-flavour, which was delicious!

Skyybar wine

 

Skyybar fashion hotel sushi

With the reservation, we also got our personal waiters/waitresses. But don’t expect them to be there all the time when it’s busy, which is too bad.

The Skyybar is open from 5 pm to 2 am and you can decided from what time you want to reserve the lounge area. We decided to start the party at 8 pm. From 10 pm there is a DJ and the dancing can start. And because it is your own private lounge, no stranger will be there to annoy you. Funny to say, it did made me feel somewhat special to say “Sorry, private party”… 😉 lol

Skyybar fashion hotel

Overall impression

The Skyybar is a nice place to have some drinks with friends, and it is great for a party and for an affordable price. The bar and lounge look classy, food and drinks are good and there is a DJ, so you can also dance if you want. The decor is impressive and most guests couldn’t resist taking lots of beautiful pictures. The location is a bit of the city center but not far away and easy to reach. Downfall was the service which could have been better if maybe they had more personnel. But still, that couldn’t ruin the fun with my dearest friends and family. It was an amazing night. One not quickly to be forgotten, for sure.

 Skyybar sunsetSkyybar gold party

Kop van Jut

kop van jut amsterdam leidseplein hightea 3

We had a high tea at the “Kop van Jut”-restaurant. It literally means “the head of Jut”. De Kop van Jut is located at the popular and touristic Leidseplein. To be honest, I usually don’t go to the restaurants in touristic places,  because the quality is usually bad. But the Dutch restaurants in the Leidseplein are actually quite good. De Kop van Jut is one of these typical Dutch restaurants. It is small, the interior is brown and sober. What makes it not typical Dutch is the service, because they have nice and helpful personnel.

The high tea normally costs 17, 50 euro’s, so it is quite a good price. The time is from 2:30 pm to 5 pm. For this price you get a lot of tea in cute tea pots and tea cups and a wide variety of tea, goat cheese croquette from grandma Bob, roasted tomato and paprika soup, quiche, scones with fruitjam and clotted cream, banana bread, cream puffs, chocolate nut cake and buttercream cookies.

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My opinion:

You get enough bites for the price. All the food was vegetarian, so there was no hassel with people who didn’t eat meat or a specific kind of meat. I liked the tomato paprika soup, but because it was served together with the rest of the food it was already cold when i drank it. The goat cheese croquette is original as i don’t see that often in high tea’s. The quiche was very tasteful. The scones and banana bread were fine.

Overall:

The location of the restaurant is great and is has a typical Dutch vibe without the typical Dutch service. Even though, our reservation was only until 5 pm, they didn’t throw us out. The Dutch menu looked nice though we haven’t tried it. The high tea is affordable and good for the price. Downfall is that it some of the food were not home made. This restaurant is good for a nice diner with Dutch food or a quick high tea with friends.

kop van jut amsterdam leidseplein hightea 2
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U6

U6 Utrechtsestraat Amsterdam salmon

The ‘Utrechtsestraat’ is a street in Amsterdam with nice boutiques and restaurants. It’s near the well known Rembrandt Square, the second city area where the nightlife happens. U6 is a cozy restaurant with a French and International Cuisine. Because it’s near the Rembrandt Square, the restaurant is  quite findable  for tourists. The staff is from different international backgrounds like Spain and Turkey. There is a regular menu, but also the famous chef’s 3 Course Menu. This menu costs € 22,50.

If you choose a 3 Course Menu, there are various choices of vegetarian, meat and fish dishes. For the starter we choose the puff pastry with chopped salmon, onions and lettuce. The puff pastry dough was very light and crispy which matched with the salmon pretty well.

Here are 3 options for the main course:

U6 Utrechtsestraat Amsterdam Shrimp Noodles
Sweet sour noodles with shrimp and broccoli

 

U6 Utrechtsestraat Amsterdam Sea Bass
Nile perch with Parma ham and mashed potatoes

 

U6 Utrechtsestraat Amsterdam Pork medallions
Pork medallions with mushroom sauce

 

And here are some desserts!

U6 Utrechtsestraat Amsterdam Creme Brulee
Crème brûlée

 

U6 Utrechtsestraat Amsterdam Cheesecake
Strawberry Cheesecake

 

U6 Utrechtsestraat Amsterdam Strawberry
Red fruits lattice pie

 

What we thought about U6: The location is ideal because it’s in the center. Whether you finished your shopping spree in Amsterdam or going to a club after dinner and drinks, the restaurant is close to pretty much everything you need. The noodles main course were not our favorite because the sauce was a bit too sweet. The other dishes were really nice, especially the nile perch with creamy mashed potatoes. The staff were warm, friendly and patient. Last but not least 22,50 EUR for 3 courses is not expensive at all!

U6 Utrechtsestraat Amsterdam 2

Recipe: Salad with Parma Ham, Goat Cheese and Dates

Salad Parma Ham Goat Chees Dates Spinach

This delicious salad is ready between 5 and 10 minutes! Just mix the ingredients described below, a child can do the laundry (Dutch saying means: It’s too damn easy!). This great recipe comes from Zinaida, a good friend of mine. She even got her little daughter of 4 enjoying vegatables by serving this salad. The slightly salty flavour of Parma ham and sweet dates gives the perfect flavor.  Suggestion: If you don’t eat  or like pork, switch the Parma ham with beef carpaccio to keep the mixture of salt and sweet.

Ingredients:

  • For the salad
  • Parma Ham ( 5 slices)
  • Leaf lettuce with baby spinach (80 gram)
  • Goat Cheese with honey (125 gram)
  • Sliced black olives
  • 5 Medjool dates
  • Spring onions
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • For the vinaigrette
  • Caesar Salad dressing

Method:

Garnish a big bowl with the lettuce and spinach, sliced cherry tomatoes, Parma ham and black olives. Deseed the dates and chop them into half. Slice the goat cheese in small pieces. Roast the pine nuts and  arrange everything in the bowl. Pour over the dressing and serve. Enjoy!