Bar Fisk

Do you believe in (restaurant) love at first sight?  If so, then let me introduce you to recently opened Bar Fisk.

In their words:

We bring the ever-lively, no-strings attached hospitality of Tel Aviv and Barcelona markets to Amsterdam.

As soon as I heard about Bar Fisk, I just knew it was going to be my kind of place.  Open past midnight, with pitchers of seriously wonderful cocktails, a dreamy menu and a  terrace in the heart of The Pijp, I became a groupie even before setting foot inside.

But then I did.  And it didn’t just live up to my expectations, it exceeded them.  Wildly.  So much so that I went two nights in a row.  Here’s why:

 

HyperFocal: 0

 

Bar Fisk offers substance as well as style.  Chef Oren Aharoni knows a thing or two about great dining.  Trained in two-star kitchens but with a passion for the casual vibe of modern streetfood, he and Israeli owner Irit Lior are on a mission to bring the best of new wave Tel Aviv cooking to The Dam.  It’s low-key, small, relaxed and unpretentious.  And the food on the short menu of sharing plates is so incredibly good, its one of the few places I’d literally sit back and eat anything they brought me – yes really mum, including beetroot, cauliflower or even my nemesis, peas.

 

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But I didn’t have to play pea-roulette this time. First-up was their take on the bread basket, elevated way beyond.  A warm loaf of freshly made soft-as-anything sesame bread with a green tahini dip, a spicy tomato salsa and pickled vegetables.  It was too good.  I didn’t want to fill up before the main attraction but couldn’t stop dipping.  Honestly, had that been it I genuinely would have left happy.  But that wasn’t it.

 

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To follow we ordered crispy root chips with a sweet and spicy paprika mayo; warm freekeh salad which was slippery with cured lemon juice; a delicate ravioli of sweet potato; a plate of prawns with warm aubergine (a combination that absolutely shouldn’t have worked but proved to be outstanding) and best of all, for which I’m almost out of superlatives was the headline-grabber Corvina Tartar – a stunning mix of raw fish, labneh, tabbouleh and aubergine… a total sensation.  Beautiful and crazy delicious.  And despite all that food and flavour explosion, I desperately wanted to order the hanger steak, and the cured mackerel which beckoned me from a table nearby.  And the calamari and the sardines and the shellfish curry…

 

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So I went back a second night. Determined to try the rest of the menu.  But the corvina called my name, and the freekeh, and I caved in and had them all over again.

I haven’t even mentioned the desserts.  A bar of chocolate ganache, topped with salted caramel, served with an olive oil crumb. Not a chocoholic?  Then how about a delicate panna cotta served with pear and pistachio.  Both were actual heaven.

The perfect evening was completed by their fantastic staff.  Sincerely proud of the special place in which they work and the extraordinarily good food – keen to share the best of what’s on offer, and tempt you back for more.

 

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The interior of Bar Fisk is small and gezellig, but if you’re lucky enough to be there on a warm summer evening, nothing beats sitting outside on the terrace, rubbing shoulders cosily with your foodie neighbours in a buzzing spot at the eastern end of The Pijp’s glorious Sarphatipark

And then, just as I thought I couldn’t love them any more, I read the lead 5 star review on their site (written with tongue firmly in cheek):

Exactly the type of bar Amsterdam Needs

Brad Pitt.  Los Angeles

 

I love this place.  A standout winner on the new Amsterdam dining scene.  Just don’t tell everyone, or I won’t get that spot on the terrace and my corvina fix next time.

 

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