Behind the Red Light District, you'll find Zeedijk - a long narrow street with many Chinese shops and Asian restaurants. Zeedijk's street signs are even translated into those beautiful Chinese symbols. Amsterdam's China Town may not be much larger than one long street, it does boast a real Buddhist Temple Fo Guang Shan and enough Maneki Niko cats to bring you good fortune (see photo left).
Chinese lunch & dinner: New King
Our favourite Chinese restaurant is New King , where we frequently indulge in Peking duck, steamed fish and shrimps. However, in my student days, I (Kira) also came here to enjoy a Noodle Soup for E5.- and I bet it's still on the menu. Don't value your privacy though; at this restaurant other diners might be appointed to your table on the vacant seat next to you. At least that used to be the case, and now we see the interior has been seriously updated, so may be the 'share a table' policy has been abolished. New King, Zeedijk 115, Amsterdam. T. 06.51807810
Oysters and Quick Chinese lunch or dinner: Nam Kee
Then for Steamed Oysters with Black Beans sauce (and many more dishes), Nam Kee is Amsterdam's favourite. Even a book and a film are named 'Oysters from Nam Kee'. Service is very Chinese; fast, money-hungry and sometimes you can detect a smile. Nam Kee's overall style reminds me of the eating houses in Hong Kong. Nam Kee used to be cheap, but either my consumption or the prices have gone up. I think both, so chose carefully and you'll get a great quick Chinese dinner for a good price. Nam Kee, Zeedijk 11, Amsterdam. T. 020.6392848
Modern Asian bar: Sake & co
Amsterdam's first and only sake bar is also strategically located on the Zeedijk. Sake & Co serves 9 sake's, warm (as it should be) or cold. Not a big sake lover? The bar has a full cocktail, beer and wine menu. Unlike their neighbouring bars and restaurants, Sake & co is a stylish, beautiful modern place to spend whole evenings sipping your (rice) wine! Sake & co, Zeedijk 134, Amsterdam. T. 020.6256208
Thai Food: The Bird
The Bird is a terrific Thai Snackbar. Crammed into a small bar with an open steamy and fire-y kitchen... Great Thai food, possibly the best in town. Fast service without a smile or goodbye. Terrific! Want to have a more sophisticated dinner? Then head across the street to the Restaurant The Bird. The beautiful Thai women serve you with genuine hospitality. The food is the same as of the snack bar - you even see dishes being transported across the street. The Bird, Zeedijk 77, Amsterdam. T. 020.20 62 89
Dim Sum Walhalla: Oriental City
Oriental City has been the 'dim sum' spot of Amsterdam for years. This can be noticed by the amount of people waiting to be served. The chefs prepare the dim sum freshly ever day, as opposed to most other dim-sum-serving-places. If you would like to eat other Chinese dishes besides dim sum, better head to Nam Kee or New King (see above). Oriental City, Oudezijds Voorburgwal 177-179, Amsterdam. T. 020.626 83 52
On the Nieuwmarkt, the square at the end of Zeedijk, you'll find the Oriental Supermarket, where you can buy frozen dim sum and douzins of different instant noodle soups. Don't forget to buy the "Sweet Chili for Chicken" sauce, which is perfect for the dim sum. Serving dim sum to house guests is always a big hit and impresses everyone of your cooking skills (which do not need to be more advanced than being able to steam the frozen appetizers for 10-15 mins). Supermarkt Oriental, Nieuwmarkt 27, Amsterdam.