Bak is really a terrific restaurant. Not only is the food delicious and beautifully presented, but the location is a treat in itself.
Grab a seat at the window for an amazing view over the IJ, especially at sunset. Restaurant Bak is located on the top floor of Het Veem. This striking structure was built a century ago as a warehouse for coffee, tea, tobacco and cocoa shipped from the Dutch colonies. Het Veem now houses offices for small businesses, artist studios and Het Veem Theater.
But about the food. Bak serves a set menu for lunch and dinner based on local, seasonal products. Choose from 3 or 5 courses at lunch and 5 or 7 courses at dinner. Your meal can be paired with wines, which of course we recommend. The wines are natural, and therefore are interesting and full of sparkling flavors.
We visited Bak for dinner at the height of summer and enjoyed a 5 course meal (plus wine and cheese) with gorgeous sunset views. We’ve also enjoyed lunch at Bak in the middle of winter and the food was even more delicious if that is possible.
At first glance the simple menu might seem unappealing. One of the dishes was described as “oatmeal, mussels, fennel and cornichons”. To be honest, it sounded terrible to me. However, it was one of the most delicious dishes we tried! Creamy risotto-like oatmeal was topped with perfectly cooked mussels and sour cornichons. It still might sound strange, but it was surprisingly yummy! Other highlights of our summer meal included the dessert of strawberries and tomatoes with goat milk frozen yogurt and the amuse bouche of squid ink crackers topped with a tarragon mousse.
In the winter we enjoyed a dish of simple grilled onion with messenklever cheese which was surprisingly sweet and delicious. Our dessert dishes included a very tasty carrot and quark combination and a chocolate mousse with horseradish creme paired with a Goose Island Bourbon County Stout. Fantastic!
The wines paired perfectly with each dish. It was fun to taste the wine before the food was served, and then after taking a bite. The flavors complimented each other wonderfully. Perhaps the best phrase to describe dining at Bak would be “surprisingly delicious” as each dish is a special surprise with unusual combinations of ingredients.
If you are a foodie, you must visit Bak for lunch or dinner! I’ll be “bak” again very soon! (haha sorrynotsorry)
Van Diemenstraat 410, Amsterdam