Alex Invites is one of the most exciting food-related things happening in Amsterdam at the moment. Every month Hoofdstad Brasserie Head Chef Alex Haupt invites a chef from abroad to create a menu of stunning dishes for Amsterdam foodies to try.
The first menu was in collaboration with Chef Piak from Black Ginger Phuket introducing us to delicious Thai food, last month we were already raving about Chef Joachim Jaud (Executive Sous Chef Opus V) his Austrian specialties with an Asian twist. This month, we’re stepping into territories unknown with ‘japas’ – Japanese tapas. Chef Jeff Ramsey from Japan was awarded youngest Michelin-starred chef in Tokyo and recently opened restaurant Babe in Kuala Lumpur.
With his team from Babe, Ramsey wows us with a deconstructed Caesar salad semi-freddo and thinly sliced seared wagyu beef on top of air-breads filled with potato mousse – a modernized Niku Jaga. The Tai Chazuke is a work of art. Served on a spoon is a deconstructed tea rice dish in the form of a water droplet. All dishes delicate and refined but bursting in flavour (and not to mention, so incredibly pleasing to a photographer’s eye).
We continue our journey through Japan with a beautiful shimaaji sashimi with braised white combo, a nigiri of aji smoked with 1000 year old cedar wood and a shellfish consommé served with prawn sheets, snap peas and butter. We end our lunch with buttery grilled king crab with kelp salt.
It’s a shame the menu only ran from 10 – 12 November because this is the kind of cuisine we’re waiting for to happen in Amsterdam. Traditional flavours in an innovative, playful and modernised form.