Of the many restaurants that Amsterdam is currently home to, few dare to really venture into the world of vegetarian cuisine. Swych is one of the restaurants that features a mainly vegetarian menu – and what an exciting one it is. Swych is located in the NH Collection Doelen hotel. Sitting on the canal, it offers one of the best views of Amsterdam (if yo make a reservation, do try to get a seat by the window).
Swych is led by executive chef Rudolf Brand, who has previously worked with Chris Naylor at Vermeer. At Swych, the meat dishes serve as mere side dishes whereas the fish and vegetables dishes are the real highlights. A bold move I daresay few restaurants dare to copy, but it works. Because in my opinion, Swych features the most exciting vegetarian food in Amsterdam.
Here’s what we had!
A koshari of tomatoes, chick peas, salted lemon and basil. I am told that a koshari is a traditional dish from Egypt where rice is combined with a range of vegetables and topped off with a tomato sauce. The sweetness of the tomatoes, the crunchiness from the crisp and the aromatic basil sauce made us crave for more.
In the mean time, sommelier Roelof Ligthart (who previously worked together with Brand at Vossius and Vermeer) takes us on a wine journey that pair beautifully with the dishes served.
From barbecued potatoes with salty sea vegetables and charred leek broth and glazed eggplant with charmoula and tajine sauce, we are introduced to dishes that make you forget about the existence of meat. Combinations are playful and balanced with hints of international flavors.
As a side, we’re served a flank steak with béarnaise sauce. Perfectly cooked, sauce creamy, decent portion – it was a great addition to the mains.
When the roasted cauliflower with garden peas dhal and korma sauce arrives, I am elated. Cauliflower is mild in flavor and therefore always served as a puree in restaurants. But at Swych it takes center stage – the mildness of the cauliflower pairs well with the intense flavors of the dhal and korma sauce. One of my favorites.
From the dessert section, we have the rice pudding with coconut, dried mango and lime sorbet. Coconut and mango are a common pairing in South-east Asian cuisine but the lime adds a little bit of freshness to it, making it more contemporary.
After dinner we rolled into our beds at the NH Collection Doelen.
Find Swych at Nieuwe Doelenstraat 26 / in the city center, near Rokin.