Located in one of the oldest and best neighbourhoods of Amsterdam, you will find Brooks,
a beautiful secret, in the middle of a vibrant and lively shopping street.
Far away from the busy center, you can experience the Amsterdam of the locals.
Spoiler Alert, we have been to this place many times before, not for dinner though, but for plenty of drinks.
Sitting on the terrace in the early evening hours, starting boozy into the weekend, listening to the vibes of the DJ, who plays there every Friday.
Brooks brasserie is a restaurant for every day and every occasion.
Open from breakfast until late night, it’s formal enough for a business meeting during lunch, but design led enough for a Bloody Mary brunch with friends, and definitely the place to go for an amazing dinner paired with lush wines.
As a confessing coffee snob I can promise you one of the best coffees in town, due to high quality beans and continually trained staff.
Everyone working at Brooks has to be a barista too, what ensures not only pretty latte art, but also a certain standard and consistency in taste.
However this time we invited my mom to the restaurant and had a lovely dinner.
After changing the menu and the concept of the restaurant, Brooks is now an understatement hidden pearl for everyone who appreciates a fine dining experience, but yet still to a moderate price.
The idea of the new menu is to mix and match between three and six courses as sharing plates.
The dishes are Mediterranean orientated and the flavours represent a well thought composition of the southern European specialities.
To begin with, we had recommended by head chef Arnau the “Roasted egglpant carpaccio” with tomato seeds, seasonal herbs and homemade brioche as well as the “Potatoe flatbread” with tzatziki cream, seasonal herbs and crispy kale of course together with a wine pairing.
To make my starter 100% plantbased, they exchanged the brioche against the potatoe flatbread.
As Germans we know :
Potatoes are in every way imaginable. In this case as a flatbread, a less formal dish but experimental due to its imaginative presentation but yet classic given by its handpicked ingredients.
I’m usually not a big bread eater, but the home baked Potato flatbread was so yummi, that I could have easily eaten two of them…so you know! (but nothing else then anymore, coz it was so filling).
I definitely would order it again.
As much as the luxury side of me tries to convince myself that “I’m made for fine dining”, the vegan side is always there to remind me that, “…No you’re not”
The flattering aspect about this restaurant is how willing they were to cook for me, who you know I am (the dreaded word to hear for every chef)…the bloody vegan!
So they didn’t hesitate to adjust the vegetarian dishes and make them suitable for a true herbivore.
The chef selected upfront specialty dishes for me that would not only work for my diet, but also were really tasty.
In Brooks I’ve not been plodded with a plate of spaghetti or a bowl of french fries.
For the main my mom had the “Paprika pulpo” with pearl couscous, smoked yoghurt, lemon balm, hibiscus and black garlic,
while I opted for the vegan version of the “Burrata” (just without the Burrata), so it became a zucchini salad with basil, orange and calamansi.
I usually shy away from any cold vegetables, (don’t ever bring raw cuisine near me), but as this was the pasta version of my favourite veggie it felt more like a freshly summer tagliatelle.
It was really beautiful to look at, perfectly for my taste, with subtle fresh citrus flavours.
I was suprised how much I enjoyed this dish, that was so different from all I’ve known before.
It came with beautiful arranged flowers on top, well imagined and with a great taste.
I would choose this dish any day.
Also the pulpo was beautiful arranged and the cooking was well done, the rings fabulous and super soft.
Every single dish seems like a small piece of art, well designed not only for its taste, but also arranged with flowers, colours and different shapes.
When everyone wants to photography the food, you know you’re sitting in front of a winner.
True to that, the dishes are quite small, and as you probably already recognised, Aga and me we’re both girls with a weakness for big portions –
but the mix and match of up to 6 courses worked very well for us.
If you’ve ever followed us previously, you must know already that booze is the quickest way to get us on your side, and the pretty wonderful prosecco as an aperitif definitely did the trick.
During the dinner we had different white wines, paired with the dishes.
Hereby it’s definitely worth mentioning, that Brooks works closely with local wine suppliers and that all the team is well trained recommending the right wine for the perfect match and a great experience.
Wine should never be predictable.
The big surprise for me was the Chardonnay, that we had.
First things first: We would never order a Chardonnay.
And yet I let all the pre-conceived notions about Chardonnay behind me, and was very surprised how much we enjoyed this wine.
The fact that Aga works in Brooks, has nothing to do with my positive opinion, but definitely that they made me (the vegan!) not only feel welcome but also taken seriously might have done the trick, together with this beautiful and delicious food experience!
The cooking in Brooks seems to be a romance between classic and experimental working their way to the top as a secret insider spot in the old South of the city.
The black and white Spanish ornament tiles, combined with the dark bistro tables and chairs Brooks lived up to its name “brasserie”.
Sitting in the light winder garden looking out through the big windows into the vibrant Beethovenstraat, you would almost forget, that you’re in Amsterdam, if…not every 2min a bicycle would pass by.
Leaving the touristic center far behind us, while entering the local world of Oud-Zuid it’s a welcome run away from the urban boredom.
For sure, Brooks isn’t a cheap place, neither for lunch, nor for dinner,
but since the change of the menu, and it’s ambitious striving into the world of fine dining, the quality and the expectations are steadily rising and not yet plateaued.
So you better visit this spot earlier than later.