It was after paying a visit to Amsterdam’s Albert Cuyp market one Saturday (click here for my post on Amsterdam’s biggest street market) that I inadvertently stumbled across Little Collins. This hidden gem of a restaurant in De Pijp is quite possibly Amsterdam’s best brunch place. Little Collins is situated on Eerste Sweelinckstraat, one of the quieter side streets of Amsterdam’s trendy De Pjip neighbourhood. Reading the menu left me salivating as I thought I’d hit on Amsterdam’s best brunch. For once an Amsterdam food menu that left me spoilt for choice (not eating meat or shellfish can make it quite limiting as Sharps will testify).
There was much deliberating, I was torn between the kedgeree with smoked mackerel (€10.50) and the sweetcorn fritters with coriander, guacamole and salsa (€10.75). I opted for the later, much to Sharps’ surprise, after our incredibly friendly waiter offered to substitute the bacon they came with for oven-baked Portabello mushrooms. Sharps was planning to order the spicy porkbelly with fried egg and roti (€13.50) until I alerted him to a shredded pork hash with poached egg and crème fraîche on the specials board.
I knew we were in for a treat as I’d been eyeing up the food on the table next to us. When our generous portions arrived neither of us were disappointed by Amsterdam’s best brunch. Fritters aren’t normally the sort of thing I’d go for but these were just right. Not too dense or oily, they were packed full of sweetcorn and had a lovely peppery flavour as opposed to being bland. Combined with the meaty hunks of mushroom and chunky guacamole, salsa and sour cream they tasted fresh and delicate. Owned by an Australian and named after a street in Melbourne, which I’m told is full of cafés and brunch places, Little Collins fuses the best of Australian, British and Dutch cuisine with impressive results.
Sharps’ simple dish of pulled pork and fried potatoes was a mammoth plate of food. Amsterdam’s best brunch for a hangover but not the sort of meal to choose if you’re after a light bite. It was topped with a perfectly cooked poached egg, runny in the middle and firm on the outside and he said the crème fraîche also took away some of the meal’s heaviness.
This Amsterdam hidden gem also has an interesting sounding drinks menu. There are a range of Bloody Marys that if you’re feeling adventurous include a Mexicana, tomato juice with tequilla, coriander, lime and chilli and a Tokyo, a concoction of tomato juice, vodka, ginger, rice vinegar and wasabi. As a huge fan of rhubarb I also loved the sound of the Collins Bellini, comprising of prosecco and rhubarb. And with an outdoor seating area it’s the ideal place to stop for Amsterdam’s best brunch away from the crowds.
Aside from the food what I loved about this hidden gem was the great service. It was exceptional by Dutch standards. Our food arrived promptly as opposed to the usual minimum half hour wait. After taking our drinks order the super helpful staff even offered us tap water which is highly unusual. I’ve been refused it before when I’ve asked in other Amsterdam eateries having also bought other drinks there. Don’t be fooled by its name as the food at this Amsterdam hidden gem packs a big punch. Little Collins served up the best brunch in Amsterdam, or for that matter anywhere, I’ve had in a long time.