Friday 16 January | 2015
Mid winter in Amsterdam: the adorable brick canal houses stand out behind tangles of bare branches and white washed skies. The usual droves of tourists have reduced to just a scatter, and the resident Dutch are leaving their bicycles and healthy habits at home in favour of fresh waffles and heavenly Vleminckx fries.
As much as we love Dutch cafes, with their creative quirks and fabulous homemade food, we are actually here to visit Little Collins – a true blue Australian establishment, named after a street in the fashionable city of Melbourne, renowned for its world class food and coffee. This morning, after a week of terrible news headlines, this little café makes a big effort to cheer everyone up.
Amazingly it feels just like home here – there is a retro jug of tap water on the table, the latte is served in a short glass, and the whistling espresso machine competes with the heavy Australian accents all around us.
Last year the sourdough drought in Amsterdam left us wishing for even a bite of the real thing. But here at Little Collins we’ve found our oasis for the traditionally leavened bread, with several thick slices of the tangy loaf drizzled in olive oil gracing our table. Add the kasundi eggs (€11.50) – a hot frying pan of spicy Middle Eastern style chickpeas with dollops of crème fraiche – and this dish could solve a lot of the world’s problems.
Then there’s the eggs Benedict with ham (€11.50), a classic that relies on quality ingredients to be outstanding. At Little Collins, this magic ingredient is the lemon hollandaise, which adds lots of depth to the smoked ham, trendy kale, and chunky sourdough platform.
The super indulgent pistachio French toast (€9.50) arrives with a thick coat of cinnamon sugar, offset with creamy mascarpone and fashionably bright pink grapefruit. The tart berry compote is perhaps one accessory too many, but it is freshly made and disappears quickly all the same.
Melbourne meets Amsterdam.
See the delicious menu below: