Amber Garden

Fine Dining Restaurant

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amber Garden Wine List

About Amber Garden

Why not more wine lovers cycle from the city of Amsterdam to suburbian Amstelveen is a wonder to me. I must admit, I only found out about this jewel last year, but this is a place everyone should visit for sure. Chinese cuisine is something you’ll find in more parts of Western Europe, often adapted to the local (sweeter) palate, more ‘inspired by’ than a cuisine truly rooted in the mainland.

At Amber Garden they want you to know what true Chinese cuisine is. In their menu, which is more of a thick booklet, they explain about tradition, differences in regional styles and about the products. They want to do things the way it's supposed to; there’s a separate kitchen just for the service of duck and dim sum. No hoisin here, but authentic homemade black bean paste for example. The duck is not marinated, but perfectly cooked, and you can add your flavourings so the taste of the duck is the way it’s supposed to be. Pig’s ear millefeuille/terrine, fried wulck, duck blood stew, things you don’t find in most so-called Chinese restaurants. But if your stomach isn’t up to that, there’s also lobster or abalone with caviar. Owner Stark Li understands perfectly what his 150 guests each night want. He’s a descendant of a family from a large Beijing restaurant chain and met his wife when they were studying gastronomy in the Geneva and Luzern hotel schools.

The basic wine list is already decent, and they have good Gabriel stemware. Though you might find a bit of hesitance, do ask for the special wine list which has an extensive selection of lovely Bourgogne, Alsace and even a selection of lovely aged Piemonte wines. The list shows love for wine and personality, something you hardly find in a restaurant like this. At Amber Garden, they know what they want to do and they do it well. Well worth the 35-minute bike ride from Amsterdam’s city centre (or just take the tram line 5 and walk for 5 minutes).

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