In a former warehouse on the Amsterdam Canals, new fish restaurant John Dory recently opened its doors. Here they serve sophisticated regional fish dishes according to the principles of “fishtronomy”. No Canadian Lobster or Tuna from Sri Lanka, but oysters from the Oosterschelde or Mackerel from the North Sea. Chef and Patron Arjan Wennekes came up with this term himself, combining fish and modern Bistronomy. The core principle of John Dory is offering quality and service with a no-nonsense attitude; low key like a bistro, but with the quality of a restaurant. And I must admit, this formula is golden. John Dory is a place where you just WANT to eat and enjoy every minute.Wennekes already lived up to his name, working as a chef at famous restaurant Vis aan de Schelde and The Roast Room. He definitely brings in the experience but also the no-nonsense mentality. On the question whether all food is besides regional also biological he soberly stated: ‘We try, but offering good food is more important than everything green’.
And the food is indeed good! Simple combinations, presented like a piece of art that taste absolutely delightful. Coalfish, which you normally associate with fish sticks, transforms in the hands of Wennekes team in something spectacular. Soft, perfectly prepared pieces of fish, rustic fresh bread, pairing wines and the ultimate dining experience is complete. The codfish with red wine gravy and lots of earthy flavours like cauliflower, mushrooms and beure noisette is the final piece and highlight of the menu. Extra bonus points go to the pricing of the menus. For a more than reasonable €35,- you can eat a festive three-course meal here.
I rest my case, just go and ENJOY!
Prinsengracht 999, Amsterdam
All illustrations by Sella Molenaar