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LIFESTYLE - INTERVIEW

Interview with Eva Lopes Dias, Owner of Restaurant De Struisvogel from Amsterdam

Amsterdam offers many options for both residents and tourists with its gastronomic diversity. Since 1998, Restaurant De Struisvogel, located on the corner of the Canal Keizersgracht and Berenstraat, serves delicious dishes. I talked to Eva Lopes Dias about Restaurant De Struisvogel.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Restaurant De Struisvogel

Restaurant De Struisvogel

LIFESTYLE - INTERVIEW

by Meryem Aksoy

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Although Amsterdam does not have endless beaches and a warm calm sea, it has always been one of the cities that tourists love to visit. The secret of this is, of course, its cultural and artistic heritage and its values. The canals, bridges and architectural features of the unique canal houses are some of the features that make Amsterdam unique. Amsterdam is home to a gastronomic diversity. There are many small and large restaurants specializing in different cuisines, from French to Chinese. Eva Lopes Dias took over Restaurant De Struisvogel in 2004 and took her place in the struggle to offer the most delicious and beautiful looking dishes. I talked with Eva Lopes Dias, Owner of Restaurant De Struisvogel, about her career, Restaurant De Struisvogel, and Amsterdam.

Eva Lopes Dias - Restaurant De Struisvogel

Eva Lopes Dias - Restaurant De Struisvogel

Eva, before talking about Restaurant De Struisvogel, could you tell us about yourself?

My name is Eva Lopes Dias. I studied Art Education and work after my study first at a museum and at Arti et Amicitiae (an association for artists). My passion has always been food and so I decided to make a change and found a job in a grand cafe in Amsterdam. Initially, I wanted to start a restaurant with a gallery. I only had a little experience in the catering industry and wanted to get more. In 1.5 years I obtained 10 hospitality certificates. After that, I felt ready to start a restaurant. The gallery idea had taken a back step and on the 1st of January 2004 I took over Restaurant De Struisvogel (now 15 years ago).

Restaurant De Struisvogel is located in Keizersgracht in Amsterdam. Please tell us about your location and advantages of being there.

The Struisvogel is in the center of Amsterdam, at the canal Keizersgracht, corner Berenstraat. The Berenstraat is 1 of the 9 famous streets in the center (www.de9straatjes.nl).

The restaurant is between 2 famous 5 star Hotels (Pulitzer hotel and The Dylan Hotel) and very close by the Westerkerk (church) and the Anne Frank house. The restaurant has a fantastic location in the basement of an 18th-century canal house. You will experience the Amsterdam canals in a unique way.

Restaurant De Struisvogel

Restaurant De Struisvogel

What inspired the name of Restaurant de Struisvogel (Ostrich)?

The Ostrich is named because the restaurant is in a souterrain (basement) and when people want to look in the restaurant outside, they put there head down to look inside. They look like ostriches ;-)

In the Berenstraat (translation: Bear street), you also have a lot of other places with animal names.

Restaurant De Struisvogel

Restaurant De Struisvogel

Could you tell us about Restaurant De Struisvogel and the overall concept?

The cuisine is Dutch/ French/ International/ Organic and we try to use a lot of local products. Our main goal is to keep the price reasonable and without pretension. The restaurant design is a natural intimate classic interior. It feels like coming home. We are here for our guests.

Could you tell us about the Chef?

Our chef is Bas Mier and is already 13 years working at Restaurant De Struisvogel. I love working with him and we create the menus together. We are a good team and know most of the time what to do without talking about it. He is, of course, a great chef - our own Jamie Oliver :-)

What can your guests find at Restaurant De Struisvogel?

The restaurant is small, warm and intimate. It feels like a living room. It has a unique place on the canals in Amsterdam, known by tourists as well as locals.

How could you define the gastronomic diversity of Amsterdam?

We have all the cuisines of the world in Amsterdam in any price range.

Restaurant De Struisvogel

Restaurant De Struisvogel

Could you tell us about your menu?

We have a 3-course menu for 29,50. You have a choice of 4 starters, 4 main courses, and 4 desserts. We also offer a variation on this. We always have organic meat, fish and vegetarian choices and we can also make vegan dishes. There is something for everybody to enjoy.

In Restaurant De Struisvogel, you only use organic meat. Could you tell us about your menu and your main ingredients?

We use organic products as much as possible. The fish is also from the 'green list' (no endangered fish species) and the meat is certified. We have a small menu, but also a small kitchen. Everything is fresh and made daily :-)

How often do you change up your menu? What are you paying attention to while selecting new drinks and dishes for your new menu?

We change the menu every season (spring, summer, autumn & winter).

We taste everything and when we love it, it’s on the menu. At first, we make a paper menu and then take a week to trial it. Besides the process of preparing for the dishes (mise en place), it is important to test if the dishes will work when ordered by customers. We have an extremely small kitchen with only 4 cooking points and 1 oven. So everything has to fit in. But during the years we learned quite well what is possible and what is not. As said before we pay much attention yo our selection of organic products and wines/drinks that suit our menu.

Which dishes and drinks are your customer's favorite?

All the dishes are great. Really. We have great wines and we also have organic Amsterdam made beer from ‘Brouwerij ’t IJ’. We love all their beers.

Restaurant De Struisvogel

Restaurant De Struisvogel

Amsterdam has lots of restaurants. How does Restaurant De Struisvogel differentiate itself from other restaurants in Amsterdam?

There are a lot of nice restaurants in Amsterdam indeed. The interior of Restaurant De Stuisvogel doesn’t change as it is classic but we always work on moving with the times with our menu and enjoy serving classic dishes with a modern twist.

How do you describe Amsterdam in one sentence?

Amsterdam is a beautiful city for everybody with its old center, history, canals, and lovely old architecture as well as new design buildings.

Restaurant De Struisvogel

Restaurant De Struisvogel

How can our readers find Restaurant De Struisvogel when they visit Amsterdam?

Please visit www.restaurantdestruisvogel.com or email: info@restaurantdestruisvogel.com.

You can also find us on TripAdvisor (excellent award for many years) and we also can be found in the Lonely Planet.

What do you think about the importance of social media for restaurants?

We are not that great with social media but acknowledge the importance of its plan to make further inroads in this space. We have a facebook account. We believe in customers sharing their experiences at the restaurant with their friends and colleagues. We know you only have one chance to make a good impression. Customers should have a great cozy evening, excellent food, friendly service in a terrific venue. When you have a great evening you will let others know.

How can our readers follow Restaurant De Struisvogel?

You can follow us on Facebook (Restaurant De Struisvogel)

Thank you Eva for your time.

For more information, please click here to visit the website of Restaurant De Struisvogel





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