After a nice long session drinking beers at Oedipus Brewing I took off on foot for a quick 20 minute walk deeper in Amsterdam Noord for a seafood lunch at Royalvis And Traiteur, a small fish market and restaurant in the Disteldorp neighborhood.
The place is packed but a friendly couple offer to share their sidewalk table with me just outside the front door.Royalvis And Traiteur offers an interesting concept in dining. A large glass case filled with fresh fishes on ice greets you as you walk in, you point out the fishes you’d like and a counterman weighs the catch then pivots and hands it off to a cook who quickly seasons it and grills, fries or bakes your choice.
When I see hamsi (anchovies) and gambas (prawns) my decision is easily made. Before Turkiye became a giant open air prison I used to regularly venture to Istanbul and eat hamsi in countless cafes and food stalls.
15 minutes pass and a food-runner deposits a big platter heaped with fresh seafood in front of me. I give benediction and commence to eating.Royalvis and Traiteur owner Abdelhafid Rakas’ commitment to only purchasing the freshest fishes shines through on the plate. The hamsi are lightly dredged then flash fried in clear oil for but a moment, the gambas have been boiled in seasoned water then served simply with fresh lemons. A few slivers of purple onion and pitted olives serve as garnish.
A bowl of fish soup that every single table has ordered goes virtually untouched as it tastes of little more than salty tomato bouillion.
Royalvis and Trateur flung open their doors in 2010, and since then have done land office business in the Noord neighborhood. I live in the seafood capital of USA and Rakas’ restaurant could open here and make good money with his concept.
And the only hamsi we can get comes packed in oil and served in cans.
Royalvis and Traiteur
90 H, Van der Pekstraat 88I,
1031 EG Amsterdam, Netherlands
+31 6 21940990
Hours of operation
always call ahead