The Waterhole

The Waterhole, a rebel themed hangout down in the Red Light District, is a good venue to hear music close up and personal and dance if the spirit moves you. We got to check this place out when Cosmic Charlie, a Grateful Dead cover band played, and there was enough gray haired tie-dyed ol’ hippies there to start a retirement commune. The band gave me some serious but extremely enjoyable flashbacks to the 60s with tunes like Uncle John’s Band. Everyone seemed to dig both the band and the somewhat funky but smokey atmosphere of the place.

There was no admission that evening, so for the price of a few beers I got to relive some golden moments. And it was a special pleasure to be able to smoke da kine in this venue. The stage is downstairs from a youth hostel, so they try to keep the music hip and the vibes easy going. The sound in the relatively small venue was excellent.

THE WATERHOLE IS A LIVE MUSIC BAR IN THE CENTRE OF AMSTERDAM WITH A VARYING LINE-UP OF ALL POPULAR MUSIC GENRES
Oh, and you can also eat at tap&dine upstairs

Tibet Restaurant

We discovered this relaxing refuge from the hectic pace of the Red Light District, after showing a friend around the area. We were pretty burned out as we’d been walking all over town for many hours, and our last hour in the Red Light Light district was spent dodging tourists and listening to pounding house music in coffeeshops.

The Tibet restaurant welcomed us and restored us with it’s wonderfully exotic ambiance while the soothing Tibetan music put us in the proper calm mood to enjoy the tasty delights of this popular dining spot. The Tibetan artworks on the walls including eyecatching tankas and colorful woven tapestries that transported our city-tortured souls to distant Himalayan villages were the inward journey is as awe-inspiring as the lofty peaks.

We ordered from a menu filled with Chinese delights, including the spicy flavors of Shechuan. I ordered a delicious Kung Pao Chicken, and my friend had a delightful shrimp and fried noodle dish (bird’s nest style, photo above). The food was perfect, the service good, and we left feeling refreshed and centered. So if you’re in the mood for a transcendental treat, the Tibet Restaurant is just the ticket.

Oude Kerk Amsterdam

13th-century church, now Calvinist, hosting religious & cultural activities including concerts.

Originally a small wooden church on a bank of the Amstel River in the 1300’s, it grew to be the stately Gothic structure it is today during the 14th century. Over the centuries it was a place for traders to meet and a refuge for the poor.

There are two organs: a transept organ (1658) and the well-known Vater-Müller organ (1724/1738), nowadays both are used for concerts.

The floor of the interior is paved with the gravestones of the rich, famous and royals from centuries past. It is an eerie feeling indeed to be walking around on them, especially when you recognize someone you’ve heard of!

Every year they offer the World Press Photo exhibition to the public, along with other exhibitions, theater and musical concerts from time to time. Be sure to check our always updated event calendar for listings of happenings when they are announced.

China Sichuan Restaurant / Warmoesstraat

Also known as “Chinese Kitchen,” this little place in the Red Light District is an interesting spot for a spicy meal.

The decor is that of a converted Italian restaurant, with a shrine by the front window including a picture of the Dalai Lama, and statues of Ho-Tei and Buddha for that authentic Asian feel. The insence wafting from the altar went quite well with the aromas of sizzling spices and food while we settled ourselves at the table inside the front window.

Take some time and look over the menu carefully, there’s a lot to choose from. The menu will seem familiar to American tastes, with Kung-Pao and other Sichuan specialties to choose from. However, the flavors are anything but American, this is true Sichuan cooking in Amsterdam.

The waitress took our order, helping with suggestions and answering our questions clearly. I ordered the Sichuan soup, Sesame Prawns as an appetizer and Kung Pao Prawns for my main dish. My friend ordered the same soup, shared the Sesame prawns with me, and for a main plate choose a Sichuan chicken dish, which the waitress promised would be very spicy. I also ordered a large pot of hot tea to wash everything down.

The jasmine tea and soup arrived quickly, and my taste buds were soon reeling from the intensely flavoured and delightful Sichuan soup, which featured mushrooms, chili peppers, herbs and tofu in a great broth. The sesame prawns arrived soon thereafter, along with a spicy dipping sauce made with a base of soy, salty and wonderful. The main dishes arrived on platters as large portions, with a huge bowl of steaming jasmine rice and individual plates. My Kung Pao Prawns were fabulous, clean-tasting and fresh, cooked perfectly and the rest of the dish was classic kung-pao, with the peanuts and vegetables in a light brown sauce spiced with bits of red pepper. The sichuan chicken dish wasn’t quite as good, but it was uniquely flavored and delicious in its own way. The pieces of chicken were cooked with the shreds of skin still attached, adding a certain greasiness to the dish, but the addition of allspice to the seasoning almost fooled me into thinking this was a dish made from duck…

Our meal was good, with efficient service in nice surroundings. The table we had in the front window proved to be a great place to watch the never-ending parade of humanity passing through the Red Light District. Our table was also cigarette-smoke free being by the open door, an added benefit indeed.

The bill for our great Sichuan Chinese meal was f72. I will visit again and have more soup, their menu has an extensive selection of hot pot meals as well.

Since ourt original review this restaurant has moved from the Zeedijk to the Warmoestraat, see the map below.