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HappyHappyJoyJoy - review

By February 18, 2016 , ,

This particular restaurant has been on my radar for a while. I do remember a while back when there was a press release about the opening and commenting that "I'd go there just for the name alone". I finally got my act together and went there this week,

The restaurant is located on Bildersdijkstraat about 15-20 mins tram ride from Amsterdam Centraal or Lelylaan stations and also not far from De Foodhallen. The decor is quite eclectic, but fun and the service relaxed and welcoming. The food is a mix of various Asian flavours from China to Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Surinam. There are times when I see that a restaurant is attempting many different Asian cuisines and it strikes fear into my heart. Many places try this and fail miserably. Rather than sticking to one cuisine that they do well, they attempt too much and it ends up a jumbled mess. 
As someone who has first hand experience of cuisines such as Chinese, Malaysian, Japanese and Thai and with my other half having traveled around Vietnam we have high expectations when it comes to these types of food. 
What I am very pleased to say is the food very much lived up to our expectations.

The menu is structured with Dim Sum style portions, which is good as you can pick and choose lots of dishes to try. It makes for a great sharing experience if you with go a group or even just one other person and I like the fact the portions are a reasonable size as well. There is a wide selection on the menu to suit all tastes and a good beer and wine selection to accompany it, at reasonable prices too.

So enough waffle and onto the important bit - the food. 

I'm a sucker for anything deep fried, so we had to start off the with the lemon squid and crispy chicken wings with fish sauce. The squid was cooked really well, nice and succulent, in a light batter with a sweet chilli dipping sauce. The wings were nice and crispy with a salty hit from the fish sauce.

As fans of peking duck we went with the peking duck bao which was a nice combination of traditional peking duck with a wasabi mayonnaise. We also tried the Duck gyoza which had a succulent savoury hit to it.

I love Asian style salads for their freshness so we had to order the Vietnamese crab salad. This was a good combination of sour from the grapefruit, sweet from the crab and carrot, with a savoury back note of the sesame oil in the dressing. 

My other half loves crispy beef so next on the list was the Szechuan shredded beef, good crispy beef with a light peppery flavour. Our dining companion also ordered the Bho Ko which is a vietnamese beef stew which was intense and meaty . She also went for the chicken curry which reminded me of Thai jungle curry with its creamy coconut sauce and background chilli heat. We also ordered the steamed dumplings with pork and scallops, pork and scallops always work well together and certainly did with this dumpling.

At this stage we were well and truly full, but still had room to sample a couple of desserts. My other half had the Mango bao which was a deep fried bao bun with ice-cream and caramelised nuts, a good contrast in textures and flavours. Our dining companion went for the banana fritters which were accompanied by a sharp yuzu sorbet, a nice combination of sweet and sour. I was a tad fuller than they were, but still sampled a little of each of their desserts.

The service throughout the meal was relaxed and unrushed and I like the fact you could order one set of dishes and then order more if you felt like it. 

I would thoroughly recommend this place if you want a fun place to eat with good food. I'll certainly be back again at some point.  


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