Inside Okura Scroll through the articles of Okura's newsletter 'Inside Okura'

  • High in the sky with Tomikawa

    Always wondered why food sometimes seems to be so bland of taste in an airplane? Chef Masonori Tomikawa from Yamazato Restaurant felt the urge to change this and committed himself to improving the perception of in-flight meals. In cooperation with KLM he is now responsible for the in-flight meals on flights from and to Japan!

  • Beer pairing at Ciel Bleu

    Matching beer with food isn’t common in a Michelin starred restaurant. Being chefs of an innovative restaurant, Onno Kokmeijer and Arjan Speelman of Ciel Bleu looked into the possibilities of matching a beer with their dishes and to even serve their own beer. Not without merit, as it turned out: in cooperation with the renowned Brouwerij ‘t IJ, a very tasty Ciel Bleu IPA was created.

  • Attention anyone with a sweet tooth!

    Cookies, chocolates, petit fours… The pastry department of Hotel Okura Amsterdam is at full swing in the run-up to Valentine’s Day. The pastry team is going all out to produce the most beautiful cakes, cookies, chocolate showpieces and petit fours. A team of people known for their creativity, and led by Executive Pastry Chef Iiro Heinila since 2010. Iiro learned the art of pastry making from renowned French Pastry Chef Christophe Michalak and honed his skills in Finland and France.

  • Meat lovers! (Wagyu)

    When you think about Teppanyaki Restaurant Sazanka, you’re probably also thinking about the delicate Wagyu meat they have on their menu. Dutch meat supplier Nice to Meat has been lobbying for 15 years to open up the Japanese export market, and that lobbying has finally paid off: Sazanka is now one of the first restaurants in the Netherlands to serve Wagyu meat directly from Japan. Unique in Europe!

  • Shake your very own cocktail

    Some evenings call for cold, refreshing drinks. So, become a bartender and impress your friends with your cocktail shaking skills. And not just with any old cocktail, but with the lemon meringue pie, Okura’s Twenty Third Bar signature cocktail.

  • Ten years of ambition

    The culinary journey of Onno Kokmeijer and Arjan Speelman in Ciel Bleu Restaurant started ten years ago. When Onno was asked to lead the restaurant he immediately knew that he wanted to have Arjan as his right-hand man. Their friendship dates back to their college years, when they worked together during various traineeships. The mutual respect grew and they realised they could learn a lot from each other. This way, a bond of trust has grown.

  • The magic of teppanyaki

    Nowadays, many people are familiar with the customs of teppanyaki; the Japanese art of cooking at a hot griddle in front of guests. Over the last ten years, teppanyaki restaurants have gained enormously in popularity and the number of teppanyaki restaurants has increased steadily. Where does this widely spread cooking style originate from? How did the principle of sharing your table with other guests find its way to culinary acknowledgement by many?

  • Try this at home!

    ‘Teppanyaki’ literally means ‘grilled on an iron plate’ (teppan = iron plate, yaki = grill). In Japan this is probably the oldest method of preparing food, invented when the Japanese grilled their fish on a shovel above an open fire. Slowly, this evolved into the sophisticated teppan grill that we know today. Over the last ten years, teppanyaki restaurants have gained enormously in popularity and the number of teppanyaki restaurants has increased steadily. The Sazanka chefs share a delicious Japanese grill recipe with you. Give it a try and explore the magic of teppanyaki at home. 

  • Sushi

    When thinking of Japanese food, many people instantly think of sushi. Not that strange, given that sushi is one of the most popular Japanese dishes, both in Japan and beyond. With more than 40 varieties of sushi on its menu, Yamazato Restaurant goes a very long way to satisfy the discerning palates of its many international guests. But there is always more to learn about this major part of Japanese cuisine. Take a peek into the different kinds of sushi and learn more about how to eat this delicate dish.

  • Secrets of authentic Japanese cuisine

    Kaiseki cuisine (kaiseki ryōri), generally regarded as Japanese haute cuisine, is a very important part of Japanese culture. As not many people are familiar with this type of cuisine, which is served in Okura’s Yamazato Restaurant, we would like to give a brief introduction to this refined cooking style.

  • The tradition of the Bento box

    While the Dutch are used to grabbing a cheese sandwich for lunch, the Japanese have a way more impressive way to present their lunch. The Bento box is a traditional Japanese lunch box with several compartments and sometimes different levels to separate the different bites.

  • Setsubun - Japanese winter festival

    New Year or 'Oshogatsu' is so prominent in Japanese culture that it overshadows other winter feasts, but elements of these other festivals are definitely found in the winter menus of Yamazato Restaurant. One of those festivals is Setsubun, which is nowadays celebrated in February. The festival involves purification rituals to drive demons out of the house by throwing roasted soya beans from every external door and window of the house. Good spirits are invited in by throwing beans into the house as well, with the accompanying spell: “Oni wa soto, fuku wa uchi” – ‘demons out, luck come in’. Children eat the beans that fall on the floor and try to consume one for each year of their lives.

  • How to - Chopstick skills

    Eating sushi with chopsticks requires a little technique, some persistence and lots of practice. Once you have mastered the technique, you will notice that the chopsticks become a natural extension of your thumb en index finger you can use to grab the sushi. If you want to look like a real pro with your chopsticks, it’s important to be aware of the cultural do’s and don’ts. At Yamazato, we know that not every guest is familiar with all Japanese eating customs, so don’t be afraid to make a mistake! Here are some guidelines to help you adjust to Japanese table manners.

  • Under the cherry tree

    In true Japanese tradition, the seasons as well as festivals and special holidays are very important. The cherry tree (sakura) blooms in March or April and is an icon in Japanese culture; the trees have always been a symbol of the beauty of Japan. The breathtaking but brief beauty of the blossoms symbolizes the transient nature of life. Illustrations of cherry blossom are used in fabrics for kimonos, tableware, Japanese floral art (called ikebana) and art.

  • The classic Caesar Salad

    A very popular salad and one of the signature dishes of Serre Restaurant is the Caesar Salad. The original recipe for the Caesar Salad was invented in Tijuana, Mexico by Caesar Cardini. His original recipe consisted of six ingredients: romaine lettuce, garlic, parmesan cheese, croutons, egg and Worchestershire sauce. The Caesar Salad is one of the signature dishes of Serre Restaurant.

  • Gift shop

    Looking for the ideal gift to bring back home to your family and loved ones? The gift shop located on the level -1 covers it all.

  • Museum package

    Have you always wanted to visit the Rijksmuseum? And is visiting the Van Gogh Museumduring the Van Gogh Year also on your wish list? Then the compound Museum Quarter package is ideal for your stay in Amsterdam.

     

  • Serre at home - recipe

    Serre's team would love to share a light and balanced, spring-inspired dish of skin-fried cod with quinoa and a parmesan-watercress salad. Quinoa is a very popular ingredient because it’s packed with a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

  • Romantic Amsterdam

    Amsterdam is a wonderful place for a romantic rendezvous. Imagine the two of you strolling along the canals and the charming gabled facades of the old canal houses. Or wandering through the small streets and discovering the hidden courtyards (hofjes in Dutch). Choose the most beautiful roses on the flower market to surprise your lover. The romantic side of Amsterdam makes it impossible not to fall in love with the city.

  • The adventures of a concierge

    They know all ins and outs of the city, from the largest concerts to that one specific shop in that small alley no one ever heard about. They practically hold the keys to the city and are able to give you directions no matter where you are going. Who they are? That’s easy… They are the hotels’ concierges! Curious what kind of situations occur at the desk of the concierge? Same here!