[Fresh fish and seafood at Fishes, Amsterdam]
With a 9 to 5 work schedule, I could never indulge in the luxury of selecting the freshest seafood from one of the open-air markets in town. The neighborhood Albert Heijn (the ubiquitous Dutch supermarket) around the corner is one of the bigger stores in town but there’s no fresh meat or seafood counter in sight. Cellophane-wrapped ground round and chicken breasts abound, and so are cooked tiny shrimps and sickly colored farm-raised salmon. But other than that, I really did have a problem finding a good source for the fresh catch of the day.
That was before I stumbled on Fishes, an unusually sleek fishmonger, unbeknownst to the unsuspecting eye on Utrecthsestraat. Flanked by two facing rows of funky cafés, ethnic restaurants, quaint little shops, traditional delicatessens, hairdressers, and high-end furniture stores, the fish shop stays open 30 minutes past the 6 p.m. closing time for almost all stores in town, allowing people like me to slip in for a few fresh scallops for the evening pasta.
[A fish delicatessens on funky Utrechtsestraat ]
The minimalist and chic interior makes it an experience to select the freshest ingredient for that special homemade dinner. The staff is extremely friendly and helpful and they really know what they’re selling and what to do with them. Fresh whole dorados, deboned monkfish, marinated shelled jumbo shrimps, wild trouts, imported Spanish sepia... all these you can find alongside freshly made raw fish sushi and that emergency lemon that has yet to be checked off from the shopping list.
In my next post I’ll blog about one of my retail adventures there: a splurge that resulted in two surprise culinary creations, one of the recipes given to me on the spot by the enthusiastic assistant. Next up, I'm eyeing at the live lobsters swimming in a built-in tank in the wall. I'd have to research a little more about dealing with the king of crustaceans.
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