We headed to Albert Cuypstraat to Albina for some Surinamese food. Suriname had been a former colony of the Dutch Guiana (thanks Wikipedia) and subsequently Amsterdam has a high population of Dutch Surinamese. Fried potatoes turned up first, topped with fish floss which we drenched with caramel soy sauce and a spicy picalilli that was on the table.
Roasted chicken and char siu pork arrived in 'moki meksi' sauce with white rice; this is seemingly the roasting juices of the meat with some soy. Star of the show was the chicken curry - chunks of chicken served on the bone in a light curry sauce with potatoes, an egg and topped with a flaky and piping hot roti. We dug in with gusto. For 10 Euro each with a beer, Albina was a bit of a gem. I know nothing about Surinamese food but even though it was half way around the world from it, it reminded me a lot of Malaysian food.
The next day we took to the streets in search of some interesting food. Raw herring had been recommended to me and are are apparently quite plentiful, mostly on street corners in solid stands, displaying their wares behind a glass case. We sampled two, the best coming from Frens Heringshandel, off the flower market in Koningsplein - unfortunately the picture above is of the inferior version. Still, at around 3 Euro each the soft white bun is split and stuffed with the herring - raw? Cured? - and then topped with diced white onion and sliced pickles. I won't lie; this does make you honk of fishy onions, but it was delicious. The herring flesh is really soft and yielding, while the sharpness of the onions and pickles lifts the richness.
A recommendation from @ediblethings took us down to Voetboogstraat to Vleminckx Sausmeesters, a hole-in-the-wall chip shop. The queue was at least 10 strong (I'll admit, they were rather bleary / glazed of the eyes...) and when we got our chips I found out why. They were amazing. Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside and well seasoned, we had ours topped with mayonnaise and diced onion. We were going for an oniony day.
We couldn't resist trying the Febo automats. A vending machine dispensing deep fried snacks and burgers? Yes please. We played it safe and went for a veggie cheese and mushroom croquette and it came out piping hot, crunchy on the outside and soft and yielding from the inside. It was filthily addictive.
After a cycle round the city screeching with terror - look, those trams are silent deathtraps - we turned up at the train station two hours late having misread the ticket. My friend and I realised at exactly the same point, and the sight of her horrified face remains etched deeply into my memory. Eurostar switched our seats with ease and thankfully we made it back to London on the last train back.
Eurostar go to Amsterdam from £99 return. It does take 5 hours though.