Many blogs have already written about this hotspot in Amsterdam: HappyHappyJoyJoy – a restaurant owned by chef Julius Jaspers. HappyHappyJoyJoy serves dishes from a variety of cuisines, namely Malay, Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesian, Chinese, and Korean. And not only the dishes are from different countries, so are the drinks. And all of this is inspired by street food and shared dining – this screams like the perfect evening out, right? Last week I finally went there together with a friend, and jummy, really you need to go there the next time you visit Amsterdam.
The restaurant is situated in Amsterdam West (a new one is set to open later this year in the eastern part of town) and only a short walk from the city centre. Once you enter HappyHappyJoyJoy you are greeted by different kinds of interior, bright red colours in contrast with white and wood, high tables, low tables and even bar chairs up and against the kitchen. You will receive many different impressions. We had a seat overviewing the kitchen. Initially I had hoped for a lower table in the central area, but it turned out as a lovely spot. It’s nice to watch the chefs work and it’s easy to chat to one another when you are sitting next to each other (that is when you’re just with 2). The central part might be a bit noisier but it seemed like a great place too when you’re with more people. At least the atmosphere is perfect.
Their menu is delicious. It’s so hard to choose from. They recommend 3 to 4 dishes for a full meal – which worked out well for us. I started with a bao with duck – amazing choice! Make sure to try one of the baos, you won’t regret it. We carried on with two types of dim sum. The nice thing there is that you get 3 (or 2 depending on the dish) smaller bites of dim sum, so great for sharing. Afterwards we carried on with tempura vegetables and Vietnamese meatballs. I loved the tempura vegetables – the portion size is great and there is just the right amount of tempura batter around them. The little meatballs were fun to eat as they are served with salad leaves, noodles, fresh herbes and a dip, but they weren’t my favourite. Nice to try once, but I probably won’t have them more often.
And simply because we couldn’t resist we went for another dish: obviously dessert. The mango bao stood out to me from the first look I shed on the menu, so I just had to try it. It is a deepfried mango bao served with caramelised nuts and ice cream. I tell you, you won’t regret it (just like a visit in general to HappyHappyJoyJoy!).